Sunderland Stroller selected for British team

Alyson Dixon

Alyson Dixon

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Alyson Dixon has been selected for the British team that will challenge for the European 10,000m Cup in Chia, Sardinia, Italy, a week on Saturday.

 The Sunderland Stroller was selected on the back of her performance in the Highgate Harriers 10,000m, which also included the England Athletics and UK Championships.

It will be a tough race as temperatures can soar to around 40 degrees at this time of the year.

At Parliament Hill Fields, she set a personal best for the distance of 32.55.36 in finishing third.

This will be Dixon’s second European Cup vest, having finished 11th (34.03.05) in Pravels, Bulgaria in 2013.

She said: “I am very excited about being part of a strong British team. But it will be a tough race as temperatures can soar to around 40 degrees at this time of the year.”

Heading the four-strong British team will be Jo Pavey who will be competing on the track for the first time since she was crowned European 10,000m champion last summer.

The Commonwealth 5000m bronze medallist will face Europe’s best distance runners. And with memories of that famous night last August in Zurich still fresh on her mind, she will be hoping for an encouraging start to her track season.

The other two members of the team are 2012 European Cross Country under-23 champion, Stockport’s Jess Coulson, who was second at Highgate, setting a personal best of 32:41.59, and British Athletics Cross Challenge winner Lily Partridge, who recorded a lifetime best of 32:20.77 in Huelva last month.

At the European 10,000m Cup, a team comprises of a maximum of six athletes but each team’s score shall be determined by the aggregate of the three fastest times achieved by its athletes. Portugal defend the title.

British Athletics’ Head of Endurance Barry Fudge said: “This is a great opportunity for distance runners to test their form and fitness at the early stage of the season ahead of another busy summer of championships. It is without doubt going to be a big test, but I’m confident that the performances shown by Jo (Pavey) last year will inspire the rest of the team to good performances in Chia.”

The Italian athletics federation constructed the new training facilities in this region and will use the European Cup 10,000m to prepare for when Chia will host the 2016 SPAR European Cross Country Championships.

Next Wednesday, Sunderland Harriers stage their North East Vending 25th Penshaw Hill race at 7.15pm.

This is the club’s first race of the year and it will be followed by the Sunderland 5k on Wednesday, July 15 and the Farringdon Cross Country on Saturday, September 5.

On-line entries for Penshaw close next Monday. They are available at http://www.race-results.co.uk/onlineentries/user/login.php?raceid=2022

On-line entries for the Sunderland 5k are available at www.runbritain.com/races