Hospice hails record breaker Aly Dixon with surprise gifts

Super-athlete Aly Dixon received a surprise when she visited St Benedict’s Hospice in Ryhope.

Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 11:39 am
Updated Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 6:30 pm

The Sunderland Stroller ran the Great North Run dressed as Wonder Woman in 1.18.26, a world record half-marathon for an athlete dressed as a superhero, raising almost £3,000 for the hospice in the process.

Her heroics came exactly a week after breaking a “normal” world record of 3:07:20 at the 50km World Championships in Romania.

Aly thought she had been invited to the hospice later to meet a patient. Instead, staff were waiting to pounce and show their gratitude; not only for the money raised, but also for the profile Aly has brought to the hospice.

Surprise! Super-athlete Aly Dixon with grateful staff at St Benedict's Hospice, including Benedict Bear.

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They surprised her with flowers, a card and a special bottle of SB (St Benedict’s) Gin, specially commissioned by the hospice. Aly’s bottle was number 187 – the number of minutes it took her to run 50km.

Aly said: “I’ll never trust them again! I’m not a big gin drinker. But I have started drinking it since they introduced it. St Benedict’s do good things, but they also turn you to alcohol!

“Since being an ambassador for the hospice they’ve asked me to eat biscuits, go to afternoon tea with gin and cream scones, go to their ball, do the Sunderland Half Marathon and the Great North Run. Nothing hard compared to what people here are going through.

“Looking an idiot for 1hr 18m on the road is the least I could do.”

Double world record holder Aly Dixon at St Benedict's Hospice is greeted by Benedict the Bear (who is on the left).

Aly has intensely personal reasons for becoming involved with St Benedict’s.

She added: “I wasn’t expecting any of this. I don’t do it for this sort of thanks and fanfare. I did it because the hospice has been so good to my family. It’s the least I can do to repay them.

“I’m now an ambassador for them. But in 2012 they cared for my cousin Andrew just before he passed away. He was 25. In 2015 they looked after my granddad Tommy. He was at home when he died.

“And just in June this year they looked after my Uncle Bill. Again, he wanted to be at home when he passed away, so the care team was coming in.”

Aly Dixon, athlete and ambassador at St Benedict's Hospice, is presented with gifts by chairman of the board of trustees, Derek Moss.

To contribute, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/aly-dixon

St Benedicts's ambassador Aly Dixon with a commemorative bottle of gin to mark her achievements.
Aly Dixon, shortly after completing her world record Great North Run.