10 things you should know about Olympic-bound Sunderland star Aly Dixon

Aly Dixon, left, and fellow Briton Sonia Samuels
Aly Dixon, left, and fellow Briton Sonia Samuels
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Sunderland athlete Aly Dixon is heading to Rio later this year after her superb run in the London Marathon at the weekend.

The Sunderland Stroller finished 13th in the race, and was first British woman across the finishing line.

That, along with having already achieved the qualifying time, will be enough to see her selected for the Graet Britain squad for the 2016 Olympics.

But what do we know about Dixon? We look a little closer at her.

1. Aly was born on September 24, 1978.

2. While her dad was a marathon runner, she only really got into athletics after joining Sunderland Harriers as a youngster because they were going on a trip to Flamingo Land.

3. Her big breakthrough was winning the Brighton Marathon in 2011, setting a then course record and personal best of 2:34:51.

4. She ran the marathon at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu with three broken bones in her foot.

5. Dixon stands just 5ft 2in and weighs a mere 6st 4lb.

6. She used to be trained by Scottish great Liz McColgan, before becoming self-coached.

7. Dixon currently runs for Sunderland Strollers but has in the past competed for Chester-le-Street and Sunderland Harriers.

8. She takes four caffeine tablets or a strong coffee 20 minutes before a marathon.

9. She has had to balance her training and race schedule in the past with working at Sweatshop, in the MetroCentre.

10. She has mimicked Sunderland footballer Fabio Borini’s goal celebration when crossing the finishing line.