Alyson Dixon in great shape for Great North Run

Sunderland's Alyson Dixon crossing the line at the Great North Run 2015
Sunderland's Alyson Dixon crossing the line at the Great North Run 2015

Sunderland Stroller Alyson Dixon goes into Sunday’s Great North Run in good form following her strength-sapping performance in the World Championship Marathon just five weeks ago.

She led the Marathon for nearly two hours before slipping back down the field to finish 18th in 2.31.36 after collapsing over the line totally exhausted.

The Silksworth athlete said: “I tried to hold on as long as possible, but the last two or three miles were really tough because my legs had totally gone and I just got over the line.”

In a final fitness test before the GNR, the UK Marathon champion turned out in the Silksworth Parkrun on Saturday and finished just 10 seconds outside her best for the course.

She recorded 16.56 to win the event and to prove that she has shrugged off the fatigue after her gruelling world championship performance.

Her best on the course for the world famous Half Marathon from Newcastle to South Shields is 72.07 from 2015. Last year she recorded 76.31.

Joining Dixon on the elite start line is Sunderland Harrier Alice Smith whose best for the Half Marathon stands at 85.33.

She clocked 87.58 last year. She goes into the race after a busy competitive week, having competed in the Sunderland Harriers cross country relay on Saturday at Farringdon and the Tees Pride 10km on Sunday at Middlesbrough.

Mo Farah will bid to win his fourth GNR title to equal Benson Masya’s record number of wins.

Sunderland Harriers came away from the Northern Masters’ Track and Field Championships at Sheffield with a bagful of medals.

Jacqui Etherington, competing in the Over-35 category, won the 2,000m steeplechase in a personal best of 7.47.55 for a North East Masters record and she now tops the UK W35 rankings.

She also won the 1,500m (4.59.52). And the talented athlete also picked up two gold medals in the field with victories in the shot (7.62) and discus (21.66).

Anna Harris (W45) was first in the 100m (14.16) and long jump (4.44),

Rob Walker won the V45 1500 (4.29), Vicky Haswell (W35) was third in the 400m (69.07) and 800m (2.33.12) before winning the javelin (24.33m). Nikki Woodward (W35) was second in the 400m (65.16) and 800m (2.31.55).

New member Christine Elliott (W55) was second in the hammer (21.33m) for a North East Masters’ record, and was third in the shot (6.72), discus (17.00) and javelin.

Houghton Harrier Tom Bowdon has been selected for the Durham County Schools’ Combined Events team to compete at the English Schools’ A A National Final in Boston on September 16/17.

He joins clubmate Philippa Ellis in the Durham team at the National Finals.

Both were in action representing the North East Development League in the inter league match at Middlesbrough against Yorkshire and District YDL.

They brought their track and field season to an end by posting impressive PBs in their chosen events with Under-15 Philippa Ellis recording 11.32 (75m Hurdles) and 25.94 (200m), while Under-17 Tom Bowden improved his PB in the long jump by 20cm in clearing 5.86m.

Sunderland Harriers were out in force in the Middlesbrough Tees Pride 10km with 16 athletes involved.

The leading results were headed by Andy Powell in ninth (33.08). Kevin Jeffress was 10th (33.18), Ian Dixon 12th in a PB of 33.43 for second Over-40.

Paul Blakey was third Over-40 in 19th (34.32), Ian Ritchie finished 33rd (35.41), Steven Duffy took 47th (36.44) and Darren Dodd finished 103rd (39.25). Alice Smith was sixth woman to finish in 39.22.

Sunderland Strollers had Andrew Forbes in 44th (36.25), Chris Dwyer 56th (37.45), Ritchie Gerry 77th (38.36), Andrew Duke 83rd (38.42) and Luke McCormack 91st (38.59).

In the Low Fell 5km, at Watergate Park, Sunderland Harriers’ Under-20 team finished runners-up to Blaydon in the team race.

The team counters were Jack Tallentire in eighth (17.07), Chris Bell 15th (17.44) and Joseph Pomfret 17th (18.02).