Sunderland-born Alyson Dixon has made the decision to pull out of the upcoming European Athletics Championships – admitting that she would not be able to ‘do her country justice’.
Dixon, who has confirmed that the decision was not influenced by a new injury, felt that she would not be able to sufficiently compete in the championships.
However, she is keen to prepare properly for the future as she looks to sign off her illustrious career in fine fashion.
Dixon has been set to represent Team GB at the championships, which will be held in Berlin between 7 and 12 August
But, after undergoing minor surgery for a previous injury, she felt that she could not complete the necessary preparation ahead of the marathon.
In a post on her website alydixon.com, Dixon said: “Running for your country is every athletes dream. It is the highest honour and privilege to wear the GB vest at a continental or global championship.
“When you reach that level you want to make sure that you are in a position to put in your very best performance and I know right now that I couldn’t do that.
”Yes, I could go and COMPLETE the distance but I couldn’t COMPETE to the very best of my ability. I couldn’t do myself, the team and my country justice.”
“I am healthy and fit, just not marathon fit. To run any marathon well you need to have undergone a certain level of preparation. Solid long runs, long tempos, good speed endurance and I haven’t been able to do this.
”After the Commonwealth Games I underwent a small operation on my heel to fix an inflamed bursa which had been troubling me since this time last year.
“I wasn’t allowed to run for seven days after and then had to gradually build back over the next four weeks.”
Dixon’s focus now is on preparing properly for future races to ensure she gives the performances that all know she is capable of - while she is keen to challenge for her own personal best.
She added: “The decision to withdraw was made even tougher as feasibly this could be my last chance of representing GB.
“I’m 40 in September and this would have been my 14th marathon. I’m being realistic when I say I probably only have another couple left in me, so I want to make sure that they aren’t wasted and that when I next stand on a marathon start line that I am in good enough shape to challenge for a PB and hit the type of time I know I am capable of.”