Sunderland Stroller Alyson Dixon could be on her way to the Rio Olympics next year after smashing her personal best and achieving the qualifying time in the Berlin Marathon yesterday.
The 37-year-old’s superb performance saw her finish 11th in 2hr 29min 30sec – well within the qualifying mark of 2.31.00 – to put herself in the pecking order for Brazil.
She said: “I visited the very back of a deep, dark pain cave in the last 5k, but I kept on fighting with a dream in my heart and I got to the finish line to smash through 2.30! 90 second PB, Olympic qualifying standard and room for improvement!
“I don’t want to see my running shoes for another two weeks now.!”
That time improved on her previous fastest of 2.31.08, set in the Brighton Marathon in 2013.
She ran most of the way with former Wallsend Harrier Sonia Samuels, who also shattered her previous fastest with her 2.28.04 for ninth position.
The pair went through halfway in 73.33, but it was Samuels who proved the stronger in the closing stages after Dixon led her by 14 seconds at 30k.
They are the only two British athletes that have the qualifying time so far.
The race was won by Kenyan Gladys Cherono in a world lead of 2.19.25.