Athletics: Alyson Dixon cruises to victory in Kielder Half Marathon

Sunderland Harrier Martin Blenkinsopp takes part in the Kielder Marathon yesterday at Kielder Water in Northumberland, which has been described as Britains Most Beautiful Marathon.
Sunderland Harrier Martin Blenkinsopp takes part in the Kielder Marathon yesterday at Kielder Water in Northumberland, which has been described as Britains Most Beautiful Marathon.

Sunderland Stroller Alyson Dixon treated the Kielder Half Marathon as a training run and went on to win the women’s race by more than six minutes yesterday.

The 39-year-old took fifth place overall in her slowest ever time for the distance of 1hr 24min 38sec.

This was her third half marathon since the Great North Run, when she clocked 72.29 in her lung-bursting run from Newcastle to South Shields.

The Olympian said: “I really enjoyed this low-key approach to the race – it’s a lovely scenic course.

“I’m at a phase in my training where I’m just ticking over and I took the opportunity to run with one of my club-mates, John Cook. He is an improving runner with much potential.

“We chatted for the first 10 miles before he pulled away and went on to finish second.

“I’m delighted for him as he is one of a group who trains with me on the track at Silksworth on Tuesday evenings.’’

“I will not get up to my heavy period of training of over 100 miles a week until I go to Fort Romeau in France for altitude training in two weeks.”

This was Dixon’s first appearance in the Kielder Half Marathon after competing in two 10ks at Kielder, breaking the record with 36.02 in 2012.

She now has October 24 in mind when the England team for the Commonwealth Games is announced for the Gold Coast next year. She is in contention for a marathon spot

The winner of the race was Benedict Moore, of Gosforth Harriers, who recorded 1.20.29. Cook finished in 1.23.11 on the challenging course, compared to his best of 78.57.

In this annual festival of athletics at Kielder, organised by Steve Cram’s company Events of the North, Keswick’s Russell Maddams won the marathon in 2.46.18. He was one of nine runners to beat the three-hour mark

Sunderland Stroller Chris Dwyer finished in 15th (3.10.20) and John Sayer was 40th (3.24.04). Sunderland Harrier Martin Blenkinsopp was 27th (3.16.10).

In Saturday’s 10k, won by Tyne Bridge Harrier Mark Fenwick (33.55), Sunderland Harriers’ had Callum Greig 15th (40.32), Darren Stoker 18th (40.55), Tony Allinson 22nd ( 42.04) and Karl Robinson 42nd (44.33).

Nicola Woodward finished second woman (43.41) behind Morpeth’s Gemma Floyd (39.47).

In the York Marathon, Birtley Harrier Tracy Millmore won the women’s race in 2.46.09 and Sunderland Harrier Alice Smith was third Over-35 (3.04.55).

At the Chester Marathon, Sunderland Harriers’ had Kevin Jeffress in 13th (2.36.58) and Over-40 Ian Dixon 27th in a PB (2.41.04).