Sunderland Stroller Alyson Dixon remains focused on the London Marathon after being disappointed with her performance in the World Half Marathon Championship in Cardiff on Saturday.
Although she was first placed Briton in 27th, recording 1hr 12min 57sec, she was way outside her best for the distance of 70.38 when finishing 19th in the last edition of the championships in Copenhagen in 2014.
The Silksworth athlete went off with the leaders but began to lose contact just before 5k, which she passed in 16.35. The 10k distance was completed in 33.36.
She said: “I thought I was in much better shape than that. I had a drink at 5k and lost 10 yards and I was left running on my own. I couldn’t get back to them.
“It wasn’t particularly fast for what I was looking for. I was expecting to be at least 30 seconds faster going through 10k. There were a few little hills where I seemed to lose all power going up. Whenever I hit one, I was going backwards.
“I’m just trying not to let it get to me. I know I’m in better shape than that.
“Training has been going really well. I’ve just got to forget about it and stay focused on four weeks’ time and put in the performance I need to.’’
Dixon is one of only two British athletes to have the Olympic marathon qualifying time of 2hr 31min – having recorded 2.29.30 in Berlin last September. She needs to finish in the first two among the British athletes in London to ensure Rio selection.
Kenya filled the first three positions at Cardiff, with Perses Jechirchir winning in 67.31.
Mo Farah took the bronze medal in the championship to claim Britain’s first medal at the event since 2003.
In horrendous conditions during the closing stages, with the rain lashing down in the men’s race, Farah, the European record holder, had to put in a pulsating sprint finish to claim third.
The first two positions were filled by Kenya’s defending champion Geoffrey Kamworor and Bedan Karoki Muchiri.
Kamworor won in an impressive 59.10, with Farah finishing just under the hour mark in 59.59 to become only the second Briton after Hallamshire’s Carl Thackery to win individual bronze at these championships.
Farah said: “I am a little disappointed. There was great support from the home crowd so it would have been nice to have come away with a win. The better athlete won on the day – they went for it and I could not quite go with it.
“It was an incredible pace, from the 10k splits you can see they were up for it.
“For quite a bit of the race I was alone. It was a fast time but as an athlete, you always want to win.
“The Rio Olympic Games is always the aim. The guys are going to be stronger, so I am going to work hard and this gives me massive motivation.’’
The North East’s Ryan McLeod finished 45th in 1:06.13 and Matty Hynes was 53rd in 1:06.37.
Elswick’s Tadele Geremew (30.41) and his wife Justina Heslop (36.01) defended their titles in the North Tyneside 10k from North Shields to Whitley Bay yesterday. Sunderland Harrier Ian Ritchie was 17th (35.59) and Darren Stoker was 136th (41.16).