Dixon Strolls to new record

Alyson Dixon.
Alyson Dixon.
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ALYSON DIXON shattered her own course record to steer Sunderland Strollers veterans into first place in the Elswick Harriers’ Road Relays at Newburn.

The 36-year-old charged through from fifth place to first on the final leg of the three-stage over-35 relay, with easily the day’s fastest overall time.

She clocked a scintillating 11min 30sec for her 2.2mile leg, to chop 23 seconds off her time of last year. This was 14 seconds quicker than the next best, set by Justina Heslop, who brought Elswick into second place with her anchor run of 11.44. The Strollers won the race from the host club by 56 seconds.

Dixon was not only the fastest veteran, she also beat the best time set in the combined senior women’s relay, set by Jarrow and Hebburn’s Alex Sneddon with 12.08.

She said: “It was a good run after a heavy week of training, now I am going to concentrate on some 10k speed work.’’

The Strollers were helped to success by Ashleigh Bennett, who finished fourth on the opening leg (13.47) and Vicki Booth, who then dropped to fifth (14.43), before handing over to Dixon.

Sunderland Harriers finished a creditable ninth in the senior women’s relay, won by Gateshead, with Michelle Avery (13.49), Jessica Fox (13.57) and Judith Thirlwell (14.24).

Morpeth Harriers finished first and second in the senior men’s relay with their A team beating the course record by two seconds. The club’s fastest was Peter Newton, who clocked 10.17 on the first leg.

Phil Hurst smashed the individual record with his superb 9.55 circuit which saw him lift Elswick from seventh and into third place on the final leg.

Sunderland Harriers finished outside the medals but will be pleased to finish two teams in the top 10 and three in the first 24.

The A team in sixth was Nathan Reed (10.51), Steve Rankin (10.59), Sparrow Morley (11.24) and Craig Isherwood (11.08). The B team finished ninth with Andy Powell (11.08), Ian Dixon (11.30), Jonny Howe (11.31) and Steve McMahon (11.19). The C team in 24th was Chris Bell (12.28), Sean Mackie (12.13), Mark Smith (11.30) and Jack Tallentire (12.51).

Sunderland Strollers were 26th with Tom Clark (12.37), Declan Munnelly (12.05), Luke McCormack (12.47), and Aidan Crowe (12.02).

Sunderland veterans were fourth in the veterans men’s relay, with Morpeth again taking the honours. Micky Thompson recorded 11.50, Paul Merrison (12.23), Alan Knebel (12.33) and George Harden (13.05).

The Strollers were 10th with Michael Hobson (12.49), Kevin Blyth (13.15), Michael Armstrong (14.08) and Tim Allsop (12.40).

There was a family double in the North Tyneside 10k Road Race from North Shields to Whitley Bay yesterday.

Elswick’s Tadele Geremew won the race in 30.52 and partner Justina Heslop took the women’s title in 34.44.

Second was Carl Avery (Morpeth) in 31.09 and his clubmate Ian Harding was third (32.06). Andy Burn (Jarrow) was fourth in 32.20.

Locals to finish in the first 100 in a field of more than 2,000 were: Andy Graham sixth (Durham) 34.06. Steven Duffy 12th (Gateshead) 34.57, Aidan Crowe 33rd (Sunderland Strollers) 36.33, Callum Greig 74th (Run Peterlee) 38.55 and Simon Park 80th (Sunderland Harriers) 39.10.

Elizabeth Mooney (Cambridge Uni) was second woman in 36.47 and Jacqueline Penn (NSP) was third woman (37.17).

Sunderland Harrier Oliver James recorded a personal best for 800m (1.51.95) in the Victor Lopez Invitation In Houston Texas.He finished 5th in the race, won in 1.49.80.