England call-up for ace Alyson

Alyson Dixon.
Alyson Dixon.
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SUNDERLAND Stroller Alyson Dixon has been selected for the England team for the Leeds Abbey Dash 10k on Sunday.

She will receive her first England vest since dropping out of the Commonwealth Marathon through injury in Glasgow.

She said: “The Abbey Dash was in my plans anyway but to be given the chance to pull on the England vest again after the disappointment of Glasgow is great and hopefully I can put in a good performance.’’

The 36-year-old will be competing just a week after winning the Heaton Memorial 10k (34.06) and breaking her own course record .

But she said she does not think she is yet in shape to approach her PB (32.35) for the distance.

“My training has been coming together well after my recent injury and I was very pleased with my run on Sunday,” she said.

“But I know I have a bit to go to get back to my best form.”

Dixon will be going for a hat-trick of victories having won in 2012 (32.53) and 2007 where she recorded 33.43. Former Wallsend athlete Sonia Samuels, now back with Sale, is also included in the England quartet. Durham’s Rosie Smith is in the North of England women’s team.

The four-man North of England team includes former Sunderland Harrier Jack Martin and Durham City Harrier Dan Garbutt. Jack’s older brother Patrick will also be on the start-line, competing for Stockport Harriers.

Gateshead Harrier Matty Hines defends his title and leads the four-man England team that includes Morpeth’s Nick Swinburn.

The race clashes with the popular Brampton-to-Carlisle 10-mile road race where Sunderland Harriers’ have a big turn-out of around 30 runners.

Although Kevin Jeffress, who was expected to be the club’s top finisher at Brampton, has pulled out after he was selected for the England over-35s veterans’ team for the following week’s international cross country at Nottingham.

With Jeffress a non-runner, Craig Isherwood looks the most likely athlete to be the first Harrier home. The Lakeside man has just resumed training after turning his ankle when tripping over the kerb during a track session at Silksworth. He will be looking for a sub-55 minute clocking.

The event is organised by Border Harriers & Athletic Club and is the oldest 10-mile road race in the UK. The first race was completed in 1952. The course takes runners from Brampton to Carlisle via the B6264 and is fast and accurately measured by a UK Athletics accredited measurer. Previous winners include Steve Cram and Ron Hill and Jim Alder.

Sunderland Harrier Brian Rushworth won the event in 1993, clocking 47.47. Blackpool’s Nick Sloane holds the course record of 45mins 50secs. Leeds City athlete Angie Pain holds the women’s record with 51.51. Houghton Harrier Lynn Harding won the race in 1994 and 1996

*Houghton Harriers are turning out in droves in the winter indoor competitions at Monkton. Eighteen of Liz Page’s group were at Thursday’s Indoor league at Monkton and 20 competed on Sunday morning. There was much potential on display and some good performances in the under-11, under-10 and under-9 events. The club winners were Connie James, Keeley Llewellyn, Nicole Phillips and Matthew Lumb