Alyson Dixon made a surprise winning appearance in the Sunderland Strollers Pier-to-Pier race from South Shields to Roker yesterday.
After only two weeks of training following her triumphant London Marathon performance, where she qualified for the Rio Olympic Games marathon, she supported her club in their popular promotion.
She said: “The club has been really good to me, and their support over the years has been superb.
“It was a good run-out for me at this stage of my training. I really enjoyed it”
The record-breaking race, which had 1,128 finishers, allows competitors choose their own route to Roker, although they have to keep off the highway.
Dixon, who finished 14th overall in 41min 29sec, was on the line for the 10am start after arriving back from London just six hours earlier.
She had travelled from Hampstead, where she had been watching the UK Athletics 10,000m championships and Olympic qualifier after being at the London Marathon presentation.
She now will start to build up her training and travels to altitude to Fort Romeu in France, on June 13.
The Silksworth athlete added: “I will be there until we leave for the GB Olympic holding camp. But I will come down from altitude for three days when I compete in the European Half Marathon Championships in Amsterdam on July 10.’’
She is still undecided if she will be on the start line for the Blaydon Race on Thursday, June 9. “I will decide nearer the day,’’ she stated.
The men’s winner of the Pier-to-Pier race was Jarrow and Hebburn athlete Andy Burn, who repeated his victory of two years ago, clocking 37.15.
The North East 5000m champion was joined for the first couple of miles of the race by Gateshead Harrier Conrad Franks.
Burn said: “I managed to get away after coming off the Leas, I felt fairly comfortable and confident that I could win.’’
Franks was an isolated second and in third place was Sunderland Harrier Sparrow Morley. The North East 1500m champion, a prolific racer who finished second in a one mile track race at Darlington the day before, said: “It was good run for me and I was pleased to finish third.’’
Sunderland Harriers had a further three runners in the top 10 in seventh-placed Steve Rankin, Ian Ritchie eighth and Jake Jensen 10th.
Pier-to-Pier result: 1 Andy Burn (Jarr & Heb) 37.15, 2 Conrad Franks (Gates) 37.55, 3 Sparrow Morley( Sun Har) 38.34, 4 Gary Wallace (Blackhill) 38.43, 5 John Clifford (Evenwood) 39.25, 6 John Evans (Jarr & Heb) 39.37, 7 Steve Rankin (Sun Har) 40.00, 8 Ian Ritchie (Sun Har) 40.04, 9 Gareth Pritchard (Elvet) 40.30, 10 Jake Jensen (Sun Har) 40.56, 11 Paul O’Mara (Tyne Bridge) 41.00, 12 Jason Old (Elswick) 41.07, 13 Darren Armstrong (Hart Burn Rd) 41.19, 14 Alyson Dixon (Sun Stroll) 41.29, 15 Paul Robson (Sun City Tri) 41.34, 16. Paul Weir (Unatt) 41.39, 17 Michael Parkinson (N Shields) 42.16, 18 Andy Forbes (Sun Stroll) 42.23, 19 Ash Henderson (Blyth) 42.28, 20 Jon French (Blyth) 42.45, 21 Mark Anderson (Sun Stroll) 42.50, 22 Michael Littlewood (Elvet) 43.05, 23 Chris Hainsworth (Gates) 43.11, 24 James Fishburn (Billingham) 43.29, 25 Gary Dack (Billingham) 43.44, 26 James Leiper (Ponteland) 43.57, 27 Alexandra Sneddon (Jarr & Hebb) 44.01, 28 Ian Norman (Heaton) 44.09, 29 Matthew Bowman (Billingham) 44.28, 30 Rory Graham (Houghton) 44.33.
Women: 1 Alyson Dixon (Sun Stroll) 41.29, 2 Alexandra Sneddon (Jarr & Hebb) 44.01, 3 Ellen Roberts (Heaton) 47.19, 4 Michelle Avery (Sun Harr) 47.41, 5 Anna McClean (Low Fell) 49.50, 6 Cheryl Parkin (Low Fell) 49.53, 7 Joanne Brown (Elswick) 50.01, 8 Leanne Barrow (Unatt) 50.51.