Sunderland star helps Britain to Euro triumph

Alyson Dixon
Alyson Dixon
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Alyson Dixon was part of the British team that won the European Cup 10,000m title in sweltering conditions in Sardinia on Saturday.

But the Sunderland Stroller was not one of the three counters that beat Spain and Italy into the minor medals at Chia-Pula on the Italian island.

I’m so proud to have been a part of it. It was the hardest race conditions of my life.

She finished 22nd in 34min 19.50sec, as the British team placed their first three runners inside the first seven to take the team title.

European 10,000m champion veteran Jo Pavey, representing Britain for the first time since she clinched the title in Zurich last summer, was the seventh counter in 33.18.80.

Ahead of the 41-year-old was Lily Partridge, who finished a magnificent third in 33.02.03 and she was closely followed by Jess Coulson in fourth (33.03.03).

The race was won by Spain’s Trihas Gebre (32.14.94) from Italy’s Valeria Straneo (32.32.41).

Dixon, who went into the race after finishing sixth in last week’s British Milers’ Club Grand Prix 5000m (16.00.41), seven seconds outside her best, said: “All of us literally ran ourselves to a standstill. I’m so proud to have been a part of it.

“It was the hardest race conditions of my life.”

She had clocked a personal best for 10,000m in May with her 32.55.36 at Parliament Hill Fields in London.

The team’s score is determined by the aggregate time of the three fastest athletes on the day.

The winning times of the medallists were: 1 GB 39.23.86, 2 Spain, 3 Italy

Dixon is entered for the Blaydon Race tomorrow night (7.15) and Durham City Harrier Rosie Smith is also down to run after being on the injured list.

They will face three African women who are travelling to Tyneside for the 35th race from Newcastle to Blaydon.

Gladys Yator, second last year, will be joined by Teresia Omosa (Kenya) and Ugandan cross-country champion Juliet Chekwel. Justina Heslop (Elswick) goes for a fourth Blaydon win.

Morpeth’s Ian Hudspith will have to overcome Kenya’s Jonah Chesum and a strong local field if he has any hopes of repeating his victory of 2009.

Hudspith, 44, has a great record in the famous race and, in honour of this, he has been given race number one by the organisers.

Morpeth’s Jonny Taylor will be making his debut in the race a week after clocking the fastest 5000m on the track in the UK this year.

He could be the athlete to beat as the field head down the Scotswood Road on their way to Blaydon.

Others in contention for a top spot in the 5.7 mile event, with more than 4,000 entries are: Nick Swinburn and Peter Newton and Tipton’s Ryan McLeod, whose father Mick won the race seven times.