Alyson Dixon was denied a hat-trick of Blaydon Race wins by her great rival Sonia Samuels in her final event before the World Championships in August.
The Sunderland Stroller went into last night’s race a little under par and it was a last-minute decision when she decided to join the 4,000 runners on the start line in Newcastle.
She said: “I woke up this morning with a sore throat and not feeling too good.
“I thought I would have to pull out, but I had a nap in the afternoon and felt a bit better.
“I was alright for up to about three miles, before the wheels came off and Sonia started to pull away.’’
The Sale Harrier went on to win in exactly the same time as Dixon recorded last year (29min 48sec) to take 20th spot overall. Dixon was nearly a minute slower than last year’s performance in taking second place in 30.45.
Dixon admitted that she is not as fit as last year, as she has done no speed work since the London Marathon.
But she will be shortly off for altitude training with the British squad, to Fort Romeu in France, and expects a great improvement to her form before her big date in London on Sunday, August 6.
“The World Championship marathon is now just eight weeks away and I can’t find another race before then, which is a bit of a blow,’’ she added.
Dixon had beaten Samuels in the London marathon last year, to taje the British title, and was ahead of her in the Rio Olympics, finishing 28th to Samuels’ 30th position.
Samuels did not seek World Championship marathon selection for London in April, where Dixon won her second UK title and World Championship selection.
Behind Samuels and Dixon came Danielle Hodgkinson in third (31.31), Emma Holt (Morpeth) was fourth 32.45, Tracy Millmore (Birtley) finished fifth 33.06 and Georgia Campbell (South Shields) came sixth 33.33.
Morpeth’s Peter Newton (27.50) got the better of club-mate Carl Avery (28.04) and Saltwell Harrier Abraham Tewelde (28.07) in the final mile to win the race and retain his title.
Lewis Timmins (Gosforth) was fourth in 28.18, with Marc Brown (Salford) fifth in 28.21 and Over-45 veteran Ian Hudspith (Morpeth) sixth in 28.22.
Sunderland Harriers’ best results came from Kevin Jeffress in 13th (29.30), Kevin Calvert 24th (30.11), Ian Ritchie 32nd (30.43), Steve Rankin 50th (31.49) and Over-40 Paul Blakey 59th (32.09).