Dixon delivers inspired display in 5km, but has to settle for second place in Half Marathon

Olympian Alyson Dixon finishes second in the Sunderland City Runs half marathon.
Olympian Alyson Dixon finishes second in the Sunderland City Runs half marathon.

Sunderland Stroller Alyson Dixon made it a full weekend of competitive athletics when she came back for more on Sunday - less than 24 hours after she had a great run in the 5km on Saturday night.

She surprisingly chose the Half Marathon for her intended comfortable run, but an unknown athlete won the race after heading the Olympian from the off.

This was Phillipa Williams who has mostly been doing parkruns during the year and the only other race she has competed in was the Sheffield Half Marathon which she won in 77.25.

At Sunderland, the athlete, who was down as unattached, but has had connections with Elswick Harriers and Bristol University, won in a PB of 76.41.

The 40-year-old Dixon recorded 1.20.32 for second place after stopping to stretch her hamstrings a couple of times during her Half Marathon journey.

She said: “I didn’t know her, she went off with the leading men and she gradually went further ahead. I wasn’t intending to be racing flat out. She was a worthy winner.’’

Elvet Strider Stephen Jackson took the race in 1.10.30 from the Gateshead duo of Daniel Alexander (1.10.40) and Conrad Franks (1.10.57).

Sunderland Harriers placed Kevin Jeffress fifth (1.14.24) and Michael Barker sixth (1.14.54).

Meanwhile, the Northern Spire Bridge certainly inspired Dixon to a superb performance in the Events of the North 5km on Saturday night.

In what was considered a tough course, which took in the Paul Watson Way and the European Way, after starting on the flat of the magnificent bridge, competitors faced steep uphill challenges.

In a field of just over 500, Dixon startled many spectators with her performance which surprised her and saw her finish fourth overall in 16.52.

She said: “When I saw the course I thought it would be hard to run a time in under 18 minutes.”

Now she is planning a busy competitive programme over the next few weeks with the Great Manchester Run next Sunday over 10km, the Wesminister Mile follows and a 3,000m track race in the North East Grand prix is also planned at Monkton.

Results: 1 Joshua Dack (Lothian Running Club) 15.57, 2 Nick Hardy Tipton 15.58, 3 Sam Becket (Crook) 16.30, 4 Alyson Dixon W40 (Sunderland Strollers) 16.52, 5 Chris Auld V50 (Crook) 16.57, 6 Steve Rankin (Sunderland Harr) 17.05, 7 Robert Teasdale (Crook) 17.08, 8 Michae Edwards (Sunderland Harr) 17.14, 9 Ciaran Lines (Sedgefield) 17.35, 10 Graeme Thorpe M40 (Morpeth) 17.46, 11 Lee Thompson (Crook) 17.50, 12 Alan Hodgson M40 (Sunderland Harr) 17.54, 13 Craig Downs M40 (Crook) 17.57, 14 Steven Gordon M40 (Sunderland Harr) 18.06, 15 Peter Grimoldby (Gateshead) 18.06, 16 Paul Collins M50 (Sunderland Harr) 18.13

Other women: 2 Hazelle Webster-Costella (Jarrow) 19.51 3 3 Sophie Mcphillips ( 20.19) 4 Lindsay Turner W40 (20.49) 5 Laura Henderson (21.32).