Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Dixon Joy after an Anxious Wait; North Pair Set for World Championship Marathons

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Dixon Joy after an Anxious Wait; North Pair Set for World Championship Marathons

Article excerpt

Byline: BILL McGUIRK

IT ALL came right in the end but it was a nervous eight days for Alyson Dixon after she dipped under the qualifying time for the World Championships when winning the Brighton Marathon.

The South Coast event took place a week before the London Marathon which was the final chance for would-be Korea hopefuls to have any chance of making it, with the team being announced the following day.

Despite posting a sub-qualifying time of 2hr 34min 51sec in Brighton - which knocked over eight minutes off her pb - Dixon was informed a couple of hours after her success that her time may not be recognised as the course was not on the IAAF-ratified list.

However, the Chester-le-Street athlete took it all in her stride and, while it was an anxious time, she slipped across to the Lake District for a well-earned break to get away from it all. However, by the time the athletes set off in London she was itching to learn how her rivals for a GB place were getting on.

Dixon, who is advised by Liz McColgan, is now in France training at altitude in Font Remou, but she was on the sidelines supporting her fellow athletes at Newburn on Good Friday when I caught up with her.

"Naturally, I was delighted with my Brighton run, but when I was told later that it may have been to no avail it certainly knocked the wind out of me," said the 32-year-old.

"I had some great help by two pacemakers during the race, one of whom I managed to bribe to take me to 22 miles rather than him dropping out at the 20-mile marker.

"So, despite being on a high one minute then rock bottom the next, there was nothing I could do but return to the North East. And although the prize money was very acceptable, it didn't go anywhere near making up for how disappointed I felt at the time."

Dixon, who achieved her target with nine seconds to spare in Brighton, could only hope that the selectors would keep her name on hand when it came round to picking the team after London.

"It was the longest seven days of my life waiting for the London Marathon to unfold," added Dixon, who will be back in the region in time to line up in the Blaydon Race in June. …

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