Sunderland Stroller Alyson Dixon will line up for her second Commonwealth Games Marathon on the Gold Coast in Australia on Sunday.
She goes into the race determined to put in a performance that she will be proud of after her previous Commonwealth Marathon in Glasgow in 2014 ended in disappointment.
She was running with the leaders when she felt a twinge in her calf at 10 miles. She managed to put the pain to the back of her mind, but by 14 miles she was lying at the side of the road in tears.
The 39-year-old told Fast Running: “I had medal hopes going into the race as my training had been going really well. I had been feeling good until I was forced to stop“
“I was devastated as I was representing my country and I felt that I had let everybody down.“
“I’m delighted with my second Commonwealth selection and this will allow me to put Glasgow behind me.”
“I am going into the race to be competitive and I want to finish as high up the field as possible.”
“It would be great if I could finish in the top three or five. But I’ll pace my race and hopefully make my presence felt. I don’t want to be an also ran”
“I still think I can run faster and I have no plans on hanging up the racing flats just yet.”
If Dixon can raise her form to that of her performance in the 2016 London Marathon where she recorded her PB of 2.29.06, she could be within a shout of a medal.
With the top Kenyans not interested in competing, preferring the big city marathons and a big pay day to competing for free on the Gold Coast, this will leave the race wide open.
The Australians with the fastest two runners in the field in Lisa Weightman (2.25.15) and Jessica Tengrove (2.27.01), could be the runners to beat
The best of the Kenyans is Sheila Jerotch (2.27.34), while her team-mates’ best times are way down the pecking order, with Helen Musyoka on 2.35.58 and Shelmith Muriuki (2.38.18).
Dixon goes into the marathon with only two races under her belt this year and one was a two mile relay leg in the North East Road Relay Championships at Hetton Lyons Country Park on February 17.
There she clocked the fastest female time of 11.53, 20 seconds outside her best on the course.
Then March 4, she finished sixth (73.34) in The Big London Half Marathon, missing out on World Half Marathon selection.
Dixon is self coached, but Paula Radcliffe and her husband Gary give her a helping hand with her sessions.....