In her quest to secure a place for the Olympic Games, Alyson Dixon has decided to take part in the 30th Alloa half marathon. Alyson, who runs for Chester-le-Street and District, originally planned to compete in the New York City half marathon but will now be heading for Alloa on Sunday, March 18.
Alyson explains that she turned down an invitation to New York due to concerns about travel and disruption of training. Her choice of Alloa was made after studying finishing times at other half marathons and being impressed by the fast course.
Three days after the event, the Sunderland runner will be flying to Kenya to complete her London training at high altitude. The London marathon will be the final race in which she can secure Olympic qualification and she would join Paula Radcliffe and Mara Yamauchi if selected.
Alyson's decision to take part is undoubtedly a great scoop for the Alloa event and will go some way to commemorate the 30th staging of the race. 1300 competitors are expected to take part this year.
A fast scenic course with long flat stretches along Ochils, the course contains one challenging hill at the 11 mile mark. Last year's race saw Tewolderberhan Mengisteab take first place with a time of 1:06:27, while Nathalie Christie prevailed in the female competition, finishing in 1:20:31.