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Dixon on an upward curve

by Editor
Thursday 18th April 2013

Q&A: Alyson's Dixon's response to her Brighton run last weekend

Question Alyson Dixon had a storming run setting a lifetime best 2:31:10 (2:31:08 chip) to finish runner up in the record breaking 2013 Brighton Marathon. On reflection what were her thoughts now several days after her performance?

Answer Now that I have had time to reflect on the race I am delighted with it. At first I had mixed emotions as all I could see was being so close to the qualifying time for the worlds, but once I got over that and focused on how much faster than my previous PB I was, then I was very happy.  I always say you can't complain with a PB and to run a near four minute PB is amazing. I ran almost five minutes faster than what I did in London last year so that makes me even happier that I have turned things around so much in the last year.

Question How different was this year's experience compared to two years ago when you won in a new course record (2:34:51)?

Answer It was very different. This year I was in a race situation for a large part of the race.  I was still stride for stride with the winner at 15.5 miles and the third placed runner wasn't that far behind so I knew I couldn't ease up on the pace any.  It was great to be actually racing rather than just chasing a time which often happens at big marathons.  This year I have definitely taken a lot more positives from my run than what I did two years ago, the most important one being that I am now very confident I can go on and smash the 2:30 barrier. 

Alyson's Dixon's response to her Brighton run last weekend

Question Did the new elite start make a big difference?

Answer I believe it did. I remember back in 2011 turning that first corner and seeing the hill and almost crying! This time, the nice, very gentle downhill allowed you to ease into your pace and get into a good rhythm early on. Of course there was always the danger that this could lead you to going off too fast but we were spot on at the first mile with a 5:44 split.

Question What was the most difficult part of the race?

Answer I found two parts very difficult. The first was the hill just before nine miles. Having just spent nearly two miles running up a long drag into the wind we then turn on to a nice flat section for a bit before returning to the wind and a pretty nasty steep hill.  Thankfully we then had a lovely three mile gentle downhill with the wind behind us to allow us to recover!  The other part I found difficult was the last four miles. This part is always going to hurt, no matter what marathon you are running but the fact that we hit a 20mph headwind was not nice. My quads had started to hurt at about 22.5 miles and my pace maker stopped around then too. Battling the wind whilst trying to keep your pace high was very hard and it was definitely here where I lost vital time. 

Question Apart from your improved form this last 12 months, what other factors were decisive in your PB?

Answer The confidence to go for a good pace from the start rather than to go off too conservatively and leave too much time to catch up in the latter stages. Outside factors were definitely the great pacemakers I had helping me out. Tom (Payn) and Kevin (Rojas) did a fantastic job in setting the correct pace and shielding the wind from us as best they could and then Martin’s (Williams) help when Eunice pulled away from me ensured that I kept the tempo high rather than subconsciously letting it slip which can sometimes happen in these situations. 

Question With London this weekend, what are your hopes for selection for the last two spots for Moscow?

Answer I would love to get the nod for a place at Moscow and hopefully I will be fully recovered to do myself justice there if I do. London has had a few high profile drop outs over the last few days so it is now down to Amy (Whitehead) and Susan (Partridge) to run some fast times. Having raced and trained with both of these girls I believe that they are both more than capable of running sub 2.30 and hopefully they will do so on Sunday.

My fate really lies in the hands of UKA though and if they believe that I am worth a place. I am very slightly outside of the selection time but I am hoping that they will take into consideration the headwind in the last four miles along with my other performances so far this year which shows that I am definitely on a great improvement curve. 


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