Dixon out to boost her Commonwealth Games hopes

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GREAT Britain international Alyson Dixon aims to boost her Commonwealth Games marathon hopes with an eye-catching performance in tomorrow's World Half Marathon Championships in Copenhagen.

The 35-year-old Sunderland Stroller has her heart set on competing for England in Glasgow this summer and is gambling on none of her rivals being able to beat her time of 2 hours 31 mins 8 secs in Brighton last year's by deciding against competing in next month's London Marathon.

England's Commonwealth Games selectors have said that the first woman home in London will be chosen - if she gets the 2 hours 35 mins qualifying time. So far only Dixon, Winchester's Louise Damen (2:32:21 in Osaka) and Notts AC's Amy Whitehead (2:34:14, London) have achieved the required target to get into the England team of three.

Dixon, having spent a month training at altitude in Kenya, saw her hopes of improving her personal-best time half-marathon time of 71 mins 19 secs at Reading on March 2 dashed by high winds which restricted her to 73 mins 7 secs, earning her third placve and selection for her second World Half Marathon Championships.

She travels to Denmark with Susan Partridge, the Leeds City runner who is almost certain to compete for Scotland in the Commonwealth Games marathon, currently topping the UK rankings with a time of 2 hours 30 mins 46 mins from London last year.

Hartlepool Burn Road Harriers' Marina 5-mile road race tomorrow is already a sell-out, while there is a 500 entry limit in tomorrow's Terry O'Gara Memorial 5K at Wallsend (11am).

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