In her first ever ultra marathon Great Britain’s Aly Dixon has won the 50km world championships in Brasov, Romania. 

Taking the lead from the start, the 2:29 marathoner ran a world record 3:07:20 and was followed home by her compatriot Helen Davies in 3:09:16. It was an impressive display of front running from Dixon, who entered the event in fine form.

Beating Frith Van de Merwe’s 3:08:39 from 1989 (set as a split in the 56km Two Oceans race in South Africa) by over one minute, it’s an exciting start to a hopefully long ultra-marathon career for the Sunderland Stroller. The British record of 3:15:43, set by Sue Harrison in 2010, was also smashed by both Dixon and Davies.

In warm conditions, topping out at 24 degrees, Dixon made her recent stint at altitude in Font Romeu really count. The pace set meant the north-east marathoner would have gone through her usual 42.2km distance in around 2:37.

There as also a team gold for the British team to add to the two individual medals.

Dan Nash was third in the men’s race in an excellent time of 2:49:01, which was a new British record beating the old mark of 2:53.21 set by the superb Jeff Norman back in 1985. Nash led the men’s team to a bronze medal in a competitive event with the South African and German trios ahead of the British runners.

Strong British teams

With British Athletics managing to get such high calibre athletes into the squad, medals were expected, but the women’s team securing a 1-2 and Julie Briscoe completing the team standings in a fine ninth position, was enough for team gold. Briscoe ran 3:22:57, Hannah Oldroyd 3:26:00 for 12th and Dani Nimmock 3:30:22 for 20th place after a difficult last couple of laps.

The men’s team, led home by Nash, were also high up into rankings. In a race won by Iraitz Arrospide of Spain in 2:47:42, there was only six seconds separating the top 13 runners at halfway.

Paul Martelletti was 14th in 2:55:39 and Alex Milne 15th in 2:56:20 to complete the scoring three and secured a team medal of bronze.

Brighton based Kevin Rojas was the next Brit in 3:01:22 (20th) and Lee Grantham isn’t listed in the results so hopefully is alright.

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