It has been an eventful year for Aly Dixon: among others, the Sunderland Stroller made her ultra debut in October in Romania and managed, remarkably, a first place finish and a world and British record. This feat was in advance of her becoming the fastest ever superhero to run a half marathon at last month’s Great North Run.
Next up for Aly is this Sunday’s Age UK Leeds Abbey Dash 10K where she will be one of 10,000 runners looking to put their autumn training to the test. Ahead of the race, Aly, who set her first sub 33 minute 10k at the Dash, has offered her top tips for Sunday’s competitors (and those taking part in any race for that matter). We've summarised Aly's tips below:
- The start area can get very crowded. Find your start pen early so you’re not panicking nearer start time;
- If you have supporters planning to be along the route make sure you know where they’ll be – including which side of the road. It’s hard for them to spot you but you can keep an eye out for them;
- Prepare a mantra for when it gets tough. I won’t lie, it will get tough, no matter who you are or what training you’ve done, you’ll hit a tough patch guaranteed. A mantra helps you through it, repeat it to yourself and move to the rhythm. Something as simple as “right foot, left foot;.
- Chat to those around you. They’ll inspire you and help you round. Everyone is doing it for a variety of reasons, share yours with those near you and share your energy;
- Be sensible where you line up. Be realistic on your pace/target time. We all want to get the best start possible but starting in a pen too fast for you is not only dangerous, as people will be bashing into you, but you will be;
- The most important tip I can give, remember to try and enjoy it – good luck!
Aly will be one of a handful of elites competing on Sunday, with the race expected to produce a number of PBs throughout the field. runABC North will be reporting on the race early next week, keep an eye out for report.