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World Championships

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27 August 2011

On day one of the IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea,  marathon runners Alyson Dixon (coach: Liz McColgan) and Susan Partridge (John Montgomery) enjoyed mixed fortunes in the women’s marathon.

The course, centring around the Gukchae-Bosang Memorial park in central Daegu featured two large 15km laps finishing with a smaller final circuit.

The GB pair ran sensibly for the first half in a pack of six athletes at the back of the field and both passed through the first 15km within a second of each other at 55 min 47 seconds, a minute and a half off the lead pace.

However by 20k it was Partridge who was enjoying a continuation of that race-pace , whilst Dixon suffered a minute drop in her 5km split and fell behind her Aviva GB & NI team mate.

Partridge, who went on to cross the line in a solid 24th place was pleased with her run which saw her clock consistent splits in the 18.30s range for the race to finish in 2:35.57 in stifling conditions.

She said: "I’m really pleased – less than two minutes off my PB in those conditions, I got in a group quite early on with Americans and it was perfect for me – a good pace.

“I felt quite strong – I was telling myself just wait, just wait don’t get carried away, but over the last few miles I was picking people off all the time. I felt so strong and it encourages you to keep it strong through to the end!

“I think I had the same experience in Barcelona last year – you know, a wee phase halfway through when I think this is alright. But I think that’s fine – go for it when you feel good and sit back a bit when it doesn’t feel good but don’t force a pace you can’t do for long periods.

“I feel encouraged by today – I was in the mix there with some good athletes, and it makes me think I’ve been able to go away and up the mileage and improve my sessions and I’m improving – if I can do that again, I don’t know how close I can get to the Olympics but it’s still worth making a bid for it. My strength is my consistency – I seem to be able to qualify then turn it around and produce a good championship run as well which is a quality in itself and in marathon running confidence is vital.”

Meanwhile Dixon, hobbled across the line in 2:50.51 for 42nd place after a brave 16 miles spent suffering with a foot injury that had interrupted some of her build up, but disclosed she had been determined not to drop out on her world marathon experience:

“I had a pain in my foot the last few weeks but the medical team have done wonders to hold me together and get me to the start line. I was asked if the niggle would stop me running – I said ‘no’.

“I felt really good until 10 miles and the leg started to cramp and I stopped about 10 times trying to stretch my calf out and loosen my foot and it was a world of pain the last ten miles. But I hadn’t come all the way over here to stop mid-race, I was determined to finish.

“This has made me determined -  I deserved my space on that start line, I ran out of my skin at Brighton to qualify for here and unfortunately today I haven’t justified my fitness and I’m disappointed about that but it has proved my character and determination showing that I did finish, and I know I can go on to better things.

“I’ve loved the experience – standing on the start line in the red white and blue and the pride is so immense. Hopefully there will be more chance in the future so I can prove what I’m really worth.”

The women’s marathon title and a podium clean-sweep went to Kenya’s Edna Kiplagat in 2:28.43 ahead of her compatriots Priscah Jeptoo and Sharon Cherop.

UKA will provide daily news reports from the 2011 World Championships on www.uka.org.uk and quotes from Aviva GB & NI athletes.

For full results visit: http://daegu2011.iaaf.org/Home.aspx