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Digital Subscriptions > AW - The best coverage of the No.1 Olympic sport > 04/08/2016 > THE MAKING OF AN OLYMPIAN


“I wasn't the fastest in my class or school ... but I was the one that loved running.” Alyson Dixon relates how she became an Olympian and why she is not going to forget her club roots

IN APRIL this year, just a few days after securing her place on an Olympic team for the first time, Alyson Dixon was pacing a Sunderland Strollers clubmate to 22 minutes in a parkrun.

The next day she was acting as official starter and handing out medals at her local 10k road race, having also helped out packing finishers' goody bags.

It is clear that, although she may be about to realise a lifetime ambition by becoming an Olympian, Dixon is, more than perhaps anyone on the British team in Rio, a club runner through and through.

She sometimes helps out with club training sessions which are set by her partner, Ian White, too.

“Without them (Sunderland Strollers), I wouldn't be where I am now,” she told Running Monthly from Font Romeu, where she spent much of her build-up for Rio. “There's no better club to keep you grounded. They get more excited about someone going off to run 50 miles through the mountains than me running in the Olympics. So they give you that reality check.”

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About AW - The best coverage of the No.1 Olympic sport

THE BIG FEATURE 16 ASHA PHILIP Why one of GB’s top sprinters is smiling again after battling back from injury to make Rio ACTION 50 CAU/EA CHAMPIONSHIPS Joel Fearon breaks through to 9.96 100m and Daniel Gardiner hits form in long jump 56 BEER MILE WORLD CLASSIC Canadian clocks 4:34 world record in London SPOTLIGHT 22 SCOTS ON THE UP A look at the remarkable recent rise of athletics north of the border 36 MARY DECKER SLANEY US legend tells Jason Henderson how she keeps fit despite chronic arthritis TALKING POINT 30 DOPING IN KENYA Adharanand Finn puts the recent allegations into perspective with his insider view NEWS 6 Charlie Grice upset at Iten doping talk 8 Callum Wilkinson savours world junior glory 10 Mo Farah announced for Great North Run 12 Rabah Yousif’s visa nightmare PERFORMANCE 42 The latest in sports science 44 Killer Sessions – Susan Tooby 46 An in-depth look at youth dropout 48 How Brits are excelling in New Mexico RESULTS & FIXTURES 60 Results round-up 77 What’s On – fixtures guide PREVIEW 75 BAL AND UKWL PREVIEW REGULARS 34 VIEW FROM THE STANDS 40 YOUNG ATHLETE 76 QUIZ CORNER 82 DIP FINISH

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