India has abundance of talent, says Rio Olympian Dixon

The marathoner runner says she is willing to lend a helping hand.

I must tell you the half-marathon timings by many Indians have been really good,” says the former British champion runner.   -  v.v.s subrahmanyam

At 40, Rio Olympian and marathon runner Alyson Dixon of Great Britain is on a twin-mission — to book a slot in the 2020 Tokyo Games and also help the Indians cross the barriers to break into the big league.

“I am excited to be in India for the first time and all the more so after seeing the abundance of talent and profound interest in marathons,” says Alyson who is on a visit as a member of the Multifit’s International Advisory Board here on Wednesday.

“I believe there seems to be a tremendous increase in interest in marathons in India of late given the number of marathons being conducted across the major cities in the country including the Hyderabad 10K Run which I am closely following,” she explained.

“I am willing to have some training sessions, like I do back home in UK, with those Indians dreaming big by having strength-building classes and will be happy if I can lend a hand in producing a champion,” says the Manchester-based Alyson.

“I will be visiting Bengaluru and Pune next to have these sessions,” she added.

“I am aware that India has very good sprinters who have won medals in major events including Commonwealth Games. I must tell you the half-marathon timings by many Indians have been really good,” says the former British champion runner.

“If you get more and more into marathon, you never know you can produce an Olympic champion soon,” says the former European champion.

“Personally, I don’t think it is going to be easy for me to make it Tokyo though the efforts will be there. But, again, I am sure there will be real competition from the younger athletes,” was her frank confession.

Marathon a lifestyle, not a hobby

“Looking back, making it to the Rio Games was a dream which I chased for 24 years. Full of emotions and unforgettable journey indeed,” she says on the Rio experience where she finished 27th in the final standings.

“Give it a go. Full marathon is going to be a hard grind. Don’t try big, start with small distances 5K, 10K and then 21K before targeting the full marathon. Once you feel good mentally and physically, you can concentrate better. Marathon should be a lifestyle not a hobby,” she concluded.