Ailing Runner Crosses Finish Line Seven Months Later

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Sep. 1, 2011
  • Updated Sep. 1, 2011 at 9:48 AM UTC
Alaina Dixon crosses the Houston Marathon finish line seven months later. Photo:

Alaina Dixon crosses the Houston Marathon finish line seven months later. Photo:

She was 25 yards from the finish when she collapsed.

Completing a marathon is hard enough just by itself, but how about doing one along with two open-heart surgeries in between? This is just what Alaina Dixon did.

Four hours and 13 minutes into the Houston Marathon in January, a mere 25 yards from the finish line, she suffered a seizure. It turns out Dixon, who is in top shape, suffers from a rare abnormality that caused her heart to stop beating. She was rushed to the hospital and underwent multiple surgeries that resulted in a three-week stay.

Seven months later, Dixon is back on track.

“I’m running 3 to 4 miles–slow,” she said. Earlier this week, with TV cameras filming her every move and husband Justin there to cheer her on, Dixon crossed the final distance and was presented with a finisher’s medal.

Dixon admits that she hasn’t fully recovered yet. Tomorrow, she goes back for another surgery, but remains optimistic about her running future. She has signed up to run the Aramco Houston Half Marathon next January.

For More: Chron

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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