By Eric Paylor
Ultra runner Sharon Gayter has booked her place in the European
24 Hours Championships - and set a personal best in the process.
The college lecturer from Guisborough erased any lingering doubts
about her overall fitness when recording a stunning 217.5 kilometres
in the gruelling race at Apeldoorn in Holland.
to around 136 miles, and was the fastest run in the world so far
world's best 24-hour time lasted less than a day - for it was beaten
the same weekend by a runner in Russia, who compiled 217.9 kilometres!
Even so, stamina
queen Sharon is delighted to be the current No.2 in the world.
She said: "I
needed to run only 190k to qualify for the European Championships,
and I was way above that.
bettered my previous best of 212k which I ran in 1998.
also the best run by a British athlete over 24 hours in the past
two years, including the men, so I've got to be happy with that."
clear ladies' winner in Apeldoorn, while she was fourth overall
- finishing behind two Germans and a Dutchman.
It proved beyond
doubt that the niggling problems which followed her ankle injury
suffered in a nasty road accident two years ago are now firmly behind
"To be honest I have been fitter, so hopefully my best is still
held up well, though I did have problems with my calf nine hours
into the race.
wasn't too happy with the conditions. It was drizzly and miserable.
I prefer to run with the sun on my back."
She added: "The
British selectors insisted that I should prove my fitness when I
felt that I really didn't need to.
"So I feel
that I have made a massive point."
Sharon is now
planning to run in one major warm-up event before challenging for
the European Championships in Gravigny in France in September -
where she is likely to be the sole British runner.
She added: "I'm
looking forward to the Europeans because I feel that I can run well
and I know that I can win a medal if all goes well.
won silver team medals in the past, but never an individual medal."
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