Sharon using the laptop computer on the Flora 1000 mile bus.
Sharon using the laptop computer on the Flora 1000 mile bus.


:: March 9th 2003
:: March 7th 2003
:: March 6th 2003
:: March 5th 2003
:: March 2th 2003
:: January 28th 2003

:: Go to Week One
:: Go to Week Two
:: Go to Week Three
:: Go to Week Four
:: Go to Week Five
:: Go to Week Six

Sharon's diary

MARCH 9th 2003 - 5pm, Mile 169
Progress with the event is 'really really good' according to Sharon, speaking from Blackheath - the site of the start of the London Marathon.

She is still sleeping well and is finding the routine of getting up, doing 2 miles and going back to bed no problem! In fact all 6 competitors are coping well as the end of the first week of the challenge is reached. Only Shona is suffering from blisters and is completing her miles in a pair of sandals. As a precaution Sharon has bought a footspa to help keep her feet cool and avoid getting blisters!

There is an increasing amount of support from passing drivers and pedestrians, but as there are no major mishaps or fallings out the media coverage is just steady away. However, it is scheduled to be on next Sunday's Grandstand (16th March) with interviews taking place on Friday 14th. There are also daily updates in the Daily Mail and on Radio 5.

MARCH 7th 2003 - 7pm, Mile 123
Just before setting out for mile 124 Sharon called with an update from the event bus.
The day has been mostly wet and windy and but has fined up now. Sharon is still having no problems and reports that the 6 competitors are all getting on well. The only problems so far have been with the organisation of the event, in particular the bus rules, for example the helpers were not allowed in the same part of the bus as the competitors !

Several meetings with the organisers have smoothed out most of the niggles so far, but the takeaway food continues to be a problem. That is, before the discovery of a Marks & Spencers on route! It is stocked with much more nutritious ready meals that can be heated in the microwave. This is a great relief to Sharon who's only option for a meal last night was a smoky pub serving unappetising food.

All 6 competitors are now walking all the miles. Sharon explains that this keeps her clothes dry and means that no one is by themselves and in danger of getting lost! There is a bit of a shortage of kit, Sharon has no waterproof trousers for the wet weather and only a couple of changes spare. All her tops are far too big, yet they absolutely must wear Adidas from head to foot at all times otherwise they face disqualification.

Today Sharon has been in the Daily Mail and the Telegraph, and remains in a confident mood. Keep posted for more updates...

MARCH 6th 2003 - 8pm, Mile 100
Sharon has reached the 100 mile mark. Today was her 11th wedding anniversary. A cake was made for her and husband Bill who is with her for the entire 6 weeks. Bill brought Sharon a red rose and the Daily Mail got a photo! It rained heavily last night but spirits are up now sun is shining.
Happy Anniversary

MARCH 5th 2003 - 7pm, approx Mile 75
Sharon is making good progress with the Challenge and is even managing about 6 hours broken sleep a night. She has been especially lifted by the news that Elle MacPherson, her main sponsor, plans to visit her during the Challenge.

There has been one big hiccup though - losing her way at 6.40am this morning. As Sharon is running faster than the other competitors, she is setting off after them, and arriving back to the bus first after each pair of miles. So, running just with a helper, it is possible to get lost on the winding course. Luckily Sharon realised something was amiss and retraced her steps to the point at which she had gone wrong, and then did a 6 minute mile to make sure she got there before the hour was up !

Sharon has reported that, due to limited kitchen facilities on the bus, she is mostly having to eat take-away food. So far she has had a chinese take-away, a meal in Safeways cafe and a MacDonalds. Not ideal fuel for an ultra distance athlete!

On top of that she is finding that the mileage the competitors have to cover is significantly more than 24 miles a day. Not only are they having to walk to Fire Stations to use the toilet and showers, but the bus doesn't park exactly at the beginning and end of the measured miles. On occasion, with Sharon finishing first, she has found the bus nowhere in sight at the end of that hours' mile, and is sometimes walking an extra 1/4 mile to get to the start of a mile. No doubt this will all become more of an issue later in the challenge.

Sharon is finding the days very busy, with the hours in between miles filled up with getting showers, eating, interviews and sleep, but she is confident and in good spirits!

MARCH 2nd 2003 - 4pm, Mile 1
On a lovely sunny afternoon The Flora 1000 Mile Challenge was started by Prince Andrew in The Mall. The competitors were also interviewed live on the BBC's Grandstand programme.

JANUARY 28th 2003 - William Hill announce their odds on the six competitors
Press release: Leading UK Bookmaker William Hill will be compiling the odds for the Flora 1000 Mile Challenge which starts on March 2nd. Graham Sharpe, spokesman for William Hill, said: "We are delighted to be involved in this exciting venture which we are sure will generate enormous interest amongst the betting public."

Odds (28/01/03): Rory 7-4, Paul 5-2, Sharon 9-2, Lloyd 5-1, David/Shona 7-1
Visit the William Hill website for the latest odds:


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