:: March 16th 2003
:: March 14th 2003
:: March 13th 2003
:: March 12th 2003
:: March 11th 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 enjoying her footspa
Sharon's diary

MARCH 16th 2003
- 3.00pm
Lloyd, famous for walking the London Marathon in a diving suit, pulls out of the Challenge for personal reasons. He is the first competitor to leave.

- 12.20pm, approx Mile 333
Sharon remains in a very determined mood as she, and the other competitors, pass the 333rd mile - one third of the challenge done!

The sunny weather means she can enjoy a footspa outside the bus whilst having a sandwich for lunch. She has also been given some extra money to buy more kit, in place of the items that she has not yet received.

Sharon's webteam visited London this weekend to support her and Bill and we will be putting a full report on the site on Monday!

MARCH 14th 2003 - 12.30pm, approx Mile 285
On a cool but sunny afternoon Sharon sends her report whilst resting up between miles near Tower Bridge. Sharon remains fit and confident - her only problems have been with the organisation of the event.

In particular she isn't getting a shower as often as she would like and is having to go up to 2 days between showers. The competitors have to use all sorts of different facilities on the route like fire stations and hotels and due to the nature of the event they can't guarantee that they will pass these during the daylight hours.

Worse still, the 6 athletes aren't allowed to do anything other than pee in the bus toilet ! Otherwise they have to go off and find one of the cafes, garages or fire stations that have agreed to let them use the facilities for the duration of the event! This involves extra walking distance and planning!

And worst of all, Sharon has twice been refused the use of the toilet at different Texaco petrol stations, being told that they are not for public use. These places are all on a list of establishments that agreed with the race organisers prior to the event to let the athletes use the toilet. An extra problem Sharon, and the other competitors, could well do without.

Additionally Sharon and Shona are still missing most of their kit, particularly running bottoms, and warm clothing and waterproofs. This reduces the number of times they can put on a clean set of clothes to walk/run in.

The number of laptop computers on the bus has been reduced to one, so Sharon is a bit short of time to answer peoples Good Luck messages on the event forum, but she is very encouraged by everyones support!

Both Sharon and Bill were interviewed by the BBC's Sunday Grandstand TV crew this morning, and this should be screened on Sunday afternoon.

MARCH 13th 2003 - 12.40pm, approx Mile 260
Sharon is now the fastest out of the 6 competitors, completing her miles in 16 minutes on average. Some of the others are beginning to tire and are trying to sleep during the daytime breaks as well as the night.

Speaking from the bus Sharon says:
"Access to showers is limited, and yesterday I was unable to have a shower until after 6pm. The footspa makes all the difference if you can't get a shower whenever you want. The medical last night was after 8pm which made me miss part of my sleeping time. I am staying at a steady weight, the fluctuations we have seen so far are mainly down to wearing different clothes at each weigh in.

"My voice has gradually be returning after keeping quite for the last two nights, which was just as well as I had interview with radio (IRN). Staying quiet also seemed to help me by allowing me to get back to sleep quicker by not waking myself up to talk!

"Morale on the bus is great - all competitors getting on well together. I am sleeping better than expected on bus and probably getting 5-6 hours sleep per night. The quiet curfew from 10pm-9am is adhered to and it is very dark on the bus.

"Bunks are a tight squeeze to get in and I cannot sit up in bed as the top bunk very low, not sure how the bigger men cope!

"We have been reading Captain Barclays diary and it is putting us all on edge, he found the first 10 or 11 days easy then the log reads pain, pain and more pain. We are not being complacent as we know this is a tough challenge but it has yet to kick in. The nights seem to pass very quickly as if on automatic, just being woken, going out for a couple of miles and falling back asleep very quickly."

- 5.40pm, Mile 241

Sharon reports another good day in London and is looking forward to reaching the 250 mile mark tonight. She has a busy night ahead, with a team trip to a jacuzzi in their next break, and a medical check in the following break. The health of all the competitors is being closely monitored but this is their first major medical since the start of the Challenge. Further checks are planned for the 500, 750 and 1000 mile points.

The athletes are currently being filmed by a London News TV crew for a complete 24 hour period, and they caught Lloyd's first mishap when he set off in the wrong direction earlier today!

Looking back Sharon says the Day 3 was the worst for her out of their first 10 days. She reports that she is actually finding the Challenge easier than the 5 day trial she did at home between Christmas and New Year. "Getting up is easier than at home" says Sharon, "Here you are gently eased from your sleep by someone opening the curtains or making some noise. At home it was an alarm clock and I found it much harder to get up for the night time miles than I am now!"

Sharon is enjoying her new footspa and says its as much a psychological advantage as a physical one. She is still waiting for the remainder of her Adidas kit, and is currently still without waterproof trousers and thermal clothing for the colder weather.

Sharon sounds healthy and positive and remains in a confident mood!

MARCH 11th 2003 - 1.50pm, Mile 214
Speaking whilst walking mile 214 near the Cutty Sark, Sharon says she is still making good progress with the Flora 1000 Mile Challenge. Her legs are fine, thanks to regular massages from her husband Bill, who is a qualified sport masseur like Sharon herself. She is also now using a foot spa to help prevent blisters.

The only problem so far is that she is losing her voice! 24 hour-a-day talking is taking its toll on Sharon, so lets hope it holds up enough to send us more updates!

The competitors have been reading Captain Barclays' diary written during his 1000 mile epic in 1809. He found the first 10 days were easy, and after that it was pain, pain and more pain... Only time will tell for the six competitors who will have completed 9 days at 4pm today!

Amongst the other competitors Shona has experienced the most problems so far with blistered heels. She has tried changing back from walking to running the miles because she runs fast on her toes. However this only lasted for 4 miles and she has since resorted to cutting the backs out of her shoes!

There are regular visits from the media, keeping the competitors constantly busy in the time between the miles, and tomorrow a London News TV crew will be spending a full 24hr stint on the bus filming the athletes daily routine.


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