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


:: March 23th 2003
:: March 22th 2003
:: March 21th 2003
:: March 20th 2003
:: March 19th 2003
:: March 18th 2003
:: March 17th 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

All the competitors with their helpers

Sharon's diary

March 23rd 2003
- 7.40 approx Mile 508

At 12 noon today was the half way mark of the challenge, 500 miles completed.
Today has been an eventful day all round. Sharon and the other 4 competitors all walked the 500th Mile together and waiting at the end of the mile were all the press and TV crews.
Michael Watson made a guest appearance to congratulate the team. He's currently in training for the Flora Marathon next month.

There was a cake and champagne to celebrate and Sharon enjoyed a well-deserved glass of champers, it was her first taste of alcohol since the event started 3 weeks ago. All five competitors went for a big slap up meal together paid for by Dave Bedford the London Marathon organiser.

This inflatable arch is used at main points of the challenge. Thanks to Mark Herring (Events Bus Driver) for supplying us with the photograph.

After miles 501 and 502 all competitors had to have a drug test. All of them new they had to have one but no one was sure when it was going to be, and the half way mark seemed the perfect time. Then after miles 503 and 504 it was medical time for everyone. This is Sharon's 2nd Medical since the event started and there will be another 2 before she competes in the Flora Marathon. Sharon's
asthma is getting worsened by all the traffic in London and she's asked for some better medication which she should be getting very soon.

Sharon would like to thank every one who has sent her cards, she got quite a few over the weekend and it really lifted her spirits. She received a card from everyone at Redcar Running Club with over 20 names signed on it and she also got a card from one of her neighbours. Please keep sending your letters and cards to Sharon, the address is: Bill Gayter, Room 112, Travel Inn, 159 Tower Bridge Road, London SE1 3LP.

The weather's been nice all week and Sharon's still feeling very focused, she is still managing to get 6 hours broken sleep a night.

8.45am approx Mile 497
The half way mark is just around the corner, this is one very long challenge. The night went well after a cuddle with Rory and all things great again. Just finished reading a book I started in Australia called Flanagan's Run by Tom Mc Nab about runners that ran across America after borrowing it from Chris Finill (its on the bus if to come to see me you can collect it).
Can now start to read Sport Armageddon by Geoff Wightman that we all received courtesy of Athletics Weekly, seems to be about some extended triathlon. Bill has just arrived with another 4 letters so can go and read them now.

March 22nd 2003
- 9.10am approx Mile 474
Midnight seems to be Rorys down time at the moment. After having a complaint from Rory a couple of nights ago that my mail is too personal I took off a sentence relating to him that he was the person who requested the bus to be turned off during the day leaving the rest of us with no power, however last night he complained about the fact that the physio had said 'my feet were the best' was 'personal'.

I have had no time on the computer to even look at what other people are saying, just reporting and leaving the lap top available for the others. Having said that I thought I should look at Rory's diary to see what he was writing to see how mine differed, just as many peoples names have been written and anything I have said is already on their diary. Having now done this I can only assume Rory is jealous and will leave him to play his games and ignore him.

The night was good and had a couple of visitors at 10pm to encourage me. They were surprised that I am now the first off the bus from always being last, I am getting up at 35 minutes past the hour and have not changed that from the start. The weather is continuing to be brilliant during the day and just cold at night, but am pleased it is still dry.

I am still receiving letters on a daily basis, its great to read them and remember there is a world out there. There have been several protests about the war and a big one planned for today, but fortunately we are heading towards the start of the course away from the problems.

March 21st 2003
- 8.40am approx Mile 449
Its been another non-eventful day and night. The only problem I have been suffering from for the last few days is a bad cough brought on by the car exhaust fumes from the never ending traffic down here, I have doubled up my asthma pumps to try to get under control again.

There is a constant noise from the traffic while walking and look forward to the peace of my Guisborough home and the hills of the North York Moors. The next mile is number 450 and as you mat have seen through press Michael Watson is going to celebrate our half way mark with us.

My feet are a little better today after getting a couple of blisters using new shoes but the physio said my feet are the best of all the athletes. Weather continues to be dry and looks like it may be for another week, but still cold at night.

March 20th 2003
- 7pm approx Mile 436
Sharon is feeling relaxed after the warmest day of the Challenge so far. As she speaks Sharon and Bill are just enjoying having the bus to themselves as the other competitors have all gone out for a meal. Tonight its a Marks & Spencers Chicken Tikka Masala for Sharon!

All five athletes now have blistered feet. Sharon's were caused by trying to break in a new pair of trainers, but her feet are on the mend now that she has been alternating with her older shoes. She has no niggles and today has had a leg and foot massage from husband Bill, and also seen the physiotherapist on a visit to Blackheath Rugby Club. The physio is available to all the competitors and can check out particular problems or just give a massage.

Sharon has a busy few days coming up with plenty of media attention for the approaching half way stage which they are due to reach at 12noon on Sunday. To mark the occasion they expect to be joined for a mile by ex-boxer Mike Watson. Mike also plans to walk the London marathon itself but due to the nature of his injuries he expects this to take several days. Mike has undergone eight brain operations after being badly injured in a boxing match.

Media interest includes Radio 5, The Observer and The Times. The Times reporter, Dave Powell, was that taken with the event he himself did a 100 mile trial of one mile in every hour just to see what it is like! He will be doing an in depth interview with Sharon.

Sharon has been surprised with the number of foxes she has seen during her night-time miles - barely a night has passed without spotting one!

She continues to receive lots of encouraging mail mainly from supporters back in the North East, thanks to The Evening Gazette printing her address in London. Keep an eye out for more reports in the sports pages, and tomorrow Sharon expects Mike Amos' article to appear in the Northern Echo.

March 19th 2003
- 12.00 noon Mile 405
Sharon and the other four competitors still in the Challenge reached the 400 mile mark at just gone 8am this morning. The moment was recorded with a team photograph.

Sharon says that during the first 100 miles the time did drag a little but since then time has been flying past. They are due to reach the magic half way point at 12noon on Sunday.

Speaking whilst walking Mile 405 Sharon says her blisters are much better than yesterday as she is currently alternating between her old and new shoes. All the competitors must wear the Adidas kit they have been given at all times.

In her next break Sharon is going off to enjoy another well deserved spa bath at the Canon Health Club, and then is expecting to see Mike Amos from the Northern Echo, who has travelled down to London from the North East especially to interview Sharon.

The planned mile walking with the Duke of York, who started the challenge, on The Mall section of the course has sadly had to be cancelled due to other commitments.

Today Sharon received a good luck card that had just been sent to Sharon Gayter, Flora 1000 bus, London! If you want a more reliable address you can send cards to Bill Gayter, Room 112, Travel Inn, 159 Tower Bridge Road, London SE1 3LP.

March 18th 2003 - 1.00pm Mile 380
Sharon is again in good spirits and reports no problems after completing her 380th mile.

They have had a couple of cold frosty nights, and although it is sunny today it is still only just warm enough to sit out and have her footspa and Marks & Spencers lunch. Sharon is eating 3 good meals a day with plenty of snacks in between and her weight is staying steady. Bill on the other hand has lost some weight, but is now beginning to sleep better.

Sharon has a new night-shift helper this week, Mike Harper from the New Marske Harriers (Sharon's running club). The New Marske Harriers have been very supportive and are also posting updates on their website.

The daytime bus driver Mark has been very helpful to all the competitors doing much more than just driving the bus! Among other things he has been keeping a photographic record of the event and is making the photos available to all involved. Sharon and Bill appreciate his efforts!

Sharon has got a couple of blisters from trying to break in another pair of her Adidas shoes. She has mainly used just one pair of shoes but as they are beginning to wear down she thinks that she will need two pairs to complete the 1000 miles.

Sharon loves to receive the good luck cards that she has been getting since her address was printed in The Evening Gazette and on her website. All the cards get put up above her bunk and will give her inspiration throughout the Challenge!

March 17th 2003 - 1.30pm approx Mile 358
Speaking from the Docklands near London Arena Sharon says she is sad to see Lloyd Scott go as she got on well with him. After he quit yesterday afternoon for personal reasons he had to immediately leave the bus.

The sun has lifted everyones spirits today in London and Sharon finds herself still feeling really good and very focused on the miles ahead.

There was some controversy on the bus last night. Some of the people on the bus have complained that Sharon's footspa is taking up too much room and as a result she now has to use it either outside or in the tiny helpers area at the front of the bus.

Amongst the other competitors, David is having some achilles tendon problems and Shona is still having some problems with her feet and has been using ice packs during the day.


Sharon is now equal favorite in the Flora 1000 Mile Challenge after Lloyd Scott dramatically quit the challenge after Mile 335 on Sunday afternoon. Lloyd, famous for walking the London Marathon in a diving suit, pulled out of the Challenge for personal reasons. He is the first competitor to leave. Sharon is now equal favorite along with Rory Coleman and Shona

Sharon remains in a very determined mood as she passed the 333rd mile at 12.20pm on Sunday - one third of the challenge done! Sharon is walking most of the miles, but trying to leave the bus last and get back first to maximise sleeping time.

The sunny weather yesterday meant that she could enjoy a footspa outside the bus. Living conditions on the event bus are very cramped for the athletes and their helpers. There is only a basic kitchen with a kettle, microwave and toaster. Although part of the bus is designated as a quiet area there are only curtains separating it from the main sitting area where the TV and laptops are.


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