6 day World Record attempt
Monaco 17-23 November 2007

Sponsored by:
Darlington Building Society

Website: www.nofinishline.com


The full report from the 6 day world record attempt is now available to download:

Monaco 6 Day Race Report.rtf (47KB)


News as it happened:

Monday 19th November 2007 8pm:

Sharon has called with news from Monaco. After 46 hours and 230 kms she has had to pull out of the race with an ankle injury. Her left ankle was getting progressively worse and after her first sleep stop of 4 hours on Sunday night, she awoke to find it black and blue with bruising on both sides of her foot.

She continued on to the point it was only possible to do a slow walk, and realised that the goal of the British and World records were now out of reach. So to avoid the possibility of causing a more serious injury she very reluctantly decided to cut her losses and withdraw from the race.

She does however remain determined to have a go at the record at this distance again in the future, but probably at a different race, as she does feel that the course contributed to the problems she suffered. The course was in part cobbled, and was also twisty with cambered sections. In addition to this is was at times severely congested with people meaning there was a lot of weaving about trying to make progress through the crowds.

Sharon and Bill are now making their way home, and a full report will follow in due course.


Sunday 18th November 2007 9pm: First race report from Monaco

Bill has called from Monaco, where he says the temperature is about 10 degrees colder than normal, at just 10 Deg C. Bill and Sharon travelled down through very cold and even snowy weather and the warmer weather didn't start until they reached Cannes.

They have had to change their carefully calculated schedule as the organisers made a last minute change and moved the start time from 12 noon to 2pm. In fact Sharon is yet to stop to sleep with Sunday night 1am-5.30am being her first scheduled sleep stop. She has however been taking a 45 min break from running every 4 hours. Bill has managed to grab some sleep in the day to keep going for his all important support job!

The course in Monaco is quite congested as this is also a big charity event. There are a lot of school children in the area for the event, which was officially started yesterday by Princess Stephanie of Monaco.

Sharon has completed 96 miles in the first 24 hours, after a few niggles left her slightly behind her schedule. She has had some hamstring problems and a slightly sprained ankle on the cobbled section and had to take a longer unscheduled break, but everything has settled down now and she is back on track. She has 10 miles to make up on her schedule, but is still well ahead of the nearest challenger who is a Dutch lady also going for her national record.


I am very pleased to announce that Darlington Building Society has stepped in as the sponsor for this event and are covering my entire costs for the event. I have regularly seen Peter Rowley, Chief Executive for Darlington Building Society at running events in the region and surprised at how many staff I was introduced to that are regular runners.

This event is also to raise funds for Asthma UK and Darlington Building Society has generously donated a large sum to my chosen charity.

There will also be an account open at all Darlington Building Society branches for anyone wishing to donate to this enormous challenge (or through their website at www.darlington.co.uk).

Asthma UK is my chosen charity, as I never get through a whole year of racing without dropping out of races due to my asthma.

Asthma UK’s is dedicated to improving the health and well being of the 5.2 million people in the UK with asthma.

Above: Peter Rowley, Chief Executive of Darlington Building Society and also a keen runner with Sharon

Above: Peter Rowley, Darren Ditchburn (Guisborough Branch Manager) and Sharon accepting the cheque on behalf of Asthma UK.

Current records:

Women’s Female World Record:
Catherine Cunningham (AUS), 820.765km set in New York, 2001

British Female Record:
Pippa Davis (GBR), 730.642km set in New York, 1995

British Men’s Record:
Richard Brown (GBR), 833.640km set in New York, 1988

This event starts at 12 noon on Saturday 17th November 2007 and finishes at 12 noon on Friday 23rd November 2007. This involves running around a small loop around a mile in distance on the harbour front at Monaco, with the winner based on the runner that completes the furthest distance in this time. The course is not ideal having a small section of cobbles and a pier section that involves a 180 degree u-turn and several sharp corners. There are other events being held alongside this race such as an 8-day race, 24-hour race and several shorter distances where local communities are involved, which can add considerably to the congestion of the course. I am doing the 6-day race as opposed to 8 days as this is a standard distance recognised by the IAU and has Bronze Label status.

My plan is to first break the British Record of 730km, then continue on with my World Record bid to run further than 820km, but as the British Men’s record is only a matter of 13km further, if conditions are right I will push on to be break this record.

Judging by previous results it appears that a lot more mileage is run on the first day while fresh and then a more settling in pace is achieved for the remaining 5 days. As a rough translation 820km is approximately 510 miles, this means an average of 85 miles a day for 6 days. My plan will be to run over 100 miles on the first day and then hopefully follow this through with 85 miles a day to finish with a target distance of 525 miles (in km this translates to approximately 160km the first day followed by 135km for the remaining 5 days) approx 835km.

Driving to the event will be essential to have all the facilities and back up needed for the event. The use of our campervan will be vital to be able to sleep in privacy and for all the cooking needs of hot drinks and food to be prepared. My husband Bill will be my sole support crew for the event and the van is also somewhere for Bill to shelter should the weather not be too kind.

A strict schedule has been prepared for running times, break times and sleeping times. The schedule is based on my experience of running Lands End to John O’Groats where I broke the World Record for running 837 miles over 12 days and 16 hours. For this event I ran 85 miles the first day and settled in for 65 miles for the next 5 days, completing 414 miles over the first 6 days. This event will mean running 20 miles further per day, but there are big differences without having extra distractions of navigation, traffic, roundabouts, planning for campervans for food preparation and of course it is only half the time involved. Sleep will be limited to 4 hours per night as I found from LEJOG I cannot concentrate on less sleep than this.

World Records do not come easily and this will be a tough event, 20 miles further per day is still a lot of extra work for the legs and particularly feet that do take a bashing. It will be a massive challenge to see just how far the body can run and stand up to the pressures of such extreme daily mileage.

Then of course will come the usual questions posed by the media on finishing – what is your next challenge? Well subject to the World 24 Hours being announced there are some really special events lined up for 2008, some of the most extreme and exciting ones I can find – after last years Libyan Challenge (which I would really love to run again in 2008) there is the Marathon des Sables, a 7 day stage race across the Sahara Desert with only water for supplies, next will be the hottest race on earth, a race across Death Valley - the Badwater 135 miles, and hopefully to finish the year a run to enjoy – the South African Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon and another 7 day self supported stage race. Plans may change depending on whether I compete in the annual World 24 Hours as a date has yet to be confirmed for this event.

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