(C) Jeremy Hemming, press conference for Flora 1000 Mile Challenge at the Tower, London (November 2002)
(C) Jeremy Hemming, press conference for Flora 1000 Mile Challenge at the Tower, London (November 2002)


Sharon goes for the 1,000
Northern Echo 18-01-03

ULTRA-DISTANCE star Sharon Gayter faces the biggest test of her career when she attempts to run 1,000 miles in 1,000 hours.

The Flora 1000 Miles event starts on March 2 and the six participants, trying to emulate the feat achieved nearly 200 years ago by Captain Barclay, will finish off by running the Flora London Marathon.

Gayter, who competes for New Marske Harriers and is the UK 100km champion, has recovered from a serious injury received when she was knocked off her bike. She has already started training and the 39-year-old remedial masseur will train in Australia, thanks to a new sponsorship deal, next month.

Gayter, ranked sixth in the world over 24 hours, worked with Australian supermodel Elle MacPherson in the North-East at the end of last year and now the lingerie company, Elle MacPherson Intimates, has agreed to back her.
Gayter, who completed 50 events in nine months last year, knows that the six weeks of the Flora 1000 Miles - participants will run over the London Marathon course, sleeping in a converted bus - will be her most demanding test ever.

"I did a five-day trial over the holiday period and it was extremely hard," said Gayter.

"The first couple of days were very easy but then it just got harder and harder and by the fourth day I was unable to run.

"I am used to running lots of miles but this was just so different - there is no time to recover and it is very monotonous. I was forever clock watching and while the running was harder than I imagined the sleep deprivation was not as hard as I thought."

Reg Vardy supplied her with a van to travel to events, and she is hoping that the motor dealers will extend the deal for another year.

* Morpeth Harriers will be at full strength when they defend their senior men's title in tomorrow's Durham Cathedral Relays.

The Northumbrians will be represented by brothers Mark and Ian Hudspith and former 1500 metres specialist Tom Ranger.

The meeting, which is staged along the banks of the River Wear, starts at 10.30am and there will be three-leg races for senior men, women and veterans.

Former North-East cross country champion Brian Rushworth, who has been out of action for a year with an ankle injury, is expected to make his racing debut as a 40-year-old veteran and could join Dave Robertson and Jeff Laws in a powerful Sunderland Harriers team.

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