(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 on a walk back to happiness

Evening Gazette 12/04/02
By Eric Paylor

Great Britain international Sharon Gayter has been walking - to improve her running.
The Guisborough ultra runner has been competing in race walking events to strengthen the ankle which she injured in a road accident two years ago.

Now she aims to prove that she has made a full recovery from the injury when competing in a 24-hour race in Holland next month.

Sharon picked up the injury two years ago, when the motorbike she was riding was in a collision with a car.

She said: "I had a lot of problems with my ankle after the accident and was forced to drop out of a couple of races.

"I tried every athletics technique possible to try to solve the problem, including competing in an ironman competition where I was cycling and swimming.

"But then I tried race walking, and, even though I don't agree with the principles of the sport, it was perfect for my ankle.

"Now I am gradually working my way back to peak fitness again and looking forward to trying to win a place in the team for the world 24 hours championships this year.

"Sharon, who runs for New Marske Harriers, plans to prove her fitness to the national selectors in a 24 hour race in Apeldoorn in Holland next month.

She said: "I've already achieved the selection criteria of 190k at a race in France in November, but because of my ankle problems I need to prove my fitness.

"It should not be a problem in Holland. I've been there twice before and it's an excellent course.

"Sharon warmed up for her Dutch trip by putting in an excellent performance at the UK 100km Championships in Gloucestershire.

She was seventh overall in 8hr 53min 17sec, well outside her PB of 8:12, but much better than her recent run of 9:11.

She said: "I was very pleased with the run and with the direction I am heading.

"I could have tried to qualify for the British 100k team but I wasn't really interested, especially as I don't like the world championships course in Belgium.

"I'm better at 24 hours anyway, so that remains my major target."Sharon featured consistently in the world's top ten 24 hour runners until her accident.

Now she is making huge strides towards regaining her place at the top.

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