(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)

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Sharon still top Brit
Evening Gazette 21/10/03 By Eric Paylor
Endurance runner Sharon Gayter has retained her title as British No 1 following a strong run in the world 24-hour championships.

The 39-year-old from Guisborough covered 205 kilometres in the gruelling event at Uden in Holland.

It was Sharon's third best distance over 24 hours and earned her 15th place overall.

She was also the ninth European runner home.

Sharon said: "After all the problems I had in the build up, when UK athletics were questioning my fitness, I can't grumble with 15th position.

"I knew that I wasn't in the best of conditions mentally, but it went reasonably well until I died in the last three hours.

"I was in tenth position at this stage, but I had to walk the last three hours, which cost me another five places."

Even so, Sharon had believed in advance of the race that she would finish in the top ten by surpassing 200k.

She said: "The quality was stunning. It's the highest quality field I have ever known.

"So I can't complain too much - and I beat three of the four British men in the race."

Sharon's fine performance has assured her of a place in the world championships next year, when they will be held in Appeldorn in Holland in May.

She revealed: "Appeldorn is my favourite course and I'll be much stronger next year, so I'm looking forward to it already!"

In the meantime, Sharon is building up to another mammoth test.

She travels to Taiwan in November to compete in the world 100k championships.

As she is 40 at the end of this month, she will also qualify for the veterans event, which is held in conjunction with the main race.

Sharon added: "I'm just going there to enjoy it. It will be hard, but if I can run a sub 9hr 30min race and finish in the top ten vets in the world, then I'll be delighted."

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