(C) London Marathon, press conference for Flora 1000 Mile Challenge, December 2002
(C) London Marathon, press conference for Flora 1000 Mile Challenge, December 2002


Also look at News for

December 04
The big race for the month was the Amagney 12 Hours in France. Unfortunately the race course was quite hard and weather conditions very cold and windy. The route was 1.76km with two very steep climbs and one very steep drop. We arrived the night before and thought it would be a tough course to break any records but I was here and just had to do my best.

After setting off at 12km per hour as planned this only lasted for 4 hours by which stage it was so cold I had to stop and put on extra kit. I now had three long sleeve tops and a jacket on top of this along with hat and gloves. My hamstrings had also started to stiffen up with the cold and hills and came in for Bill to give them a quick massage. This did the trick and slowed the pace just to finish. I easily won the womens race but well below the British record.

I knew everything had to be perfect for the record to go and with the tough course and poor weather was not too disappointed, I achieved the maximum possible under the conditions and was satisfied with my performance and am confident with the right course and good conditions the record is within my reach. There is news coming through of a 12 hour race to be held in England next May, is this is correct may be I will have another attempt then. Got lots of short races over the Christmas and New Year period so will do those and then get back into a serious training programme for the new year.

November 04
Firstly I must apologise to everyone that has emailed me at sharongayter.com whom I have not replied to. Unfortunately my email for sharongayter.com has been blocked for many months. It has only just been unblocked and had assumed that emails were being returned to senders. This was not the case and am slowly responding to over 1300 emails so that people do not think I am ignorant for not replying.

After only achieving plan B in the Czech Republic last month I have recovered well and even done a couple of races already. The Burley Bridge Hike was just three weeks after the 24 hours and managed a reasonable time for the course and a steady run in the Leicester Marathon the week after following a very hard week of training. I have now decided to take on one last long run before the end of the year and that will be in France on 4th December. I will be running in my second ever 12 hour race, although I have two good goals for this race they are going to be tough to achieve and so will not be too disappointed if I do not achieve them. I am optimistic about a good race with my two goals being to get the B standard for the 100km which is 8 hours 50 minutes and hopefully beat 8 hours 48 minutes which is the best performance by a British female this year and may be go on to challenge the British 12 Hour record as set by Eleanor Robinson with 134.08km. Watch this space!

October 04
This was the month of the big race, the combined World/European 24 Hours. The final few weeks of my build up were superb, winning all three of my last races which were around the marathon distance, I was particularly pleased with the Lockwood Bounder 23 miles in which I ran 25 minutes faster than last year and also broke the course record.

In the World Challenge the route was the worst I had ever competed on. The very small loop of just 1.3km had twelve 90 degree bends, had obstacles such as drain covers, kerbs, uneven ground to contend with and was also quite undulating. My big weakness is continually running around corners, disrupting the rhythm of running and straining my ankles. Considering the course I ran well but had hoped for a higher placing and was disappointed with my 16th place in the World and 11th place in Europe. The good news was that I retained my British Number One status for the eighth consecutive year and still attained the goal of over 200km (ran 202.6km). I also have the back-up of a team with the minimum three athletes required. I led my team home to 4th place in Europe and 6th place in the World. Considering most teams above us had five or six athletes in the team our three did very well and hope for a medal position next year.

Read more about the World Challenge

September 04
After becoming a Centurion on 24th August and coming down with a slight cold I was having doubts about competing in the World 100km three weeks late on 11th September.

After falling off my bike a week before the race while out cycling in the moors with Bill, the handle bar badly bruised my left quad and left me unable to train for a few days. The final decision came when Bill was rushed into hospital by ambulance after a visit to the doctors on the Tuesday before the race. Although he came out on the Wednesday evening I decided to have six weeks of consistent training before the World 24 Hours in the Czech Republic.

Confirmation of selection from UK Athletics has finally been received after a few problems with funding and the good news is that a womens team of 3 athletes has been selected. I have also given up the Sports Massage business and decided to return to Teesside University to start my Masters in Sport and Exercise this month.

August 04
After my main event for the month was cancelled (12 hours at Faversham) I went on to achieve another of my goals from a list of "events I want to do one day". This was to become a Centurion. To do this you must walk 100 miles in less than 24 hours. The event was at Colchester in Castle Park starting at 2pm. The weather was dry and warm throughout and perfect for walking. Although I had very limited walking training for this event it was good to do a long event after the disappointment of Faversham. My time was 22 hours and 42 minutes and was third lady to finish - second British lady to finish to take a silver medal in this National Championship event, I also took Centurion Number 1006. This was also a selection race for the Robaix 28 hour event in France where the first five males and females get selected to walk for England. This was not one of my goals as my main priority for the year is the World 24 Hours in October.

July 04
I had a really good start to this month. After doing the Otley 10 I flew out to Prague the next day and onto Brno for the Saturday. From 4th - 10th July I ran at least 43km a day for seven consecutive days in the Moravian Ultra Marathon. Accommodation was basic - just an air bed and blanket for sleeping on and a classroom floor. The event was based at Lomnice with a different trail route every day. After getting lost on the first day I finished in third place, after that I got used to the navigation and won the remaining six marathons to be the overall ladies winner. I really enjoyed the whole atmosphere of the event and felt that this was one of my best events to date. A fuller report of the event is given elsewhere???? On returning I did a couple of short races but had some pain in my right groin which restricted training but also made me rest after the event.

June 04
Fitness has picked up very well this month with some consistent high mileage training. The only disappointment has been not reflecting this fitness in races. I have struggled in a few of the shorter races and would have broken pb's at 5km had my breathing not restricted me.

At the beginning of the month I had a steady run round the Thirsk 10 and was pleased with a season's best for 10 miles. On the Thusday before the West Highland Way I was leading an off road 5km race until the last kilometer where I had to walk due to asthma.

The West Highland Way is a 95 mile trail run but started even earlier than last time I competed. The 1am start created several problems for me, nearly 3 hours of tripping and stumbling in the dark and straining to see so early and getting wet feet made my feet blister quite early. Blisters are usually something to be suffered and do not drop out with these but was aware by the end of Loch Lomond (around 40 miles) that my ankles were unusually stiff. After the steep drop from Crianlarach I was aware that coming down hill I was scrunching up my toes to avoid the blisters being squashed by the ends of my shoes and this was creating the stiff ankles. At Tyndrum, Bill made me sit and discuss whether or not to continue, I had not even contemplated pulling out at this stage as the rest of me felt fine. I still had nearly 40 miles to run and was constantly feeling my left ankle in particular. As this was just an enjoyable long race and not significant to the international scene Bill thought it best to pull out and not end up with an injury that may put me out for a few weeks just for the sake of finishing, reluctantly I had to agree and so pulled out to conserve myself as my next big event was just two weeks away in the Czech Republic (7 marathons in 7 days).

The ankles recovered quickly and was able to compete in a 10km race the following week, but again had problems with asthma half way into the race. The asthma is worse in short races when breathing is taxed most but the gentler running in long races does not stress my breathing so much and so am still able to perform in these events.

May 04
This has been a upsetting month for me, after the demise of the World 24 hours I had opted to take the invitation to run in the Surgeres 48 Hours in France. Unfortunately most of April was spent not training due to asthma brought on by a cold and some intermittent training that followed. On 9th May I pulled out of the Fife 50km after running 8 out of 14 laps due to tendinitis in my left ankle. Althought the injury is not serious and am now back training again I have made the decision to withdraw from the Surgeres 48 hours. My fitness suffered from having several weeks off with asthma and having a small injury just weeks from such a major distance race has forced me into this decision.

I have now planned my next race after this disappointment and had to choose between the West Highland Way 95 miles on 19th June or the Anglo-Celtic Plate 100km in Cardiff the following week. I felt that the West Highland Way is a much more enjoyable run and no pressure to perform such as the pace that would be required for the 100km and have therefore decided to run the West Highland Way.

The World 24 hours has now been scheduled for October 23rd in the Czech Republic and so there is no pressure to regain my fitness and can compete in some of the ultras I love to run in.

April 04
It was to take three weeks to get over the cold and asthma with the aid of further strong medication from the doctor. I was unable to run the Bungay Marathon and struggled to finish my local Bydales 10, unable to control my breathing. After five days of further medication I was able to finish my first real ultra of the year, the Woldsman 50. Despite a couple of short detours navigating my way around I was easily the first woman home in 8 hours 36 minutes, confirming I had not lost too much fitness.

The bad news for the month was that the World 24 Hours was not going ahead at Apeldoorn due to lack of sponsors. After getting over the initial shock of this news I took up an invitation to compete in the Surgeres 48 Hours race in France. This will take place on 28th -30th May 2004 on a 300m cinder track. Many the of the world's top athletes will be there, athletes like Edit Berces and Irina Reutovich, who have dominated the top two places in 24 and 48 hours for the last few years.

March 04
This was another consistent month of hard training and racing. The biggest challenge was to be the Compton 40 at the end of the month, but awoke on the morning of the race with a sore throat and eventually pulled out at around 25 miles coming down with a cold, this was to get progressively worse and my breathing deteriorated badly with asthma.

February 04
This month saw the start of serious racing . My first race back was the Ferriby 10, I thoroughly enjoyed the race and couldn't believe how much I had missed racing over the last couple of months, it was good to be back. A squad weekend was held at Loughborough for plans for the year and the only poor run I had was at Draycote Water 35. I had not planned this as one of my races but was expected to run a road ultra to prove fitness for selection, I wasn't ready for a long run as had not run a marathon yet
this year and so pulled out early on and preserved myself for consistent running rather risk injury early on in the season. The following two weeks saw steady progression in the Sleaford ½ marathon and the first off-road marathon in snow at the Myrtle Meander (and a win over the men!!).

January 04
Training started with a twenty week program to take me through to the World 24 Hours in May, mileage started from just 50 miles per week with both speed sessions and hill sessions every week, by the end of the month my distance was up to 80 miles a week.

Site map Contact us