Sharon Gayter kindly sent news of her recent performance at the Bislett 24 Hour race. Sharon was first woman with 219 km and second place overall setting a pb and a British Indoor 24 hour record. This is an excerpt from Sharon’s report on her website which can be downloaded via the link at the bottom of the page.
Bislett 24 Hours, Indoor Track Race
6th – 7th December 2008
After sustaining a stress fracture to my left hip while running the Surgeres 48 Hour Race in France I missed my big race for the year in Badwater. I finally resumed light running by the end of August and after 3 easy weeks, 3 hard weeks and a 2 week taper I went to Tooting Bec, London to attempt to maintain my status as GB Number 1 for the 12th consecutive year. I always knew I was pushing my luck with fitness and the contingency plan was to assess the distance covered by 12 hours to see whether I was fit enough to achieve my goal. There had been one good performance so far this year by Pauline Walker at 210km so knew I had to beat this.
I ran well for 11 hours and then started to stiffen up in the hip region and my pace began to drop. By 12 hour it became evident that if I continued to slow up then 210km was beyond me and was not prepared to fight hard with a body that was not strong enough to deliver the goods and so turned to plan B which was to stop at 12 hours while still in reasonable shape and give myself another chance later in the year to try again. Vicky Skelton went on to pip Pauline by one kilometre finishing with 211km; both ladies ran very good personal bests to achieve these distances.
Within days of returning home I knew I could not give up without a fight and scoured the internet for one more attempt at a 24 hour race this year, with Winter closing in the cold months are not my best time, I suffer with Asthma in cold and windy conditions and wasn’t sure that I would even find a suitable race until I came across the Bislett 24 Hour Indoor Race. Now that fascinated me, I had never run indoors, it took out the weather conditions, no wind and rain, no wet feet, it sounded perfect. A quick look at the website and saw the first obstacle, the race entry had closed back in September with a full entry and waiting list for those waiting for a place from anyone that may drop out. I emailed the organiser anyway in hope that as a foreign athlete with a good distance to back me up I may gain entry. I was in luck and got an amazing email back, not only did this person already know who I was he sent a picture of me running at Tooting Bec running past my sign written van with Darlington Building Society and immediate entry into the race.
The training began and extra gym work for the hips, racing twice most weekends with a short blast in the regular 5km time trials at Albert Park, above 80 miles during the week, hill reps and weights. I had another 7 weeks to get fit. My 5km times improved initially but then took a nose dive on the last two weeks due to the cold conditions and the asthma took control.
The weekend finally arrived and was in good shape, no niggles at all, all planned training complete and a new bonus thrown in to challenge me – I had found out that the British Indoor 24 Hour Record stood at just 207km as set by Eleanor Robinson while running a 48 hour race. Other information had also come to light on selection criteria and so I was going into this race with five goals to spur me on:
Goal 1 – 200km, Selection distance for Commonwealth Demonstration event
Goal 2 – 207km, British Indoor Record
Goal 3 – 212km GB Number 1 for 12th year
Goal 4 – 213km UK Athletics “A” standard for World 24 Hours
Goal 5 – beat personal best of 217.5km
Read the whole article on Sharon Gayter.com