The women’s record for running from John O’Groats to Land’s End has been smashed by more than four hours.
Sharon Gayter, a 55-year-old business studies lecturer completed the 822-mile journey from the top of Caithness to the far west of Cornwall in 12 days, 11 hours, 6 minutes and 7 seconds.
With her incredible achievement, Gayter destroyed the women’s record set in July 2008 by another British runner, Mimi Anderson.
Gayter, from Guisborough, near Middlesborough, left John O’Groats at 7.30am on 21 July and arrived in Land’s End at 6.36pm on 2 August. On her journey, the University of Teeside lecturer raised money for the mental health charity Mind.
Speaking to the BBC about her achievement, Gayter said she was ‘relieved’ to have completed her challenge, but was severely sleep deprived. Gayter said: "I wanted to break the record by as much as I could and push to my limits because you never know what's round the corner, like road closures."
The last day in particular was ‘painful’, after just 90 minutes of sleep. On each of the other nights of her run she didn’t manage much more – about 3 hours.
But sleep wasn’t the first thing on her mind, standing under the legendary signpost – it was a shower, her first in nine days.
No stranger to endurance running challenges, Gayter broke both the men’s and women’s records for the distance covered on a treadmill in seven days – 517.33 miles.
A JOGLE record is unlikely to be the last one Gayter earns. Reflecting after her run, she added: "I'm getting on now and I keep thinking that I can't do any more, but the body surprises me that it can.
"And while I can still [break records] I will."
Image: Izzy Wilkinson (BBC)