sharon gayter

Sharon’s international career began in 1994 when she made her debut in the 100 km and the 24hr grabbing the two national titles in the same year.

She is no stranger to international competitions having represented Great Britain on 23 occasions over the 100 km and 24 hour distance.

Sharon is still improving her ultrarunning. She has been Great Britain’s best 24 hour runner for the last 12 years having recently broken the British indoor 24 hour record with a distance of 219 km.

Some of the ultras and multi-day events she has done include Trans-alpine run, 7 stages from Germany to Italy, Moravian Ultramarathon (7 marathons in 7 days), Libyan Challenge and Marathon des Sables.

In the future, Sharon is planning on doing Badwater, the Himalayan 100 mile stage race and Spartathlon.


Views on the Commonwealth Championships…


Nadeem Khan (NK): What are your thoughts on running in the Commonwealth Series?

Sharon Gayter (SG): It’s fantastic that ultra distance running is being recognised in this way, we have had annual Championships for many years now and is nice to take that step further in recognition.  I am often asked why is this event not in the Olympics or Commonwealth and will be great to finally say this now has it chance alongside other sports. So much work has been put into this event it will be nice to see the response and outcome and for all the events to be a success.


NK: How will this race be different from your other international races?

SG: It will not be different in the way it is run, just different in the number of athletes competing, obviously less than in a European or World event, but English athletes have performed well at ultras for many years and we now have another way to shine.  The big difference really comes in that when you represent Great Britain your team is made up of athletes from the home countries, here they will be competing against you, at the last Championships there were two English and one Scottish athlete, although we will all still  be great friends.


NK: The thing you are most looking forward to at the Championships...

SG: Competing locally so to speak, no big long haul flights, foreign food, language barrier and the chance for friends and family to see me running in an international vest, a real rarity.  Not having to restrict what I take, usually it is what  can pack in the suit case and long life unbreakable stuff, here I can have the food and drinks of my choice being able to drive there


Get to know Sharon…


NK: Most memorable athletic moment…

SG: So many to mention as my career has been a long one, collecting my first international medal in 1995 was great, standing on the podium with the great Eleanor Robinson and Lyn Harding, but more recently being voted Local Hero at the Northern Echo Sports Awards in 2006 was very special and very emotional.


NK: What is your typical training week? 

SG: Work on periodisation so run 3 weeks progressively harder followed by easy week, a middle week would probably read around 80 miles for the week, split into one long run around marathon distance on Sunday’s, easy day Monday plus weights, Tuesday is speed session, Wednesday and Thursday usually long run around 20 miles, Friday is hill reps and weights, Saturday is now usually a sustained 5km run.


NK: If you were not a runner, you would be…

SG: Probably nothing!!


NK: Your biggest supporter in your running career… 

SG: Easily my husband Bill, by my side whenever he can, giving food, drink, support, whatever is needed and never leaves my side for the whole 24 hours, not even for a short nap.


NK: Who is your first call after a major race?

SG: With the internet available nowadays the results are easily available before I call anyone, so no one is the answer, Bill would be the only one I would call but he is usually at the event.