Ultra distance runner Sharon Gayter has smashed two world records at Teesside University.
Sharon beat the men’s and women’s world record for long distance running on a treadmill over seven days by an incredible distance – running a staggering 832.57km or 517.33 miles.
She exceeded the current female record holder, grandmother Mimi Anderson who ran 650km (403.81 miles) by 182.73km (113.5miles) and the current world record holder Lee Chamberlain who ran 753.24km (468.04 miles) in July 2009 by 79.33km (49.29miles).
Sports writer Mike Amos MBE was Sharon’s official finisher and he will compile the evidence to submit to Guinness World Records to confirm the new records.
Sharon, who has run over 300 marathons and more than 100 ultra distance races ran for about 18 hours a day for seven full days at Teesside University’s Olympia Building to set a personal best record.
Messages of support poured in to Teesside University from all over the world including Spain and India inspired by her bid and her fitness. The current world record holder Lee Chamberlain also sent his congratulations.
In April this year Sharon ran 750km in six days in Athens. After that she trained at Teesside University with the support of the sport science service based in the School of Social Sciences & Law.
Nicolas Berger, senior lecturer in sport and exercise and Keith Haley, technician manager, co-ordinated Sharon’s support on campus. This included fitness testing which highlights any areas that need extra work.
Through her world record bid, Sharon, who is a part-time lecturer at Teesside University, has been raising money for two charities - Leukemia and Lymphoma Research to support a colleague Michael Wren who lost his daughter Charlotte to Leukemia when she was just three years old; and Zoe’s Place, a hospice for babies in Middlesbrough.
The athlete has run from Lands End to John O’Groats, over 800 miles and chopping 17 hours from the world record, she has run the Badwater Ultramarathon of 135 miles across Death Valley – billed the hottest race on earth and set the best time by any British athlete male or female. Just this year she completed the world’s highest race around the Himalayas in India. In 2009 Sharon won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Championships 24 hour event.
Sharon said: 'This was a world record attempt I have wanted to do for some time and thanks to the support from Teesside University, I was able to achieve it.'
But she already has her sights set on a new record – running from the southern tip of Ireland to the north from Mizen Head to Malin HHead starting on the 25 March 2012 – she hopes to run the 350 miles in less than five days.
Apart from the support from the University, Sharon receives very little sponsorship and has funded the bid herself to raise money for charity.
Keith Haley from the School of Social Sciences & Law said: 'We have supported Sharon in preparation for this bid and a team supported her around the clock for the full seven days. Her drive and commitment is inspiring to so many.'
Donations to the charities Sharon is supporting can be made at:virginmoneygiving.com/SharonGayter Or text your donation to FYVR54 followed by the amount - for example FYVR54-£1.