Some may have walked, others cycled, all or bits of the 140-mile Coast-to-Coast route from Whitehaven to Tynemouth. Many will understand how formidable it is.

With the promised reward of a medal and a T-shirt for finishing under 38 hours – “and not a second longer” – the extraordinary Mrs Sharon Gayter has just traversed the C-2-C in 33 hours 42 minutes and without a wink of sleep.

“It looks like my hamstring problem’s resolved,” she says.

With her husband Bill – and Baxter, the dog – as support crew, the 54-year-old Teesside University lecturer from Guisborough was fourth overall and the first woman ever to finish the event, albeit “shuffling rather than walking” the last few miles.

The GPS batteries packed up before she did.

The attraction, she insists, is partly social. “Jim, a fellow runner, told me a story about garlic and onions that will live with me for ever.”

On Tynemouth sea front an additional prize, a bottle of Newcastle Brown, awaited. For supporting ever more, she gave it to Bill.

Tom Stafford, another old friend of the column’s, last Saturday finished a remarkable cricket season.

In four NYSD League innings for Yarm, he failed to score a run but was never dismissed. In two innings for Yorkshire Over 60s, he managed three runs and was again not out on both occasions, finishing the season without an average – though, of course, miles above par.

He also claimed 12 victims for Yarm and 16 for Yorkshire.

Encouraged, he’s already bought new laces, soles and studs for his boots but wonders if he should really put his foot down and simply buy new boots. The man with theWD-40 knees will next summer be 72.

In the new Wearside League development division, two Saturdays ago, Jarrow Reserves lost 24-0 to Sunderland Town End. Last Saturday the two sides met again, Town End winning 30-1. Fifty-four goals against the same side in a week may be an all-time record, but we must await developments.

The FA’s catacomb obsession with rebuilding the non-league pyramid is particularly narking John Dawson, the King of the Ground Hoppers.

At the end of last season, the retired Hartlepool postman had watched games at all 276 grounds (“except Guernsey, of course”) at steps 1-4.

Now there are 296 clubs at that level and he still has seven to do – having last week watched FC Romania in the vicinity of Heathrow Airport. “Next season,” says John, “they’ll probably muck around with it again.”

It’s all reminiscent of Sisyphus, condemned for ever to roll a giant boulder up a hill, only for it to roll back down again when inches from the top – and this time it could end in tiers.

The column a couple of weeks back noted the decline in Sunday football. Durham and District Sunday League secretary Graham Lilley now sends the draw for the FA Sunday Cup, with just 87 entrants nationally.

In the North-East they embrace Newton Aycliffe Iron Horse and Dawdon Welfare Park, drawn together, and Amble Tavern and Peterlee Catholic Club, likewise. The Merlin in Billingham, Blucher Blue Star and Sunderland Southwick have byes.

Other entrants include Lobster, Canada, Joker, Global, Sporting Dynamo, Real Milan, Oyster Martyrs and Bleak House.

It all kicks off again at 2pm on October 7.

Lounging lackadaisically around Idle, last week’s Railroad to Wembley said that that West Yorkshire village had been home to Joseph Wilson, who’d begun working life as a six-year-old donkey boy in a quarry, became a professor at Oxford and produced six volumes of the English Dialect Dictionary.

“An amazing character,” agrees Robin Cook from Swainby, near Stokesley, though – careless if not downright indolent – we got his name wrong. He was Joseph Wright.

Robin once owned all six dictionary volumes – “about 2ft high, stood on top of one another” – and both volumes of the prof’s biography and, of course, he was Wright along.

….and finally, the four teams who topped the Premier League during the course of 2017-18 (Backtrack, September 8) were Man City, Man United, Arsenal and, the hard one, Huddersfield Town.

Despite his success with the bat, Indian skipper Virat Kohli became the first cricketer for almost 20 years conspicuously to fail in one respect.

Readers are invited to suggest what it was. The column returns in a fortnight.