The truly astonishing ultra-runner Sharon Gayter, now 55, nears her greatest test yet – an attempt to beat 12 days for the 822-miles from John o’ Groats to Lands End.

Thirteen years ago she set a women’s world record for the run from Lands End, known to cognoscenti as LeJog. Now JogLe proves irresistible.

“The first thing I said when I finished in 2006 was that I’d never do it again,” she recalls. “You weaken, of course. I want the record back.”

Might she then finally slow down? “I’m not as fast as I used to be but I know how to do things better, how to prepare better, how to plan sleep better,” she says. “The first time I did it I was quite green.”

By way of warm-up, she took part in a six-day event in Athens in January, setting Over-55 records, and at the end of May completed the 220-mile Severn Way challenge, along England’s longest river from source to sea.

The route seemed to lead through the nation’s nastiest nettle beds – “it was like running through the middle of a jungle at time, my legs were on fire” – though these days runners go where GPS appears to send them.

So what did they do before GPS? “We still got lost,” says Sharon, a former bus driver who lives in Guisborough and now lectures at Teesside University.

The latest world record attempt will begin on July 21, accompanied by crew of helpers and observers and by her ever-loyal husband Bill. “He’s not allowed to be part of the official team but he’ll cycle with me, make my beans on toast, put me to be and get me up again about four hours later,” says Sharon.

A further appliance of science, a tracker device on her website will allow anyone to follow her progress – “right down to the road I’m on and whether I’m walking or running.”

Thereafter – and back at Teesside Uni – she plans a world record attempt at 1 million metres on a treadmill before, perhaps, taking things a little easier.

“I might just try for a few Over 55s records after that,” says the golden Gayter. “Bill would probably be quite pleased.”

The column three weeks ago suggested that Sir Ian Botham’s appearance with David “Ticer” Thomas at Barnard Castle Cricket Club was something of a neighbourhood concert. Ticer’s lined up for a gig even closer to home.

Born and raised in West Auckland, the former England football international – now registered blind – will be at a Guide Dogs charity night on October 4 at the village workmen’s club, sharing the bill with Tony Washington, a Bobby Thompson tribute act.

The club’s home not just to the original World Cup – or at least to its solid silver successor – but to a photograph of young Thomas – fourth left – in the all-conquering St Helen’s Auckland school team. It’s hoped that all surviving members – and Joe Noble-Eddy, their teacher – will be reunited for the occasion.

“They were unbeaten for years,” recalls Dave Bowes, the organiser. “Every time I go down Bishop, Mr Noble-Eddy catches me and asks when something’s going to happen. It should be a fantastic night.”

Back in the penitential season, we’d cause (again) to mention Carlin Sunday. John Maughan in Wolsingham, a devotee of BBC Newcastle’s commentary on Durham cricket, expressed surprise that commentator Martin Emmerson – Whitburn lad – had never heard of carlins or their back story.

Martin now admits it, but with mitigation. “You repeat the story of the shipwreck off the Tyne. A quick search on the net would have us believe that the wreck happened off every port in northern Britain, with a multitude of papers from Cumbria to Scotland to Filey claiming that it happened in their area.”

At risk of long-windedness, the diversion was much welcomed, nonetheless. Like the ball-by-balderdash of the lamented Brian Johnston, the BBC Newcastle boys enjoy straying off-topic.

“Regular subjects include Half Man Half Biscuit, the Indie band from the Wirral, motorway service stations, canals, cricketers of yesteryear and gonks – a mainstay of any decent fairground stall in the 1970s.”

After a recent debate on Worcestershire batsman Ed Barnard, who has Burnopfield links, they got to talking about Barnardsville and were accused by a listener of being puerile.

“It just goes to show that you can’t please all of the people all of the time,” says Martin, “but you never miss a ball, either.”

….and finally, last week’s column invited readers to suggest the person after whom Fisher FC near the Thames is named. It’s St John Fisher, a 16th century martyr and Bishop of Rochester, to whom the Roman Catholic church at Sedgefield is dedicated.

South America seems particularly keen to salute the honourable in such a fashion – not least Velez Sarsfield, one of Argentina’s leading clubs, named after forebears of the late Norman Sarsfield, a 1960s Mayor of Durham and leading swimming administrator.

Brazil has FC Vasco da Gama, Bolivia boasts Club Jorge Wilstermann – named after the country’s first commercial pilot – Paraguay fields Club Presidente Hayes and Chile, wonderfully, has a leading club called C D O’Higgins.

Best of all, however, may be the club on Trinidad and Tobago with whom former Sunderland player Kenwynne Jones began his career. It’s called Joe Public FC and could be named after every one of us.

Today back to the Bishops: how many times did they lift the FA Amateur Cup? The column returns next week.