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Lymington's Valeria Sesto helps secure British 100k Championships title for England

LYMINGTON’S Valeria Sesto and her England teammates have won the British 100k Championships at the 2022 Anglo Celtic Plate 100k in Perth, Scotland.

Sesto’s performance is all the more remarkable as she suffered an injury five weeks before the event, which left the Lymington Athletes and Lymington Triathlon Club founder barely able to stand.

Sesto’s selection for England surprised the 49-year-old, who had not run a high-level road-ultra event since the 2018 100k world championship in Croatia, where she came first in the 40+ age category and 15th overall.

Valeria crosses the line the line in Perth
Valeria crosses the line the line in Perth

The Argentina-born runner said: “I wasn’t expecting to be selected; I wasn’t prepared for it, although I was training for a low-key marathon, so I was still fit.

“I had eight weeks of preparation with a marathon in between; then, I did a silly hurdle jump and hurt two toes with five weeks to go.

“I could not walk without unbearable pain. I was hiding my limp so people wouldn’t ask. I didn’t want to talk about it. I was finding my way forward, day by day, focusing on the positives and what I could do.”

Thanks to the support of osteopath Gavin Gobell, sports therapist Sophie Cox, doctor Ben Vines, Gill Matthews for her psychological help, the radiology team at Lymington hospital, and husband Clive, Sesto battled through to reach the finish line.

Victorious Valeria with her England teammates
Victorious Valeria with her England teammates

Sesto added: “It was the best weekend ever, sharing and competing with an awesome team. An experience I will forever treasure.

“I am proud; 49 years old, and I can still represent England.

“Maybe my fastest years have gone, but there is plenty of endurance left within me!”

After being gifted an entry place, the New Forest Runners member will now turn her sights toward her first Ironman triathlon to mark her 50th birthday.

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