The day got off to a bad start when I lost my temper with a woman complaining to the B&B staff about her car being clamped. I was trying to have my breakfast only a few metres away from her very loud, irritating noisy voice. Much to Ian "The Coach" Glasgow's shock I told her that I was trying to have my breakfast in peace and asked (not very politely) if she wouldn't mind shutting up. She soon shut up and moments later I heard her mutter the words "Choke on" and "Breakfast" in the same sentence.
I set off from Preston just after 10:00 in glorious sunshine. The sun stayed with me right until the 20th mile. Ian was able to support me for the first 4 miles and after that I was to be on my own for the rest of the day. At that early stage I had no idea how I was going to get back to the B&B in Preston. Katy was not able to support me as her Dad had been in Hospital yesterday and she wanted to see that he was ok before setting off.
I found it difficult to find any speed in the heat and that combined with having to run on a grass verge made progress very slow in the early stages.
I eventually reached Ian at the 4 mile point and stuffed my pockets with bananas and energy bars while also carrying a large bottle of water. I thanked Ian for his assistance and he was on his way back to the north east as I made my way south on the A49.
All of a sudden I was running unsupported and feeling very vulnerable. All sorts of thoughts were going through my mind. I could just continue running until Katy reached me in the morning and I could grab an hours sleep here and there along the way. I soon came to my senses and sent a text to Burnley Keith and Dicko (another work colleague) asking for a lift back. Burnley Keith contacted me first and had no hesitation in answering the distress call. He was due to be in the area anyway watching Burnley play Leeds in a pre season friendly.
It was such a relief knowing that I had a lift back to the B&B and the rest of the journey was done in a much happier frame of mind.
The A49 had a path running alongside of it all the way so that made a nice change. I stopped for a jacket potato at a pub near the 11 mile point. I don't think the landlord took too kindly to a sweaty Geordie dressed in running gear being in his pub spoiling the ambiance. I was soon on my way again and that, as it turned out, was my last stop for the day.
I managed to get through Wigan incident free but at the 20 mile point I was faced with more pain. I lost concentration for a bit and ended up standing on a small stone. This normally wouldn't have been a problem but the shooting pain that was sent up my already battered right shin was really really bad. I was in agony but continued on as best as I could. I was going so slowly after this that a lady in a motorised wheelchair overtook me!
Burnley Keith picked me up at the 25.5 mile point in Newton-le-Willows and dropped me off at the B&B in Preston. What a relief to be back! It is very pleasing to have crossed the 500 mile point today as I continue to chalk the miles off.