"It was a beautiful morning this morning but very cold - only 4C because it had been a clear sky all night.
I set off to the start line with Nicky, Raj and Sally, leaving Doc, Gary and Dave watching the rugby. We started from Tixall, just east of Stafford, which was a stunning location. Beautiful rolling fields interspersed with canals and rivers.
We headed out along B roads in a southwesterly direction, basically following the canal route we had originally planned. We went under the M6 motorway, through Penkridge, over the M54, down the west side of Wolverhampton, and then circled around to finish at Wombourne. We do not have time to read the newspapers or watch TV, but someone found out that there was a football match on between Wolves and West Bromwich so we made sure we avoided routes we thought might get congested because of that.
My drivers were listening to the rugby on the radio and updating me on a regular basis. We knew Doc would be very disappointed when he joined us after hearing the final score the final score. We had to call Doc at the 10 mile point as I had developed a new blister at the edge of the taping. That was a shame as Doc has taken such care of my feet and they had been doing so well. The rugby had finished at that point and Doc was already on his way to us and arrived very quickly. He said Gary had set out before the match had finished but he had not seen him on our route. In fact he and Dave had taken a different route and were at 17 miles when I finished.
I found it a really tiring day today. When we met up with Gary he said it had been tought for him too. We both thought our race at the end of yesterday's marathon was the cause and it really is important to pace yourself when you are doing a succession of these events.
Sally left at 1.30 to go to East Midlands Airport to collect Guthrie Steer, a chiropractor from Guernsey, who is the doing massage etc for me for the next week. Sally and Guthrie did not have time to get back to the route before I finished but they made it back to the hotel before us. Raj and Nicky needed to get to the railway station quite quickly so we said our goodbyes to them, or hello and goodbye in Guthrie's case, and it was sad to see them go. Nicky will be back on Saturday for the last week and Raj hopes to join us for the last few days in Cornwall.
I have been making up poems with a cadence to march to, having been introduced to this by Linda. It really helps me get into my stride. I don't think Gary agreed - he just found them irritating. I made up 3 poems about Doc, one about Raj and one about Nicky. Sally made up one about eating puddings (which I have been doing every night to keep my weight up). Doc did not feel flattered by his and is of the opinion that they should not be published so I have to respect that since my feet are so dependent on him!
Tomorrow will see us head down south of Birmingham, ending at Droitwich. The end of tomorrow will see us at the 2/3rd mark. The last day is 2 weeks today.
Photos attached of me walking through Tixall, and Nicky and me running together today.
From Sally today..."I have had a sleepless night worrying about the fact that I forgot to mention Gary's completion of his week of marathons yesterday. He completed his 6 1/2 marathons in 7 days yesterday with no need for hospitalisation and I enclosea photo of him celebrating afterwards. From L to R Gary, Guthrie, Doc, Dave. I also forgot to mention that the temperature got up to 16C - it did not stay at 4C all day I'm pleased to say. Doc is just taping up Stuart's toes and blisters again for today's run."