After an hour or so out on my own I was met by Richard who was running out from the 120mile mark to meet me. After an initial chat I described my current run/walk regime to him and he told me Lisa wanted me back to 5mph, something I couldn't conceive of.
Richard got on with the task in hand of dragging me along as well as possible and having had some ultra experience he clearly knew that by this stage I just needed to be told what to do. So he would tell me we're going to run to a certain point, and then give a 2minute walking break and repeat, I knew better than to argue and it felt great to be moving along so well.
His encouragement and congratulations after each running stint, whether genuine or not did sink in, despite initially bouncing off me, and I was feeling more and more positive all the time. By now I had no idea how I was doing compared to my schedule and assumed Lisa not telling me was a bad sign, Richard did give me a few time checks which my mental arithmetic told me things were still going ok.
The 10 or 12 miles through to the Springwell Lock checkpoint at 120miles took in a couple of problem patches for me. A blister on my left foot became cripplingly painful for a few minutes, and a little later a stitch was causing some trouble, both fairly minor in the normal run of things but would have been enough to probably defeat me completely in my mentally distressed state. Richard however would have none of it and whilst allowing me an extra break or two got me moving again as soon as possible. The stitch did pass and the pain from the blister eventually eased.
In to the Springwell lock checkpoint I was still very positive, with feedback from Richard telling me the last mile had passed in just 11minutes. I remember being pleased to get out of the rain, getting some food and drink in me and checking how the people ahead of me were getting on.
Richard was kind enough to take me through the diversion which followed, it was quite short and straightforward but still better than trying to follow it myself. With some final encouragement he sent me on my merry way with less than a marathon to go. Spirits were still high despite the continuing rain.