It is 1130 on Thursday 19th June and I've just spend a few hours editing and upload photos from yesterday to Steve's blog. Right now, Steve is at the summit of High Pike in the Northern Fells. His schedule was to reach this Wainwright by 10:38 so he is roughly 50 minutes behind.
High Pike is Steve's 170th (out of 214) Wainwrights and in terms of summits, he is now 80% complete.
Not to worry though, as his schedule is set to beat the current record by approximately 11 hours. Yesterday evening I caught up with Steve at the checkpoint 17 (Dockray) and had a good chat with him and the support crew and runners.
First of all, Steve was much better mentally and more positive than when I saw him yesterday. The pain in his feet, legs and back, whilst significant seems to leveled out and he was focused on his goal and schedule. It is hard to really put your finger on the change but I felt that I was talking with someone who's mind was set and he was quietly confident that he would be successful. I think Steve has come to terms with the pain and obviously has mental strategies for pain management.
That said, Steve was not looking forward to today (Thursday) as he knew that the Northern Fells are very rough underfoot and it is the rough terrain that was really slowing him down now. He knew that Thursday would be the crux of his Wainwright challenge and it was going to very touch and difficult day.
Reflecting on Joss Naylors record 27 years ago, Steve knows that Joss's physical condition deteriorated very significantly in the last two days of the challenge. Obviously, Steve doesn't know whether this same fate awaits him or not. I guess Steve is a little nervous and certainly entering uncharted territory with the amount of abuse his body can take.
Steve's schedule doesn't take into account the roughness of the ground so he is losing and gaining time as the conditions underfoot change.
Good luck today Steve!