Precious memories of Naomi as we sat round camp site

Worth the pain: Toby with Naomi's parents Bev and Steve Gough and below, Bev patches up Toby's blisters
Worth the pain: Toby with Naomi's parents Bev and Steve Gough and below, Bev patches up Toby's blisters

It’s day three of the fifth annual fund-raising walk in memory of teenager Naomi Gough and the walkers have reached the first sign for Blackpool. Courier reporter Toby Higgins is still with them – despite the blisters

We finally reached the camp just outside Preston at about 6.30 last night. I don’t think I’ve ever been happier to see a camp site!

Toby Higgins getting his feet bandaged

Toby Higgins getting his feet bandaged

We sat around the camp last night, had a few beers and played a few games. Again it was all set up with our bags ready for us just to use – many thanks to Steve, Bev, Shane and Liam for doing the hard work behind the scenes.

Bev talked to us last night about Naomi, the night she died and the trial which followed, as well as the night Steve was attacked while working as a prison officer at Armley. It was fascinating and moving to listen to her talk.

It reminded us why we had walked almost two marathons in two days.

We lit lanterns and set them off and had a toast to Naomi. It was certainly a moving night.

It would be a romantic notion to say I woke up the next morning and suddenly felt no pain in my feet after Bev’s heartfelt words last night. It would also be a lie.

As if sleeping on the ground wasn’t uncomfortable enough, I couldn’t put my feet on the ground properly all night for the blisters. The pain itself wasn’t that bad – I was lying down, of course – but it was the kind of annoying pain that hurts enough just to wake you up every time you move.

Bev again patched up my feet. We decided to cut my blisters open with scissors in an attempt to ease the pressure on them. At the time of writing, we’ve stopped in Preston and it’s not made a huge difference over the first 4 miles of today. We’ve got 13 or 14 miles to go and everyone is starting to feel the pace now but the weather looks like it might hold off until tonight.

On the plus side, we’ve seen the first road signs for Blackpool. Every cloud...