runmaggiecooper

The life of a runner, mother, radiopharmacist and vicar's wife – that's me!

From New Brighton to Brighton via the London Marathon

It’s that time of year again when all the great and the good in Nuclear Medicine in the UK converge on Brighton for the Britsh Nuclear Medicine Society (BNMS) conference. So, this morning, I set off bright and early and made my way from New Brighton to Brighton.

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It was bright and sunny as I left New Brighton heading for Liverpool Lime Street and made our way along the Wirral coast.

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I love this part of the journey before the train heads back towards Birkenhead and then into the tunnel to cross the Mersey. You can see the Irish Sea and the wind turbines and you really get that seaside feel.

I seem to have spent rather more time than I would have liked to on the train to and from London recently but at least today it wasn’t too busy. It wasn’t as quick though either but at least that gave me time to finish reading the Liberal Democrat party manifesto for the general election. I also had a look at the website which compares the policies for each party http://www.voteforpolicies.org.uk and did the survey – so now I’m a bit clearer about who should get my vote (although I’m not telling you).

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I tried to take some photos of the journey but I didn’t do very well because a) I had to use the rather inferior camera on my iPad and b) I kept missing good shots because it took me too long to switch from reading the manifesto to getting the camera app open. I can, however, report that the view from the bridge at Runcorn was particularly good this morning.

The countryside that the train goes through is really nice, lots of green for the whole journey. The one above is somewhere between Runcorn and Nuneaton (I know that is quite a range but I can’t remember exactly) and the one below is just south of Nuneaton.

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The sky was beginning to cloud over as we headed south. I wondered how my friends were getting on in the London Marathon so I made a list on the London Marathon website of my friends and other interesting athletes (mainly elite GBR runners). That tracking website is really good and it was great to see people going through each of the checkpoints. I wondered whether I would have time to pop and see the runners while in London but I was booked on the 12:34 from Victoria and we would only arrive at Euston at 11:38 so it was a bit tight for time.

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Well I finished reading the Liberal Democrats manifesto somewhere around Wembley stadium. They are strong on green issues, strong on equal rights and pro-Europe but there were quite a few policies that I felt uncomfortable about and, as a Christian, I felt that they had nothing much in support of Christian values or the Christian way of life and in some cases were quite the opposite.

For example they have a statement saying that they will encourage faith based schools in the public sector but stop discrimation on the basis of faith when recruiting staff in these schools. So, you could end up with a Jewish teacher in a Muslim school – not sure that that will work as it rather undermines the ethos of the school having teachers from religions that are not the same as the school’s. Anyway, I got through the whole manifesto and at least I know what they are offering. On the plus side, the font is much larger than in the Conservative party manifesto which you should propably not attempt to read if you are long sighted.

Finally we arrived at Euston where I had to walk almost the entire length of the platform as I was in coach B. I was on a mission to get to see the marathon because I had calculated that I might just be able to catch some of it just as long as I didn’t get delayed on route.

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I took the Victoria line south and got to Victoria at 11:55 from where I hot-footed it towards Parliament Square with case in tow. Luckily it wasn’t too busy  and I knew the way as I sometimes used to run from Victoria to St. Thomas’.

I arrived near the top of St. James’ Park at about 12:10 and saw a wheelchair competitor and a partially sighted runner go past. I did take some photos but it was really difficult while holding onto my case and being behind other spectators. I had a few classic ones of just Tarmac and no runner.

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At last the leading men came through. They looked amazing. They didn’t even look like they were tired. By that stage of a marathon I can hardly put one foot in front of another let alone look relaxed and in control.

IMG_2264 I realised that I didn’t have time to wait for the first British athlete, Scott Overall, to come through so I rushed back to Victoria and just made it in time to catch the train to Brighton.

I checked up on how my runners were doing. There were some fantastic performances. Of note, John Owen (3:21:07) who is in the 70+ category and Michael Wright (2:28:24). Jo Kent came in with 2:58:26 for a new club record And Stuart Singer, despite setting off too fast as always did a fabulous 3:25:48. My other runners weren’t finished by the time I got to Brighton but I was so chuffed to find out later that Anne finished her first (and possibly last) ever marathon in under 7 hours.

So, I finally arrived in Brighton 6 hours after I left New Brighton but the sun wasn’t shining and there was a hint of rain in the air.

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I’m looking forward to the conference and I’m pleased to see that the paper that I did some work on has won the student’s prize – well done Jen.

So it will be a week of poor quality photos on my blog as I only have the iPad to use but hopefully I will make up for that with interesting anecdotes from the meeting.

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