Yesterday I was a wimp, I could have gone for a run, but looked at the very wet rain and the very windy wind and decided I was going to be a very wimpy wimp.
Today wimpdom is not on the cards. I have a run to do, not a big one, but I mustn’t get into the habit of wimping out on a run, not when the prize of 2018km is within touching distance.
Mr JCR was off out to his Italian lesson, I was teaching myself duvet management – basically snuggling down and imagining the run will do itself. After an hour of duvet management, it didn’t seem as though the run was happening, so I put on my trainers and got out in the wintery sun of London.
It had to be a shortish run as we were visiting The Alzheimer’s Research facility at UCL London, to get an update on their research programme. I managed a mini-loop of just over 7kms, through the City and up towards Holborn. The challenge was to run some virtual kms for my running mentor Ju-Ju who is still crocked and whilst doing that see if I could find my running mate’s missing mojo. Adding in the fact that I needed to buy some food too, this was an all-singing and all-dancing, multi-tasking run.
The superhero element didn’t occur in my run, in fact today’s was just a run, I clocked up the kms, bought the food, but didn’t find any sign of a mojo. 2 out of 3 ain’t bad though. The superhero bit came later. We assembled at UCL in Gower Street and met with the scientists headed up by Dr Paul Whiting. There we learnt about the progress being made to date and their plans for the future. It was fascinating, encouraging and depressing all at the same time.
In summary, they are ‘copying’ the Cancer Research UK’s model of ‘Centres of Research Excellence’. Given the pharma industry have been pulling back in this area of research, they are focussing on the front end of the research piece, trying to identify suitable areas of focus, including but not limited to synapse messaging protection/mending. (There was lots of other stuff, but frankly my science and memory recall are both far too poor to adequately describe their magic here!)
Paul mentioned that in his opinion, finding a cure is probably not possible but delaying the onset and effects, probably is. This is where the depressing bit came in, realistically we are looking at maybe 50 years. And that is with all of today’s great supercomputing powers, and the fantastically able students and scientists working on this thorny problem. In the lab tour, we saw some of their kit, 3-D modelling at the nano level as one example. They are focussing on creating new molecules, which will form critical parts of the drugs. These can then be patented and future revenues poured back into the research. They run with a lot of serious equipment that costs many thousands of pounds – and who knew there was an eBay for scientists?
My big takeout is that these scientists are absolute superheroes, they have brains I can’t even imagine and are focussing them on helping to cure one of society’s biggest threats to our ageing population. But 50 years…., that means for the majority of the lab team working there, that a ‘cure’ probably won’t be around for them, if any are so unlucky as to get Alzheimer’s or similar related conditions.
I am determined however to end this post on a high – we met other invitees who have donated to Alzheimer’s, run dementia workshops etc., and there is a great sense of determination from the research teams. I started the day as a wimp under the duvet, avoiding the weather but then met some superheroes, real-life superheroes who are not wimping out on one of life’s toughest challenges. They have the brains, and I can bring the brawn into my running, to help raise as much cash as possible. On that note, a big vote of thanks to our friend M who has very generously added to the sponsorship pot today. It really brings it home, having seen the research.
And to my running mate (mojoless) – after the tour we made our way back home and these two lovely places were en route pic above and below. I have a feeling the mojo may well have passed this way…
Breakfast In America – Supertramp
Belfast Child – Simple Minds
Going Down To Liverpool – The Bangles
Black Eyed Boy – Texas
Grease – Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons
Africa – Toto
New York Minute – Don Henley
San Francisco – Scott MacKenzie
Xanadu – Olivia Newton John
Downtown – Petula Clark
Go Wild In The Country – Bow Wow Wow
Solsbury Hill – Peter Gabriel
Vienna – Ultravox
Romeo and Juliet – Dire Straits
Lost In France – Bonnie Tyler
Average Pace 6:56
Elevation Gain 27 metres
Kms Run 1881.07
Kms To Run 136.93