Running a race in a city where one of the greatest bands of all time was born should be in every Beatles fan’s bucket list. I am a fan by osmosis so running the Liverpool Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon 2017 was a dream come true. My father was the lead singer of a sixties tribute band playing mostly Beatles songs. He is a businessman but he spent a lot of time listening or playing their music with a tight group of friends. They were all accomplished in different fields and bonded together by the Fab Four’s music. Our house was filled during the weekends with Beatles music blasting from the stereo system.
Flying into Liverpool and discovering the city’s adoration for all things Beatles brought back childhood memories. We flew with Ryanair to Manchester at 5:00 AM on Saturday, May 27, 2017. The flight only took an hour and 25 minutes. The UK has border control so we were prepared for the immigration lines. There are direct flights to Liverpool but there was no route to and from Brussels.
From Manchester, we took the Northern train to Liverpool Lime Street Station. After a little over an hour, we switched to the local Merseyrail train to James Street station two stops away and walked a few minutes to our hotel.
It was too early to check into our hotel so we spent the time walking the city center.
We had brunch at one of the restaurants along Albert Dock before we leisurely made our way to Echo Arena to pick up our bib. The 5K race was already in progress. The ACC Liverpool was already rocking and rolling with runners and spectators. The finish line for all races was inside the Echo Arena. Security was very tight following measures taken after the Manchester arena bombing the previous weekend.
The RunFit Expo had many new products on offer and it is always exciting to see the latest and greatest in running gear.
We had fun dressed up in Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band costumes for the pre-race photo.
Hotel Indigo Liverpool City Centre was ideally located in the center of the race action. The room was modern and colorful, and they provided us with complimentary red and white wine. I was pleasantly surprised that the enfant terrible of the British restaurant scene, Marco Pierre White, has a steakhouse bar and grill restaurant in the hotel.
We spent the rest of the afternoon walking around some more before an early dinner at White’s restaurant inside the hotel.
The marathon was scheduled at 10:00 AM on Sunday but was delayed by 15 minutes. The half marathoners started an hour earlier. The mood was sober and there were armed policemen all over. We were encouraged to wear yellow ribbons to show our stand against the senseless tragedy the previous weekend.
I found some Filipinos running as a group.
The course charted through the whole city of Liverpool and its side streets. We passed by the Cavern Club and I saw Richard at mile 2 in front of the city hall.
He took a video of the tribute band playing at the balcony of the city hall.
He took photos of two of the cool cars parked in the city.
We also ran through the iconic Penny Lane. I just had to stop and get a selfie.
The Echo Arena was very busy. The finishers were relaxing and listening to the open air rock concert.
I met Richard at the Hilton Liverpool City Center and walked to the Lime Street Station to catch the direct train to Manchester airport. I changed while on the train and was halfway decent for our Ryanair return flight to Brussels at 6:05 PM.