Meet the runners: Best of the interviews

'Team LPO' are just days away from running in the Vitality Series British 10K run on Sunday 10 July, to raise money for the Orchestra's BrightSparks schools concerts. Ahead of the run, we've been talking to some of the runners about the reasons they decided to take part, and to find out what they have learnt throughout their training progress. Have a read of a collection of our favourite answers...

To find out more about the run and to donate, visit Team LPO's Virgin Money Giving page.



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Elisabeth Wiklander

Have you had any experience of working on any of the LPO’s education programmes?

Yes, I've been doing Creative Classrooms Project where we've been working together with teachers in elementary schools to do music workshops with children. I'm taking part in Debut Sounds, a brilliant project for young composers who get the opportunity to work with us and our composer in residence, Magnus Lindberg, and ultimately have a piece of theirs performed by us in a special concert. I'm also involved with a project called Sound Journeys where we give children with special needs opportunities to come in contact with classical music. Lately I've done two projects involving classes with autistic children and these projects have a special place in my heart because I am autistic myself, I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome in 2009.

Emmanuella Reiter

Do you have any tips for people who are considering taking up running?

When I started running I could only do maybe 2 minutes before needing to stop. It's all about increasing your workouts slowly but also acknowledging that some days you might feel better than others and being kind to yourself. I used to laugh at people who said I should aim for a 10K race, now here I am doing it! When I did my first 10K race 6 years ago I thought I had designed a 1km route so I was training to do that 10 times. A couple of years later when GPS was installed in my phone I realised it was actually 1.8km so I was close to a half marathon and didn't even know it! Another thing that helps me is having a good playlist, some music with some beat which will shut down your "I can't do it" voice. Oh, and the last but most important thing is having good equipment. Good shoes and a good bra are essential!

Henry Baldwin

Do you find that running has any particular advantages for you as a musician?

I'm convinced a lower resting heart rate due to increased fitness levels helps keep a lid on any performance nerves. It is also a great way on a concert day between the rehearsal and concert to focus or take your mind off any stressful solos that might be looming.

Laura Vincent

Why are you taking part in the 10K?

I'm actually the product of one of the LPO education schemes as a former Foyle Future First. This served as a sort of orchestral apprenticeship giving intensive professional experience and mentoring, and was of enormous benefit to me. In once sense, it would be nice to give something back. However, I am also acutely aware that growing up in Cornwall, this wasn't an experience readily available to my peers and I. As a performer I see how often music can make a real connection with children, often particularly resonating with children that struggle within a rigorously academic education system. If I can be responsible for one child having a musical experience that couldn't otherwise, I'd be very happy.

Lyndon Meredith

Why are you taking part in the 10K?

I'm taking part in the 10K to try to raise some money for our BrightSparks childrens’ concerts, but also on a purely personal level, it's not very often you get to run around London IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD! (well, not safely and without getting shouted at or run over...)

Mark Vines

Why are you taking part in the 10K?

I took up running just over a year ago as I had a lot of weight to lose. One of the reasons for choosing running above any other sport (aside from my complete lack of hand-eye coordination) is the relative ease of combining it with the busy LPO schedule. There are quite a few runners in the orchestra, and it is a common sight to see them running in lunch breaks, on tour, and on the hills in the long interval at Glyndebourne. My first target was a 5K parkrun; having done that, 10K was the next logical step, and it is now my favourite distance to race. So when the opportunity came up to join an LPO team and run 10K around the streets of London, it just seemed that all these elements of my daily running had come together, so I jumped at the chance both to run in it and to help convince a few other musicians as well!

Susanne Martens

Do you find that running has any particular advantages for you as a musician?

I noticed a huge benefit for my general wellbeing. Not only can you get rid of cobwebs, or run off steam (after work for example if you need to), I also noticed less doubts in my own playing. Suddenly you have a certain easiness whilst playing, not only physically but mentally. It allows you to risk more because you believe more in yourself.


Team LPO is taking part in the Vitality British 10K London Run on Sunday 10 July. To support the team, or to find out more, visit their Virgin Money Giving page.