With less than a week to go until the Virgin Money London Marathon, Unique Venues of London was delighted to find out that The Natural History Museum's Vicky Moran will be taking part. In this special interview ahead of an impressive undertaking, she discusses her inspiration for pushing through the mile markers, both physically and professionally.
What inspired you to apply for the London Marathon this year?
“I’ve been running for six years to proactively maintain a healthy lifestyle, building up to run the Florence Marathon in 2012 followed by the Amsterdam Marathon in 2014. The training is hard work, needs considerable time and dedication and after the last marathon I swore never again, the only exception being if a spot in the London Marathon came up!
“Lo and behold, five weeks into joining the Venue Hire team at the Natural History Museum the chance arose to take one of five charity slots after somebody else dropped out. It was an opportunity too good to miss, to help raise the profile of the fantastic research work the museum conducts behind the scenes and be part of one the UK’s most iconic and high-profile events.”
How have you prepared for participation in one of the UK’s largest annual sporting event?
“My training regime this time around has taken a different format. Previously I used to run solo, building up the mileage independently, but for this challenge I have joined a series of training runs organised by a local running club, the Gade Valley Harriers who plan 12, 17 and 20 mile events in the run-up to the big day. The camaraderie of running with a large group is inspiring and goes some way to preparing me for running alongside 40,000 other competitors!”
What will be your driving force on Sunday when the fatigue starts to kick in?
“The Natural History Museum annually attracts over 4 million annual visitors to a wealth of fascinating exhibitions and is home to millions of ancient specimens. Fewer people however are aware of the incredible work carried out behind the scenes at the Museum, we have hundreds of scientists and researchers looking into the protection and preservation of the natural world including biodiversity, endangered species, climate change and sustainability. I truly believe the natural world is an incredible entity that we need to protect so when the going gets tough on the course, I will focus on the how the generous donations will make a difference to our understanding of the world around us.”
How do you reflect your athletic determination to keep pushing the extra mile in the events held in the museum’s venue hire spaces?
“At the museum as part of a private event we are able to offer exclusive viewings of high profile exhibitions and their 80-million strong individual exhibits, giving guests personalised private tours once the doors have closed to the public each evening as well as informative talks from some of our leading scientific research experts. We are always looking for opportunities to add value to our clients’ bookings and think beyond simply just the room hire. For example, we can offer free tickets to certain exhibitions and even offer exclusive out-of-hours retail opportunities with guests choosing favours or gifts from our museum store during private events.
“I think each member of our Venue Hire team prides themselves on being able to offer an extensive knowledge of each event space the museum has to offer, the strengths and capabilities of our talented accredited suppliers and wealth of experience delivering events of all sizes and styles. All of these factors result in us being able to help match hire spaces and the right caterers and production teams to perfectly suit a client’s requirements to deliver an unforgettable evening.”
On behalf of all the Unique Venues of London membership, we'd like to wish Vicky and everyone running this weekend the very best of luck. If you’d like to show your support for Vicky’s London Marathon efforts or to donate, click here.
To find out more about The Natural History Museum and other Unique Venues of London members, click here.