Meet the runners: Laura Vincent

On Sunday 10 July, 'Team LPO' are taking on the Vitality Run Series British 10K run to raise money for our BrightSparks schools concerts. Find out why bassoonist Laura Vincent has a personal connection to our cause, and if she has any running tips.

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Why are you taking part in the 10K?

I'm actually a product of one of the LPO’s education schemes as a former Foyle Future First. This served as an orchestral apprenticeship giving intensive professional experience and mentoring and was of enormous benefit to me. In one sense it would be nice to give something back. However I am also acutely aware that having grown 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.

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

Since working with the Orchestra I have been involved with a number of programs including 'The Band'; I've worked with an autistic primary school class for a year, as well as at various workshops and school programs; and performed at schools’ concerts and BrightSparks concerts. I previously spent a number of years in New York and was heavily involved in education work with the New York Philharmonic and Carnegie Hall, and it has always been something I have actively sought out.

How experienced a runner are you?

I spent a number of years living in America and got roped into tour running then, in part to counter the excesses of the previous nights! One of the cohort bullied me into a half marathon and it spiralled from there. I now find myself a member of Dulwich Runners and participate with great enthusiasm, but little talent, in various local races ... It's nice to work hard at something that I don't particularly have to be any good at, yet gets me outside in my favourite environment with friends.

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

It's a great stress reliever and in some ways a natural beta blocker. More importantly it's easy to squeeze in to what can be a relentless schedule, and you can do it anywhere. It's also a fantastic way to get a quick sense of a city when you're on tour and makes you feel like you managed to at least see something other than the hotel and concert hall.

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

There are some great couch to 5K programs out there, including some fantastic beginners’ courses run by local running clubs if you need some moral support! It's a great community with room for all abilities. Also get yourself down to your local parkrun - they run free, weekly 5Ks across the entire country and are always looking for volunteers to help out. Helping out gives you a chance to connect with other runners of a really wide range of abilities. Ask questions and get a bit of inspiration!

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