Running to make a difference

Running to make a difference

Our 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon runner Morag shares her story.

The iconic Virgin Money London Marathon is the largest annual one-day fundraising event in the world. Runners have raised more than £1 billion for good causes since the race began in 1981, and today charities need this money more than ever. Covid-19 has meant it is not possible for the race to go ahead as usual, so for the first time ever the event will take place virtually. We’re delighted that this year Morag Small is preparing to don her running shoes for the marathon in aid of the Foundling Museum. The virtual 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon will take place on Sunday 4 October and participants can choose to run, walk or jog the 26.2 miles – making the event the most inclusive London Marathon ever. Visit Morag’s sponsorship page.

Morag, 41, from Cambridgeshire, talks about her experience of running and why she’s supporting the Museum.

How did you get in to running?

‘I started running in my early 30’s through the Race for Life events for Cancer Research. My ambition grew and I’ve wanted to run the London Marathon for years – so a more experienced friend suggested I start with a half marathon. Since then (I’m now 41!) I’ve run three London Royal Park Half Marathons and the Cambridge City Half Marathon. I’ve climbed Snowdon too, just to get my stamina up!’

Where will you be running the virtual marathon?

‘I’ll be running the London Marathon locally through the fields and fenlands of Cambridgeshire. I have two more big training runs left of 19 and 22 miles, and then it’s countdown time!’

Why are you running in aid of the Foundling Museum?

‘I’ll be giving the marathon everything I’ve got because I really believe in what the Foundling Museum stands for. Not only is their heritage fascinating, it also provides a lens for people to explore a challenging period in history, and demonstrates why art and culture play such a vital part in supporting young people’s future today. Their insight and commitment is inspiring. I hope to raise as much money as possible to support them through this difficult period and ensure they remain present and robust for many years to come.’

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

‘I moved to Cambridgeshire last Christmas after living in London for the last 20 years and having worked for Tate, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and the National Theatre as a fundraiser. I live in a little Grade II cottage in a small village, once home to Cromwell and Peyps. My lurcher Magnus keeps me fit (along with the training!) and when I have spare time I love paddle boarding, canoeing and travelling. Currently lockdown has me exploring all sorts of local boltholes and learning to garden under guidance from my Dad!’

The money Morag raises will provide vital support for the Museum in the aftermath of Covid-19. The challenges we all face are unprecedented and the loss of income as a result of our closure during lockdown could put the Museum at risk. As a registered charity with no core public funding, it is the generous support of individuals and organisations that enables us to display our Collections, realise our vibrant temporary exhibitions and run our many learning programmes with vulnerable young people.

Update 5 October 2020. Morag completed the London Marathon on Sunday 4 October and raised over £3,000 (including gift aid) for the Museum and its work.