MEET THE TEAM
Founder of Secret London Runs
Vanessa set up Secret London Runs in 2015 to combine her love of running, history and London. In the early days, Vanessa balanced Secret London Runs with her work in the City. In 2019 Vanessa became a mother and now juggles her work on Secret London Runs around her son, Ezra.
Vanessa has always loved sport, especially hockey, squash and netball and got into running through obstacle course racing. She's run a couple of marathons and loves reading - especially about London's history. She leads most of our themed running tours and sightseeing tours, but she has a special interest in Street Art and will be focusing on both the Shoreditch Street Art and South London Street Art tours in 2020.
Vanessa has a MA in Philosophy from the University of Cambridge. She wishes it was history and is now trying to find an excuse (and time) to do a PhD.
Maxine is a fitness instructor and mum of three. She discovered Secret London Runs through a friend, and fell in love with the genius concept, combining her love of the social fun side of running with learning about it’s hidden history.
She has a blast being part of the Christmas lights tour team last year, and is very excited to be one of the guides on the new Crime And Punishment tour.
Maxine has a marathon p.b of 3:09 and has previously qualified to represent Great Britain in her age group (V40) in sprint duathlon.
Having lived on the London Marathon route in Greenwich for 5 years, our American guide Matt decided to combat his lack of fitness and train for the Brighton Marathon 2015, having never run before! He's now completed 14 marathons, including London.
Matt joined the Secret London Runs crew in 2019 and you can run with him on Magic of the London Marathon, Secret Gin Run, Christmas Lights Run and sightseeing tours round the City and London Bridge.
Matt works as a music teacher for a secondary school and is also the coaching and long run coordinator of London Frontrunners.
Josh is a primary school teacher who has been involved in Secret London Runs since inception. Not necessarily by choice - his wife Vanessa is our Founder! But in 2019 Josh realised that he could help out with Secret London Runs and involve his great passion - craft beer! So, after some very thorough research, he launched the Craft Beer Running Tour in East London. Josh also leads sightseeing tours of the City of London and Southwark and London's Power Women.
Josh has got a first class degree in Creative Writing from the University of Essex.
Ronnie is better known among her running buddies as Marathon Gran, her blogging name. She loves exploring two cities on the run: the first is her home city of London and the second is her adopted city of Berlin, where her Grandsons live. She has lots of fun leading the Secret Gin Run, the Christmas Lights Running Tour and her personal favourite, The Magic of the London Marathon. Ronnie can't believe her luck finding a role that allows her to showcase her two specialist subjects: London and distance running.
Ronnie has a BA Hons in English Literature from Sheffield University, a Postgraduate Diploma in Periodical journalism and is a Level 3 Personal Trainer.
Clare lives in Bedfordshire with her husband, two kids, dog and chickens. She started off as a customer and loved the concept of combining running and history; two of her favourite things. She joined the early team in early 2019 and leads private tours around the Royal Parks and Westminster and she also leads the Jack the Ripper Tours.
Clare is a BSL interpreter by trade and so we have been able to make the tours more inclusive by offering tours in sign language to the deaf community.
Vikki went along to a Secret Gin Run in 2017 and absolutely loved it! She couldn’t believe she'd found an activity that combined her love of running, history, London AND gin. Fast forward a few months later when Vanessa was looking for new guides - Vikki was all over it! Vikki absolutely loves leading tours showing off our beautiful city and it’s wealth of history. You can find her leading the Secret Gin Run, Power Women of the East End, the Chasing of the Guard and Jack the Ripper.
When she's not leading tours she works at Heathrow Airport.
Vikki has a degree in History & Sociology from St Mary's University.
Customer Services Manager
Chris joined our online admin team to oversee the popular Christmas Lights running tours for the 2019 season. He was so efficient that we snapped him up afterwards to manage our customer services. He's also working with us on a much-needed website refresh.
When he's not studying for his A levels he enjoys exploring his love of travelling and geography.
Before joining us, Chris took part in our 5k Murder Mystery event in 2017.
Guide in Training
Ezra is the son of Vanessa and Josh and lives with them at Secret London Runs HQ in Peckham. Born in July 2019, Ezra had been on his first Secret London Runs tour by the time he was 2 weeks old (Vanessa had written the new Great Fire of London tour and needed to scope out the route). Subsequently, Ezra has tested out a number of Secret London Runs tours in his running buggy and will be leading tours as soon as he's able to walk.
Ezra has an impressive knowledge of street art - when he was a tiny baby, his parents took him to see a different piece of street art every day.
Emma is an actress who joined the Secret London Runs team in 2019 after falling in love with the company as a customer!
Originally from Leicester, Emma has lived in London for 20 years and is a true London fan. You can join her to explore the East End's Street Art or the haunts of Jack the Ripper and, if you're lucky, she may even throw in a few stories about Shakespeare and the history of London theatre...!
Emma has a BA Hons in English Literature from the University of Sheffield.
Ian is a history teacher, currently also studying for his Masters in Education. When he's not leading our Craft Beer, Gin, Sex and Scandal, Coffee or Christmas Lights running tours, you'll find him geeking out on more history to bring to the table, or running his next race. Ian has run 5 marathons and is currently training for his first Ironman distance triathlon that he hopes to complete in 2020. We're not quite sure how Ian fits it all in, but we're very glad he does!
Ian has a BA in International History from Leeds University.
Eleanor has been guiding for Secret London Runs since the beginning of 2019.
A born and bred South Londoner, she studied History at Sussex University and Social Research at the London School of Economics and has been a keen runner for more than 3 decades.
You can share her passion for London's history on sightseeing tours of Westminster, the Royal Parks and discovering the Power Women who have shaped London's history.