Category Archives: 40 Before 40

Follow my journey towards my 40th birthday as I try to hit various milestones

CAMFED running challenge complete!

On 11th January 2018, after three months of matched fundraising, I started my own challenge to match the total of £1,068.68 in kilometres.

And today, I reached that target!

First I want to say thank you to everyone who donated to my CAMFED fundraising campaign, as well to everyone who has given me support over the last ten months. I know that running might not be everybody’s idea of fun, but I have to say, I’ve really enjoyed this challenge. So here is a brief recap of my year of running for CAMFED.

Once the total distance was locked in, obviously the first thing I did was some maths: I had 355 days to complete the challenge by the end of the year, which was almost exactly 3km per day or a half marathon per week. Definitely doable, but not something I had ever sustained over a long period. In fact, the total is almost as high as I’d managed in the previous 4 years combined!

Some highlights of the challenge:

  • Joining a running group, which has really helped me to enjoy it and increase my distance to reach my goal sooner than I expected;
  • The Cambridge Half Marathon in March, where I set a new personal best time in a race that was almost postponed due to snow and ice;
  • The Beeston Parkrun in June, where I was joined by my friends Miles, Adam, Andy, Alex, Chris, Tom, Jade, Fraser and Nicola in CAMFED shirts!
  • The Royal Parks Half Marathon in October, which is my favourite race and the one that kickstarted my running campaign last year.


Having a clear goal and an inspiring cause to run for helped me to focus and motivate me, especially during the early winter months. I’ve had ups and downs as the graphs below show, but in the end I’ve run on 113 out of 307 days.



How far above or below my target I was over the course of the year


Of course, the most satisfying part of the challenge is knowing that the money raised has gone towards establishing CAMFED’s award-winning Learner Guide Programme in Zambia. Read more about it HERE.


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But it’s not over yet…

Although I’ve now reached my target, my year of running isn’t over yet. On 2nd December 2018, I’m going to be running the Valencia Marathon! At the time of writing, that’s just 19 days away. If you would like to support me and CAMFED, you can donate on my fundraising page HERE.


Reto de Camfed completado

For the English version, go here.

El 11 de enero de 2018, después de tres meses de recaudación de fondos, comencé mi propio reto de correr 1,068.68 kilómetros.

Y hoy alcancé ese objetivo!

Primero quiero agradecer a todos los que donaron a CAMFED, así como a todos los que me han apoyado durante los últimos diez meses. Correr no es una idea de diversión para todos, pero realmente he disfrutado este reto. Aquí hay un breve resumen de mi año de correr para CAMFED.

Cuando se decidió la distancia total, obviamente lo primero que hice fue un poco de matemáticas. Tenía 355 días para completar el desafío, que era casi exactamente 3 km por día o un medio maratón por semana. Definitivamente posible, pero más que nada he hecho durante mucho tiempo. De hecho, ¡el total es casi tan alto como lo había logrado en los últimos 4 años combinados!

Algunos aspectos destacados del reto:

  • Me uní a un grupo de corredores, lo que me ha ayudado a disfrutarlo y aumentar mi distancia para alcanzar mi objetivo antes de lo que esperaba;
  • El Medio Maratón de Cambridge en marzo, donde establecí un nuevo mejor momento personal en una carrera que casi se pospuso debido a la nieve y el hielo;
  • El Beeston Parkrun en junio, donde me acompañaron mis amigos Miles, Adam, Andy, Alex, Chris, Tom, Jade, Fraser y Nicola en las camisetas de CAMFED.
  • El Royal Parks Half Marathon (Medio Maratón de los Parques Reales) en octubre, que es mi carrera favorita y la que inició mi campaña de recaudación de fondos el año pasado.

Tener un objetivo claro y una causa inspiradora me ayudó a concentrarme y motivarme, especialmente durante invierno. He tenido altibajos como muestran los gráficos a continuación, pero al final he ejecutado 113 días en 307.


Mi progreso


Más o menos que mi objetivo

Por supuesto, la parte más satisfactoria del reto es saber que el dinero recaudado se ha destinado a establecer el galardonado programa se llama “Learner Guides” (Guías de Aprendizaje) de CAMFED en Zambia. Lea más sobre esto AQUÍ.

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Pero aún no ha terminado …

Aunque ahora he alcanzado mi objetivo, mi año de corriendo aún no ha terminado. El 2 de diciembre de 2018, correré el Maratón de Valencia! Al momento de escribir, hay 19 días hasta la carrera.. Si desea apoyarme a mí y a CAMFED, puede donar en mi página de recaudación de fondos AQUÍ.

Learn how to juggle

This is part of my 40 Before 40 Challenge.

This is one of those things that just seems like something I should be able to do. People make it look so easy. Last year, one of my fellow volunteers tried to teach one of the children we were with how to juggle and after an hour or two she was making progress. So that’s it, it’s on the list.

Cook for at least 10 people

This is part of my 40 Before 40 Challenge.

This is another one that is pretty self-explanatory. Even though I’m not that into desserts, I suppose I should do it properly and make this a three-course affair. Really, it’s the sort of thing that should be on a “before 30” list (if at all) as you should be comfortable in the kitchen by then, after a decade of independence, but here we are. I wonder who will be lucky enough to be on the receiving end.

Learn to ride a bike with no hands

This is part of my 40 Before 40 Challenge.

I’m not entirely sure what % of people can do this, but plenty of people are shocked when they find out that my sister and I can’t ride a bike with no hands. I think most who can do it usually learned when they were kids, which makes it more surprising to hear we can’t. To be honest, I can’t really remember ever trying.

Anyway, I’ve recently bought a bike (the only way to travel in Cambridge), so that feels like half the battle. Also, the nonchalance of some cyclists while doing this makes me think it shouldn’t be too hard to get the hang of, but who knows. Continue reading

Photograph 100 Sunrises and 100 Sunsets

This is part of my 40 Before 40 Challenge.

I’ve been getting more into photography over the last year or two – not in a serious way, just taking more care when taking photos and actively trying to look for photo opportunities. Starting this blog helped actually because I needed images to complement my weekly updates from Bolivia. And obviously visiting some incredible places has helped too!

One thing I’ve learnt is that I’m a sucker for sunrise and sunset. I often make a special effort to seek them out when I’m on holiday, getting up at stupid o’clock and even running somewhere to get a good view. I suppose it’s understandable not to do this so much at “home”, especially when you’re (typically) in a full-time working routine, but I’ve tried to do better this year.

Which brings me to my challenge: I want 100 sunrises and 100 sunsets. I’ve got 8 years (roughly 100 months) to get some good ones and I have some in the bank already – I’ll do an inventory soon and maybe set up some sort of gallery.

Super-fast Zip Line

This is part of my 40 Before 40 Challenge.

I went zip lining in Mexico last year and it was ok, but the longest one was a couple of hundred metres and we didn’t really pick up much speed. That same week I was told about some more extreme versions that are either very long (over a mile) or very fast (over 100mph) – or even both!

So that’s when zip lining went on my list. I heard about one in Northern Mexico, another in continental Europe, but at the moment I’ve got my eye on this one in Wales: Continue reading