Making waves in Colombia

Posted by in Blogs, Colombia, Travel

After a few months of radio silence (how is it September already?!), I am finally capable of articulating and summarising the life less ordinary I find myself living since leaving The City.

Now working in Colombia, as you can see from my instagram posts, I think it’s safe to say that the country is treating me pretty well. While my current lifestyle could not be much further away from my past 5 years, you’ll be relieved to know that I have adjusted remarkably well!

In July I started working with Impact Marathon Series, setting up running events with a focus on social impact in countries that could do with a helping hand. 

 

Instagram @eXerKyourself

Sustainable Development Goals_E_Final sizesThe concept of the impact marathon lies in using the power of running to bring people together to support the hard work of local foundations. For each marathon we have selected three United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and charities that work within that framework to fulfil those objectives.

You are all cordially invited to join us - Nepal and Colombia are fast approaching so definitely get on those asap! Would be AMAZING to have you there as part of the team. I really do think it will be the most special holiday you'll have had in a long time...

As operations manager for the Colombia event, it’s up to me to get the February 2017 event in Santa Marta, a city on the Caribbean coast, off the ground. Working within a great and global IMS team, and an ever growing network of extremely kind Colombians our inaugural year of the annual event is set to be awesome.

We are putting together a week of volunteering so participants can visit and work with the very communities they are fundraising for. The week culminates in a three-distance (marathon, half marathon and 5km) running event, where we will run with hundreds, even thousands of Colombian runners.

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The marathon course itself is stunning - starting in the mountains, we run through jungle, down along a river, and into Santa Marta, a city on the Caribbean coast, to finish up on the beach. It really is something special and has to be seen to be believed...www.colombiamarathon.com 

Here’s a little something we put together – a summary of my IMS Colombia journey to date so you can get some idea of the vibe:

IMG_9938As you can imagine, there are lots of moving parts and stakeholders to manage – permissions from government, accommodation, planning the volunteering days, marketing, sponsorship searches – I love it!

Am working as part of a team passionate about the cause – namely the power of running for doing good. I feel like the relationship and project management side of my banking career, my 52in52 eXerK project and the years of fun spent learning Spanish were made for this positive work.

The human interactions are awesome, diverse and often hugely moving. To get to one particular meeting this week, I crossed a rope bridge and hiked 40 minutes up into the Sierra Nevada to meet one of the communities that were displaced from their homes due to the violence of illegal armed forces. My commute home at dusk was on a horse…beats my Clerkenwell cycle home just a bit! 

IMG_0530Travel linked with valuable work is proving right up my street and am loving getting to know Santa Marta and Colombia in such a meaningful way. All in all a little bit chuffed with my lot right now.

Will be back with updates on my travels too...it's not all work out here...Instagram is the best place to go for the time being: @eXerKyourself

And for all of you wanting travel advice for Colombia - will be putting some articles out on my Evening Standard column in the coming months.