eXerK

Over to you – tips for travel in Colombia

Posted by in Colombia, Travel

It’s not for no reason that I have chosen to spend five months in Colombia thanks to my work helping organise Colombia International Marathon and the associated Impact Week. I managed to get to know the country a fair bit during the three months spent working and travelling in Colombia from July to October 2016. There is still lots more to explore but for now here is the low down on the places I got to know, as well as a teaser for Colombian music, festivals and books. What to do in…read more

What to do in Santa Marta, Colombia

Posted by in Blogs, Colombia, Travel

Go to Santa Marta if you like: Laid back cities, sunsets, hot temperatures, beaches and mountains on your doorstep. How long to spend there? A night or two to relax and enjoy the cafés, bars and restaurants and branch out to the surrounding beaches. You may find yourself using Santa Marta as a base for all the trips you can do from the city. As this review became quite long, here are the contents – scroll down to find: A BIT OF CONTEXT BEST CAFES WITH WIFI IN SANTA MARTA? WHERE TO EAT…read more

And boy did we reggae

Posted by in Blogs, Colombia, Travel

Getting into the swing of Colombian life, my third month was dedicated to the arduous task of exploring the beach scene. You can’t spend 3 months in Colombia, most of which living 300m from the coast, yet only spend 1 afternoon on the beach. It was an imbalance I had to right: 16 days is more like it, right? Right. Lucky for me, remote working life was helped considerably by whatsapp being omnipresent in Colombian society – work or play. In fact, if you were to ask me to draw a…read more

Solo backpacking with friends and a wheely bag

Posted by in Blogs, Colombia, Travel

The tail end of Hurricane Matthew is whipping its way along the Caribbean Coast and with drainage and electricity grids up in arms, I have found some peace and quiet to catch up on travel updates (like 3 months of them…). In two days I come to the end of an incredible few months in Colombia. A unique mix of work, play and travel, has enabled me to connect with a huge range of people and I have felt extremely welcome here. My quick(ish) summary below takes you through the highlights….read more

Colombia: 10 adventure activities you can do in the South American country

Posted by in Blogs, Colombia, Travel

The allure of Colombia is increasing by the day and with the developing peace negotiations, there is no time like the present to visit the country. While any travel to Colombia will be exciting, you can add to the thrill with these top adventure activities. Direct flights from London to Bogotá with Avianca and a good network of national flights and buses mean that can see a remarkable amount of Colombia’s biodiversity and culture even in just a 2 week break from work – you’ll want to stay for longer…read more

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…read more

If I start a band it will be called: Annie + The Dolomites

Posted by in Blogs, Climb, Cycle, Gentle, Hike, Homemade events, Long weekend abroad, Medium, Organised events, Other, Run, Tough, Travel

Hola! Before I get too swept up in Colombia life (more on that in a couple of weeks), the fruits of my week long trip to the Dolomites are ready. My memories have been converted into tangible, viewable, readable matter: Fun little video of the sights I saw doing the things I do Travel review with the finer details for Evening Standard Online Photo updates on social media Click on the pictures to see the memories with your own eyes. Watch the video   Read the article Last but not least,…read more

How to organise a weekend adventure

Posted by in Blogs

The when, where, how and what of organising a weekend adventure can seem so daunting that weeks, months, years pass and we never actually get anywhere. As you can imagine, the logistics of last year’s weekly challenges, completed alongside my full time job in banking, means I rank myself pretty high in the authority of weekend organisation skills.   Ideas, time and money are the most common excuses. They are easily surmountable. Ideas are only a chance encounter/ pub chat/ internet search away. Your time is yours so make a conscious decision to…read more

Running the Causeway Coast Way in Northern Ireland

Posted by in Blogs

I gathered from two passers-by, who shook their heads in disbelief and/or disapproval as we ran by chirping good morning, that a long weekend running coastal trails may not be everyone’s idea of fun. But it is mine, and lucky for me, it is Sophie’s too. A dream of seeing the Giant’s Causeway, a text with a yes in reply, 2 days booked off work and £45 return flights. We were off to run the Causeway Coast Way, a 50k (33-mile) stretch along the coast of Northern Ireland, between Carrick-a-Rede and Portstewart….read more

Evening talks about fun stuff

Posted by in Blogs

Morning morning people, Stand-up, shrug your shoulders, inhale, exhale, arms up, lean left, lean right, smile. Feeling better? If not, I know a sure fire way to get you pumped about life. Evening talks about fun stuff. The talks aren’t just talks. They’re hubs for ideas to fly, dreams to soar and positive human connections to lift off. At the beginning of December, my ES Online fitness column featured a selection of top adventure evening & weekend events. Here’s a little reminder, plus a few extras, of the events that are coming…read more

The challenges are complete and the eXerK NYE dance mashup is up and ready!

Posted by in Blogs

A couple of weeks late in getting this out to you but, with the 52nd on New Year’s Eve, 52 weeks after the start date, I completed my 52 sporting challenges. What a year! The final dance challenge mash up is down below at the end of the email. Imagine if I hadn’t trapped that fleeting (somewhat crazy) idea as it whizzed through my mind one sleepless night. Just imagine! The diversity of sports, the breadth of experience and the variety of people I got to spend time with were all incredible and beyond my wildest imagination. Though I teetered…read more

48 down, 4 to go

Posted by in Blogs

It hasn’t been that long since I wrote a post titled “4 down, 48 to go”. Flash forward 11 months and with 12 days and 4 challenges to go, things are looking good for finishing the goal I set myself. 52 sporting challenges in 52 weeks. This afternoon I’m playing my first (and let’s not say last yet) ever 9 holes of golf. On Monday, the challenge is to swim as far as we can in 52 minutes. This is the last one that we can all do together so…read more

Mid-week call to action

Posted by in Blogs

Hello hello, Hope you are all well. Below is a quick mid-week rally for eXerKy things happening in the next week. I know it’s a quiet time of year for us all so figured I’d help you fill the gaps…! 1. Challenge no. 47: BMX taster session – Saturday 12th Dec at 12.30pm at Lee Valley Olympic Park – £15 tickets – there are only 5 tickets left – buy them quick 2. Challenge no. 47: Statue Walk – Sunday 13th Dec at 10.30am Liverpool Street / 2pm Hyde Park…read more

If you like what I’m doing, donate to Sported!

Posted by in Blogs

Hi all, Having written an Evening Standard article about fundraising for sporting challenges last week, it’s about time I made a concerted effort to share my passion for the eXerK chosen charity, and ask for your generosity in supporting them. Click here to give straight away:   and read on for some background as to why they are completely worth us parting with our hard earning cash for. Sported is a charity I’ve been following for a few years now, and which completely aligns with the importance I place in physical activity. Their…read more

Dates for your diary

Posted by in Blogs

With 40 days left before the end of the year, and 8 challenges still to go, would love to see/ meet you all at least one more time before the 52in52 year is out. While you’ve got time this weekend, check out the below and see if any fit with your interests and your diary. Tomorrow – CIRCLE LINE RELAY. Not too late to join so please do come along and join the 80 people already signed up! 10.30am Sheldon Square by Paddington. Join eXerK, Wistla and Movember Mon 23rd…read more

October catch up

Posted by in Blogs

Behind schedule at the end of a strategically slower September, I got back on my rocket during October and whizzed through 6 challenges with 63 of you joining me on them. Thank you for making them all such a pleasure to put together and participate in. Loved sharing them with you. The first of the month was one of my urban touring challenges. 45km cycling between all 11 of the Royal Parks, starting in Greenwich Park and ending in Bushey Park was an awesome way to explore London. Boy are we lucky…read more

September summary

Posted by in Blogs

Just in the nick of time, before I owe you October’s challenge updates, here’s the eXerK September run down. It involves links to city friendly fitness, active holidays, mud, diddy kong and a fun video. Here goes…. In non-challenge happenings, I gave my first talk on the 52in52 challenges and started writing a weekly fitness column for Evening Standard Online. Exciting stuff right?!   The first four are up and doing well: 5 innovative London fitness groups that will shake up your exercise routine 4 steps to overcoming your obstacles…read more

What is Tough Mudder like?

Posted by in Blogs

As you probably saw from the elephant-like photos on eXerK’s Facebook and Instagram, I completed, not my first obstacle course, but my first Tough Mudder over the weekend. Despite being skeptical, I was really impressed. From the outset, everything had been thought of – from face marking, crowd surfing and human pyramid building in the initiation zone to the essential team photos at the end. There is no doubt that Tough Mudder is a brand, complete with corporate partners, and a price tag, but they execute well. You feel part of…read more

Upsetting the balance

Posted by in Blogs

It happened people. Eight months in, my mind and body decided enough was enough last week. Fast forward through a few days of sleep, reading, painting, baking, catching up with friends and going home to my parents’ house and I’ve had a bit of a revelation. It transpires that, though my fitness is better than it has ever been, my overall health is pretty poor. Rush rush rush Rushing around trying to cram everything in, not sleeping enough, eating whatever is most convenient is a quick way to a pretty…read more

Not because it’s easy but because it’s hard

Posted by in Blogs

We all have goals, dreams, ambitions which we hang onto but don’t believe we’ll ever get around to achieving. Why do we do that to ourselves? In my mind, either we’re not setting ourselves the right challenges (to be explored in a talk I’m giving next month), or we’re holding back on our true potential and propping ourselves up with excuses (to be explored right now). Our dreams to live in the mountains, move to Cape Town, own a café, learn to samba. They are all achievable, but bizarrely we’re not doing anything…read more

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