Monday, 9 February 2009

Charity and fame in 2007

I thought it might be an idea to write about the Seven Suns thing I did for KEF in 2007 (mainly for me, but also because new friends won't know about this).

So, I was asked by a colleague if I’d like to raise some funds for the Kashmir Education Foundation, to help them build high quality schools and train teachers in Kashmir and Northern Pakistan. It turned into a thing called ‘Seven Runs on Seven Suns’ (7 marathons on consecutive weekends) and I raised over £3000 through sponsorship. The money went towards building the school at Banjosa in Kashmir. The KEF schools teach an English curriculum to underprivileged children who end up with strings of A* grade GCSEs and progress to go on to study at good universities.

During this challenge, the KEF website was updated each week with pictures and a short report on how the events were going. [You can still see all this by going to, clicking on ‘News’ then ‘Update’ next to Seven Runs…]

The marathons went very well, if a little slow in the heat, and I especially enjoyed the fancy dress event (with my ‘SuperMath’ costume designed by pupils from my school). To raise the profile of the charity, I also w
ent on a couple of local radio shows and even managed a quick chat with Colin Jackson on Tower Bridge during the London marathon, which was broadcast on BBC (also linked to on the KEF website). I was a featured ‘runner of the week’ on the Nike+ website too, where I shared a page with Paula Radcliffe! In the end I completed 8 marathons in 50 days, which I was proud of, but even better was the trip to Kashmir and Pakistan in April 2008 to visit the KEF schools and to officially open the ‘Anna Finn Library’ at Pearl Valley Public School. Jim got to come too as he had been chief photographer for the enterprise. It was a fascinating trip.

In order, the photos in this post are of:

1. Banjosa School in the process of being built (Kashmir, April 2008)
2. Me relaxing before the Shakespeare Marathon 3. Jim said I had to include this one of me running the London Marathon. He says the man behind me can see my reflection in a window… 4. The SuperMath costume. It had a geeky sigma-mu symbol on the front, but that fell off before the end of the run. 5. The Pearl Valley School, Pakistan (where ‘my’ library is) 6. Opening the library 7. Being read to in the library 8. Sharing a webpage with Miss Radcliffe 9. If you clicked on me it linked to my interview.10. Recent picture of Banjosa School (opening very soon)

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