Personal account: Caroline Blakely

Children with Leukaemia's head of events loves living in camper vans.

The best advice I've had

My uncle, who was an actor, once said to me: "Lifeis not a dress rehearsal." He was sadly lost to leukaemia, aged only 56.

The biggest challenge I've faced

At the Great North Run a few years ago (that's me at the race, on the right of the picture), I tried to save the charity some money by hiring a camper van and staying at a caravan park about 35 miles north of Newcastle. The park was perched precariously on the edge of a precipice and was a frightening cross between the house in Carry on Screaming and the Bates Motel from Psycho.

On race morning, the alarm went off at 4am and I discovered there was no water and no power in the caravan - which, at the time, was packed with food and drinks for our team of 700.

We endured 45 very unhappy minutes because no one else seemed to be staying at the park. Eventually I managed to flag down a passing tractor to help give me a jump-start with only minutes to spare before the roads were closed.

My greatest hit

Growing the Mr Men and LittleMiss running team at Children with Leukaemia to just under £3m per annum and growing the number, scope and scale of running events at the charity while ensuring that each and every runner is left in no doubt as to how important they are to our work.

My worst moment

Once more in a camper van, we were driving back after the Marathon of Britain in Nottingham in 2003 - it's a six-day, 175-mile foot race - when I spied some of our signage along the route.

We pulled over so I could cut it down, but unfortunately I managed to slashopen my thumb.My colleague had a phobia about blood and, sadly, couldn't really offer much help. We finally found a hospital after about an hour - 10stitches later I was almost as good as new.

My top tip

Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy. I think it's so important to enjoy whatever job you are in. If you have a passion for your job, it's so much more rewarding. My uncle's words ring true: life is not a dress rehearsal, and you should enjoy every second and make the most of it.

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