Paul Anticoni, Chief Executive, World Jewish Relief

Paul Anticoni, Chief Executive, World Jewish Relief

Running over 100 miles in four days through an African terrain of high altitude and extreme heat sounds like a punishment, but for the chief executive of World Jewish Relief, it’s the perfect way to celebrate your 50th birthday.

As he sought to raise money for Syrian and Ukrainian refugees fleeing war in their two countries, Paul Anticoni this week faced accusations of a mid-life crisis, after declaring: “I am in complete denial about turning 50!”

Together with three friends, he will tackle four marathons in four days in Morocco, from the High Atlas Mountains down to Djebel Sahrho, with the group navigating desert, snakes, scorpions and landslides – all of which Anticoni finds relaxing.

“When I ran my first marathon for World Jewish Relief I found the training and running so therapeutic and healthy that I became addicted,” he said.

“Running is my escape from the challenges of work yet it relaxes me, helps me think through problems and gives me greater energy to face the next big thing. I wanted to find a challenge that would push me yet be fun and a bit different.”

The charity this week welcomed the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a series of targets and indicators to bring an end to world poverty by 2030 which were ratified by all 193 member states at the United Nations.

“These goals give vital direction for governments to lift their own citizens out of poverty as well as providing a way for civil society to hold governments to account,” said Anticoni. “Together we can end poverty and let everyone live lives of dignity.”

You can donate to his fundraising campaign here.