How Running the Uganda Marathon Made My Year

How Running the Uganda Marathon Made My Year

A year ago in December, I made the decision to take on a challenge in 2015. I was going to run the Uganda Marathon. I’d dabbled in running now and then, but I was far from a ‘seasoned runner’. Neither was I particularly fit at the time- a gym member, yes, but in name only. But when I heard about the prospect of the Uganda Marathon, it felt like too good an opportunity to miss. Despite my nerves, I decided to take the plunge… …And the good news is…on May 24th 2015, I crossed the finish line and completed the Uganda Marathon! Now, twelve months after signing up and six months after race day, I reflect on what a big (and surprising) impact the marathon has had on my entire year. It’s definitely made 2015 one to remember… Getting Fit & Training After I signed up, the first thing I knew I had to do was to start training, especially as I was out of shape. The initial target: to run 3K. And WOW…did that feel like a long way! But once I settle into a routine, things started to became easier and gradually I was able to increase the distances I was covering. Eventually I reached 5K, then 10K, and so on. Before I knew it, I was actually starting to enjoy running and becoming engaged with it. I was setting targets to improve. Having the marathon booked kept me motivated, and even better, small runs were adding up and I was getting fitter! And a nice bonus too: regular exercise was helping me to feel energized throughout the rest of my week. Fundraising for a Great Cause Shortly...
Early bird nearly over – Glamping spots over half gone!

Early bird nearly over – Glamping spots over half gone!

That’s the view from one side of the Athlete’s Village, overlooking the green rolling hills of rural Uganda. Places are going quickly – our Early Bird prices expire on 12th January, so tick off your new year’s resolution and sign up before that date to ensure you don’t pay more than you have too. Also, if you want a glamping spot – meaning we’ll set you up a mattress, pillow and sheets in a large canvas safari tent with some other home comforts – then get in quick! Unsurprisingly this is by far our most popular option, and more than half the spaces have been snapped up already. See you in...
UGM Runners’ Community- November Wrap Up

UGM Runners’ Community- November Wrap Up

Each month we’ll be dedicating a blog post to the latest goings-on within the Uganda Marathon (UGM) runners’ community. We’ll be including news and shout outs for both 2015 and 2016 runners, as well as team members. After all, a big part of the Uganda Marathon is about the community its created for everyone involved. Moving forward, we’ll be posting these at the beginning of each month. But as so many great things happened in November, we didn’t want you to miss out on these! So better late than never, here’s a round up of what’s been happening in the UGM runner’s community in November… #ExerkCLR Movember Challenge: UGM Team Claims 3rd Place! Some of our international runners, alongside Henry and Andy, formed a team and entered into the Exerk Circle Line Relay challenge. As a team they ran the distance of the Circle Line Underground route, taking selfies along the way, with the hashtag #ExerkCLR to raise awareness for Movember Foundation UK. They covered 17 miles collectively and claimed 3rd place, whilst having a lot of fun. A massive well done to all the participants in support of a great cause! Uganda Marathon Presents: World Changing Ideas Event At Escape the City’s ‘Escape School’ in Central London, the UGM hosted the event, ‘World Changing Ideas’ on 12th November. We heard an update from Henry about progress in Uganda, but also about five other inspiring organisations set up to make a difference in people’s lives. Plus it was great chance to catch up with 2015 runners over a beer, and meet those taking the plunge in 2016 too. And even better…this night helped to raise £1434 for the Ugandan...
Why I took the plunge… and decided to run 26 miles in Uganda

Why I took the plunge… and decided to run 26 miles in Uganda

One year ago, in December 2014, having never stepped foot in Africa and possessing limited running experience, I decided to take on a massive challenge. I decided to enter Uganda’s first ever international marathon and run 26 miles on the equator.   Where it all began… My story actually starts in November, the month before. I’d just received a phone call from my university friend, Andy Bownds. He’d been working as a manager for a London charity for the past two years, but was keen to find a new challenge. He had some exciting news- he’d been offered a job in Uganda, developing a new marathon scheme, as the organisation’s Community Partnership Manager, where he would be working on the charity side of the event. It sounded like an amazing opportunity and one that suited him perfectly, especially as he’d been thinking about moving out to Africa. I was happy for him. So a few weeks later, me and some university friends organised a night out to see Andy off on his travels. It was there he suggested I should get involved in the marathon and sign up. He explained how the marathon worked, and it sounded great, but my initial reaction was my head filling with a million reasons why I couldn’t do it… “I’m not fit enough…I don’t have enough time to train…I don’t have the time or money to do the event…I’m not sure if anyone will sponsor me….Me? Run 26 miles on the equator!?” So my reply was, “no I can’t”, but as Andy was a good friend, I agreed to give it some more thought, despite the doubts in my head.  ...
Our 10 Tips for Creating an Awesome Fundraising Page

Our 10 Tips for Creating an Awesome Fundraising Page

Fundraising is a massive part of the Uganda Marathon. Whilst there is no set target that you have to raise in order to come, Masaka Town and the amazing NGOs who work with the communities have opened their doors for runners to come and experience this incredible place, so in return we do all we can fundraise for the work that they are doing. So after you’ve signed up for the marathon, you’ll be able to start thinking about which of the 11 projects you want to fundraise for, and what your target fundraising amount is. Once you’ve done this, it’s time to set up your fundraising page! If you’re looking to do this now, we’ve set up a handy page, with instructions on how to do this for The Uganda Marathon. This can be quite an intimidating task – the page that you’ll build is going to be the link that you send people who want to support you, the page that people will see on your Facebook, the front page of your fundraising. You need to get this one right! So to support you in this, we’ve put together our top 9 tips for setting up a fundraising page, these have been put together from many years experience, having seen many different fundraising page. Make sure you give it a read before you put yours together. Tip 1: Personalise your page Make sure you fill your page up with lots of information about you and the project. Don’t just leave the standard blurb up because your friends and family won’t be able to relate it to you. Tip...

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