Interview with a UGM Runner – Helen Spencer

Interview with a UGM Runner – Helen Spencer

Here, we interview runners who have participated in the Uganda Marathon, so they can share their stories and experiences from the 7-Day Adventure. After all, it’s their involvement which makes the week so special, from the impact they have on the projects, to community feel they give to the race. Helen joined us for the event as she saw it as a great opportunity to visit Uganda for the first-time, as well as tick off another major on her bucket list – Gorilla Trekking. Below, she gives a detailed account of finally getting the chance to fulfil a lifelong dream, as well as her time with the projects. Plus, a self-described ‘non-runner’ she talks about participating in the half-marathon…where Race Day happen to fall on her birthday!   1. What made you sign up to the Uganda Marathon? Having travelled and worked for NGOs all over Africa, Uganda had always evaded me and fascinated me. Therefore the chance to potentially use my Veterinary skills, by helping out with a rural project with a group of people from all over the world, plus the challenge of attempting a 1/2 marathon was a win-win situation for me. I needed an aim for the year, having lost a bit of momentum in life, and this sounded like just the adventure I was looking for. I heard Henry and Andy [the founders] talk at a few events in London the year before, and their enthusiasm and clear love for the area really resonated with me. I didn’t know anyone else going, but knew of people who were thinking of going this year, via Yestival and the Project Awesome crew, so I was fairly hopeful that I’d...
UGM Photoblog: 30 Inspirational Images Summing Up the Seven-Day Adventure

UGM Photoblog: 30 Inspirational Images Summing Up the Seven-Day Adventure

Often we get asked, ‘what is the Uganda Marathon?’ And to be honest, that’s a great question! Yes – it’s a (very special) race through rural Uganda, where participants can take on a marathon, half-marathon or 10-kilometre challenge. But it’s also much more than that. Afterall, Race Day only makes up a single day of the 7-Day Adventure. In short, it’s a week-long festival of challenge, travel, volunteering, fundraising, self-discovery and new friendships, all whilst exploring Ugandan culture and leaving an incredible lasting legacy to help the local community. But as they say, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, so here’s our photoblog summing up what the 7-Day Adventure is all about…   The 7-Day Adventure… A fantastic, once in a lifetime, race…               …But a week that is so much more: Fundraise for the causes you care about…       Then, meet the very people you’ve been helping through fundraising, as you volunteer at the Charity Projects…       Organise a sports day for the children of the projects…     Explore the Ugandan Culture…       Make new friendships and join a community…   Discover more about yourself…       Choose your distance… Choose your accommodation…       Overall, leave an incredible legacy    ...
Interview with a UGM Runner – Simon Reeve

Interview with a UGM Runner – Simon Reeve

Here, we interview runners who have participated in the Uganda Marathon, so they can share their stories and experiences from the 7-Day Adventure. After all, it’s their involvement which makes the week so special, from the impact they have on the projects, to community feel they give to the race. Simon, from London, joined us when he was looking for a different type of challenge. During the week itself, he stayed at Athletes’ Village, ran the 42K, and volunteered at Youth with a Vision’ – using his professional skills to mentor the very students he’d fundraised for in the lead up to the event.   1.      What made you sign up for the Uganda Marathon and was it what you expected? I signed up for Uganda Marathon as I was looking for a different sort of experience. I had done one marathon previously (London) and wanted to take on a completely different challenge in 2017. I hadn’t been to Africa before so when my friend Clare signed up for UGM and asked me to join her, it seemed to tick all the boxes; a unique challenge, a country I had never been to, and the opportunity to give up some of my time to benefit other people. It was everything I expected and more. I thought Uganda would be a great country to visit but it really blew my mind. It was incredibly beautiful and the people are amazing. So happy, friendly and welcoming. The marathon was the perfect end to a special week.   2.      During the week, you stayed at Athletes’ Village. How was it? I loved the Athletes’ Village....
Interview with a UGM Runner- Mandi Maripise

Interview with a UGM Runner- Mandi Maripise

Here, we interview runners who have participated in the Uganda Marathon, so they can share their stories and experiences from the 7-Day Adventure. After all, it’s their involvement which makes the week so special, from the impact they have on the projects, to community feel they give to the race. A student from the University of Essex, Mandi joined us having won her place in the Uganda Marathon! Having never run a race before, let alone a long distance one, she took on our half marathon event and fundraised for the project ‘Youth with a Vision’.   1. What made you sign up to the Uganda Marathon? Umm, well I won a free place on the adventure week and I guess it would’ve been quite impolite not to go, right? Well, to backtrack, I saw an advert on Facebook for ‘BEST WEEK OF YOUR LIFE’ (or something along those lines) and I thought it looked interesting… I clicked, liked and shared the advert on Facebook to enter the competition without giving it too much thought and the next thing I knew, I’d WON a trip to Uganda to run a race (I will never get tired of telling this story and the reactions it rouses)! I then had to do some digging and find out what this adventure of a lifetime was all about and who the people behind it were! A week after winning, I met Emily and the rest of the wonderful UGM team at the January fundraiser in London.  I knew I was in good hands and I very keenly accepted the prize. So for me, having won...
Interview with two UGM Runners – Prudence & Bob Baldwin

Interview with two UGM Runners – Prudence & Bob Baldwin

Here, we interview runners who have participated in the Uganda Marathon, so they can share their stories and experiences from the 7-Day Adventure. After all, it’s their involvement which makes the week so special, from the impact they have on the projects, to community feel they give to the race. Prudence and Bob joined us all the way from Florida in the USA and participated in the full marathon event, running 42 Kilometers through rural Uganda for the Charity Project, STEP (Support for the Elderly Person). At 65 years old themselves, they prove age is no barrier to taking part in the 7-Day Adventure…all that’s needed is a positive attitude and a desire to help the local Ugandan community!   1. What made you both sign up for the Uganda Marathon and was it what you expected? For several years we have supported a young Ugandan woman and her son. Prudence had never had the opportunity to meet them and was searching for a reason to travel to Uganda. On a whim, she googled Uganda Marathon and that was our first introduction to a “race like no other.” This seemed like a perfect opportunity to achieve two bucket list items, to meet Judith and Brandon and run a marathon in another country. The unique service (ie. volunteering) component sold us on the opportunity. Our week in Masaka was so much more than we expected. Beginning with the first introductions, international friendships were made because of our common goals of serving and running. The warm and inviting local community did so much to encourage our efforts. All of this was made possible by...

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