Interview with two UGM Runner – Holly Thomas & Mark Mennear

Interview with two UGM Runner – Holly Thomas & Mark Mennear

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 Charity Projects, to the community feel they give to Race Day. Holly and Mark were looking for a marathon in Africa when they stumbled across the Uganda Marathon. Hooked by the idea of doing an event which was more than just a single race, they decided to take the plunge. Below they tell us about this, their entrepreneurial approach to fundraising, and how they connected with the local community across the week. ‘Unique‘, ‘life-changing‘ and ‘an experience everyone should take the time to do‘ is a few of the ways they describe their time on the Equator…     1. What made you both sign up to the Uganda Marathon and was it what you expected? Holly: Running is a special hobby of mine and last year I decided to create a lifetime goal to run a marathon on every continent. My second continent was Africa, so when I started to do some research, the Uganda Marathon massively stood out for me. It seemed like a crazy idea at the time, but weirdly the marathon was actually just a small (but amazing) part of the whole trip. Yes, it was challenging – but the week wasn’t just about running a marathon, it was about building connections, having new experiences, and sharing stories with a new community of incredible people. It was like nothing I had ever experienced. Mark:...
Everything Uganda: Katogo!

Everything Uganda: Katogo!

By Eric Barigye Welcome back to our weekly blog which will be focusing on a particular aspect of Ugandan life and using it to teach more about the people and place that plays host to our Adventure Like No Other.  . This week’s topic is Katogo – the Masaka people’s number 1 breakfast order!   To learn more about it we go to Friend’s Point which is a local restaurant and a 2017 Uganda Marathon Charity Project. They start the day early going to the market at 7:00AM to buy the Matooke (green bananas) that make up the main part of the meal.  Katogo has been a meal for as long as anybody can remember. It can be translated into English to mean “Mix” and this is because while it has many variations, they all involve mixing Matooke with something. Matooke can be prepared with beans, meat, fish, peas and groundnut sauce to make Katogo.  Friends Point buys Matooke worth 3,000 shillings (just under 1 U.S dollar) which comes to around 27 bananas for their breakfast dish. On this day it is the Katogo of beans option.   . . After peeling the bananas, they are put in a saucepan that is filled with water, before putting it on the fire. The left-over beans from the previous day are then added to the newly soft bananas about 20 minutes later. For flavour, two onions, two tomatoes and a green pepper are cut and fried with vegetable oil in a separate saucepan. They are added to the boiling banana and beans mix, along with salt and curry powder, and then left to...
Everything Uganda: The Pearl of Africa

Everything Uganda: The Pearl of Africa

. By Eric Barigye Welcome back to our weekly blog which will be focusing on a particular aspect of Ugandan life and using it to teach more about the people and place that plays host to our Adventure Like No Other.  This week we feature a poem, kindly written by Lisa Nabuchabo, which gives us insight into what the Pearl of Africa, her home country, means to her. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Drama and Film in Kampala – the country’s capital city.  . The Pearl of Africa.   Draped leaves rustle their way towards a blessed Motherland.   The lavish green runs far and wide across a nation dipped in the glory of diversity. It shines through the eyes of its people,  A light that kisses you like the morning sun  Perched in reflection, mirrored in perfection Looking nature straight in the eyes in gratitude.   A land of growth where even stories are cultivated and sprout to remind us who we are. We feed and nurture them in quest for our place to remain home and indeed it is home. It is the pearl that Africa continues to wear around her neck, a beauty that never gets weary.   A land where peace settles at the entrance of a house as our farmers leave at dusk, With assurance of returning with fruitful harvest.   Draped leaves rustle their way towards a blessed Motherland.   A Mother who’s wild is wild enough to live life like in a banquet on the savannah, Where wildlife brings our culture to life,  We are one with...
Everything Uganda: Independence Day

Everything Uganda: Independence Day

By Eric Barigye Welcome back to our weekly blog which will be focusing on a particular aspect of Ugandan life and using it to teach more about the people and place that plays host to our Adventure Like No Other.  . This week the country held its most special of holidays on October 9th, Independence Day!  Uganda peacefully gained Independence in 1962 and celebrated its 57th birthday this week on Wednesday. A lot has happened since the country’s conception – let’s view a summary.  The country has had 9 leaders in the years since independence with the shortest reign lasting just 10 days under Paulo Muwanga and the longest reign still running at 33 years on under His Excellency President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. The population has grown massively from 7,240,000 in 1962 to 44,658,252 according to latest U.N numbers in 2019, with the median age put at 16 years. The numbers have grown in spite of the fall in birth rate from 7.04 children per woman to 5.59 births per woman.  . . While a lot has changed, some things have also stayed the same. For example, as it was in 1962, Agriculture is still the country’s biggest earner and employer, and accounts for about 40% of Gross Domestic Product. Uganda is the African continent’s second-biggest exporter of coffee. Uganda is still a country rich in tradition and the customs of many of tribes that were present for Independence are still going strong today. Kampala has stayed the capital city since Independence and is a part of Buganda Kingdom.     Masaka, Uganda and Buganda The Masaka District, where the...
The Uganda Marathon Project Selection Process

The Uganda Marathon Project Selection Process

The Uganda Marathon is not just an event that happens for one week of the year. It is a year-round charity with a full-time team – working tirelessly with projects and the local community to ensure that every pound and dollar raised through the race supports those in Uganda that need it most. Our mission is to alleviate poverty in rural Uganda. Together, we are helping local community organisations to be self-sufficient through revenue generating, and cost-saving initiatives. What this means is that rather than funding a single school lunch for a child, we fund an income-generating or cost-saving project (like a small farm, or solar power), which will generate/save enough money to pay for a lifetime of school lunches. Every year, we work with local community leaders to identify the projects that would most benefit from your support. There are so many incredible projects in Uganda that work in the community, choosing the final 15 is a monumental task! This is why we have worked to create the fairest, most transparent system for choosing the projects that are supported for each event. We are a registered NGO in Uganda – The Masaka Marathon – and a UK-registered charity – The Uganda Foundation – which means that every pound or dollar you fundraise is accounted for, and our team work tirelessly to make sure you leave the biggest legacy possible. As part of our dedication to being transparent, would like to share our system for choosing the 15 Uganda Marathon partner projects: The Application Process This is your legacy! In order to select the best projects we follow a...
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