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:...
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...
Interview with a UGM Runner – Tamas Farkas

Interview with a UGM Runner – Tamas Farkas

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. Tamas heard about the Uganda Marathon after two of his friends participated in the 2017 and 2018 event. Keen to make some changes in his life, he signed up to the adventure to give himself a big challenge and some inspiration…     1. What made you sign up to the Uganda Marathon and was it what you expected? I was inspired by my friends, Levi and Szilvi, who went to Uganda in 2017 and 2018. I signed up to the Uganda Marathon 2019 because I needed a strong goal to make some changes. I lived in London at that time but wasn’t happy. I wanted to move from UK but I couldn’t. I felt stuck. I had no idea where to go and what to do. The registration and the marathon training gave me the power to rebuild myself and find the way of my future life. The whole marathon was how I expected. I am on a new path of living – I left the UK. I met a girl I love. I completed my Personal Trainer course. I finished the 9-5 job. My photography started to be more than a hobby. I’m now doing a 200 hours yoga teacher course in India.   2. Which project did you choose to support, and what was...
Interview with a UGM Runner – Kate Kelly

Interview with a UGM Runner – Kate Kelly

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. Kate, a teacher from the UK, joined us as a solo traveller for her first-ever visit to Africa, as she wanted to get out of her comfort zone and do something different! Below she talks about this, connecting with her chosen project, staying in Marbou Village, and making life-long friends. It’s an experience which she describes as ‘every bit of what I anticipated and a whole lot more besides!’      1. What made you sign up to the Uganda Marathon and was it what you expected? One Saturday afternoon, back in 2018, I received a WhatsApp message from somebody who had been to Africa and had heard about the Uganda Marathon. There was a link in the message, so I clicked on it to find out more. I had never been to Africa and, at the then age of 53, I thought that maybe it was time for me to do something very different and to get out of my comfort zone. One of the key things which attracted me to this event was the fact I could fundraise for a project and I would actually get to spend time there. When do you ever get to do that when fundraising for a project which is elsewhere in the world?  For me, this was a massive...
The Uganda International marathon 2019 Video Adventure

The Uganda International marathon 2019 Video Adventure

Welcome to The Uganda Marathon 2019! Follow the adventurers who came to Uganda in 2019 to raise money for an incredible community and take part in a race like no other. This video shows some of the highlights from the 2019 marathon week – an adventure that one in five describe as “the best week of my life“. Check out our other videos from The Uganda Marathon Adventure Inside the next generation of sustainable charity Watch our video The Uganda Marathon 2018 Video Adventure Watch our video The Uganda Marathon 2016 Video Adventure Watch our...
Interview with two UGM Runners – Rosie Campbell & Jessica Bishop

Interview with two UGM Runners – Rosie Campbell & Jessica Bishop

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. Rosie and Jess were our highest fundraisers for the 2019 Uganda Marathon, raising an incredible £27,000 for the charity, HvSMF. Below they chat to us about choosing this charity, fundraising, race day, and meeting the community at a Charity Projects on ‘Legacy Day’. Plus, they share some of their favourite parts of the trip, which they describe as: “amazing from start to finish“.      1. What made you both sign up to the Uganda Marathon and was it what you expected? To be honest we signed up not realising how it would snowball into being one of the best experiences of our lives. We have both done a marathon before, (London and Stockholm) but we wanted to throw ourselves into a marathon in a country we had never been to before. We also wanted to experience a marathon with the extra challenges of the terrain, heat and humidity. Was it what we expected? Yes and more! It exceeded every single, absolutely everything, we could have possibly imagined! It was one of the most rewarding and life-changing weeks – we could not recommend it more.   2. You fundraised a fantastic amount for The Henry van Straubenzee Memorial Fund (HvSMF). Could you tell us why you chose this charity and how you went about fundraising? We chose this...
Interview with two UGM Runners – Laura Fenton & Alton Thelwell

Interview with two UGM Runners – Laura Fenton & Alton Thelwell

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. Laura & Alton joined us in Uganda to run their first-ever half marathon. For Laura, it was a decision she made months before to challenge herself in 2019, and for Alton, a last-minute one to join Laura on her trip! Below they tell us about this, their nerves about the race, their gorilla trek experience, and connecting with the community at their respective projects – a business empowerment project for women, and a remote primary school in the Ssese Islands. As Alton sums it up: “It truly is an amazing experience and something I will remember for the rest of my life.”      1. What made you both sign up to the Uganda Marathon and was it what you expected? Laura: It was my friend Amy who initially discovered the Uganda Marathon. She is always keen for a new adventure and challenge so she spoke to me about it one night over dinner and drinks. After some consideration, I decided to sign up and from that day on it was a complete mixture of nerves and excitement. I’ve never run a half marathon before so I knew this would be a tough challenge for me but I had decided at the start of 2019 that I really wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone this...
Interview with a UGM Runner – Mabel Beckett

Interview with a UGM Runner – Mabel Beckett

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. Mabel signed up for the event as she loves visiting new places and running, and even decided to run her first marathon with us in Uganda! Below she tells us about this, travelling to the event solo, connecting with her chosen project, the camaraderie of the race…and how she crossed the finish line as our fastest female international runner!       1. What made you sign up to the Uganda Marathon and was it what you expected? I love to see new places and I love running. One of my friends told me about a marathon in Sierre Leone and I was immediately interested. I started looking and found the Uganda Marathon and although everyone thought I was mad, I signed up. I had absolutely no idea what to expect. I have been to Africa before but never to Uganda (and never camped in Africa!) and I had never run a marathon before. But I absolutely loved the whole week.   2. Many of our participants signed up for the event with friends or with their partner. However, you joined us on the 7-Day Adventure solo. What was that like? I was a bit nervous about travelling to Uganda on my own. But I couldn’t persuade anyone to come with me and I really wanted to...
Interview with a Family of UGM Runners – The Amstels

Interview with a Family of UGM Runners – The Amstels

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. Roland, Patries and 8 year old Jackie joined us as a family for the Week-long Adventure, and then after, went on one of our extension tours of Murchison Falls. They were looking for an event they could do together as a family, which offered running, but also much more: travel, a return to Africa and a chance to help a community. Patries, the runner in the family, participated in the marathon event, with Roland, originally not planning to run, deciding to run the half-marathon in the days leading up to the race! Read all about their adventure below, in what Roland sums up as: “the best family trip we have made, ever.”     1. What made you sign up for the Uganda Marathon? As a family trip, did it meet your expectations? Patries: I did one of my first international marathons in 2018, got a real buzz from it, and was ready to do some more! The Uganda Marathon did not only tick the box of ‘international marathon’, but it also brought a lot more: our love for Africa, the opportunity to (re-)connect with the people, and most of all, the opportunity to do good for the community. It is fair to say that initially, we had some concerns about safety and whether the trip would...
Interview with a UGM Runner – Jameel Humayun

Interview with a UGM Runner – Jameel Humayun

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. Jameel joined us from the UAE in his first-ever visit to Uganda. Below he gives us his highlights from the week – an experience he enjoyed so much he’s already signed up to return next year. We can’t wait to see you again in 2020, Jameel! . . 1. What made you sign up to the Uganda Marathon? The Ad for the run for the Uganda Marathon popped up on my Facebook under world marathons. I’d previously met 2 fellow runners from Uganda which made it appeal to me, and it also excited me that I could actually do some work towards a charity and be able to run a marathon as well. That’s why I signed up! 🙂   2. You joined us for your first visit to Uganda. What was it like to experience the Ugandan culture and visit the Charity Project, ‘Ideal Women’ on Legacy Day? It was a most wonderful and memorable visit! I loved the culture and the people so much, I have signed up to return in 2020! At the project, I was actually the only man in the group! We were taught to sew and stitch, I made a computer bag, and a purse for my wife, which gave us insight into how the community make items themselves to sustain...

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