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...
Interview with a UGM Runner: Jean-Louis Button

Interview with a UGM Runner: Jean-Louis Button

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. Jean-Louis (JL) was one of our first participants to join us on the adventure whilst still attending university. Below he tells us about signing up and juggling the costs of uni, what Ugandan project he chose to fundraise for and why, and also about his visit to Eco Brixs – a recycling initiative trying to deal with the problem of plastic waste in rural Uganda. Describing it as a “once in a lifetime trip”, here’s his account of the week…     1. What made you sign up to the Uganda Marathon and was it what you expected? I was looking for my next sporting challenge online, tempting with the idea of an ultra marathon, but I then stumbled across an advert on Facebook advertising the Ugandan Marathon and how it was a “race like no other”. As I’m someone who really enjoys volunteering work and also pushing my boundaries, I thought this sounded too good to be true! Once I checked out a few videos on YouTube and read some reviews from other runners, I was sold! As I am a student and always tight on money, it did take me a little while to commit to the project initially. But after sending a few emails to the lovely guys and girls at the Uganda Marathon...
Interview with a UGM Runner – Phil Sutcliffe

Interview with a UGM Runner – Phil Sutcliffe

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. Phil joined us from the English Midlands to take part in the event. A teacher and keen runner, he shares his insights of Race Day and what made him decide to sign up to the event. He also tells us about what it was like to attend the event solo, and how he made his decision of which Charity Project to support! . . 1. What made you sign up to the Uganda Marathon and was it what you expected? I put in my annual London Marathon ballot place entry as usual last year, and when I didn’t get a place, yet again, I thought I would look at doing a more interesting and challenging marathon elsewhere. This marathon had popped up on my Facebook timeline a few times and I thought it looked fascinating. It seemed to offer so much- a challenging run, a chance to get to know and understand a bit more about how another society/culture worked, and a chance to meet some like-minded people and to do something that benefitted a local community. I felt that I would be making a more lasting impact than I would on another flat big city marathon. It also just about fitted in to the UK Spring Bank Holiday leave period, so I knew I would be...
Interview with a UGM Runner – Alex Stezhkin

Interview with a UGM Runner – Alex Stezhkin

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. Alex joined us as our first-ever participant from Russia, and had previously run an inspiring 27 marathons! Below he tells us about why he loved the week, why it stood out for him from the other marathons he’s participated in, and what his favourite memories were! As Alex puts it: “It’s the opportunity to dive into a completely different world.”     1. What made you sign up to the Uganda Marathon? I love travelling. It’s my passion. I prefer interesting (let’s say – unusual) destinations to travel to. I also love running, especially long distances because running for me is the way to put my thoughts in order and the way to challenge my limits. I found out about the Uganda Marathon from Instagram which is the only social network I use frequently. It actually took me about two months to decide that I wanted to participate, but eventually I decided to do it for several reasons. First of all, I understood that it is not only about running. It is about people, empathy and willingness to help. Secondly, it seemed an amazing opportunity for me to visit such an exotic country and to explore a completely different world. I have never been to Africa before except Tunisia and RSA, so I was really excited by...
Interview with a UGM Runner – Alyssa Yell

Interview with a UGM Runner – Alyssa Yell

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. Alyssa participated in the Uganda Marathon to complete a very special challenge: running a marathon on each of the world’s seven continents! Choosing our event over several other renowned African races, she tells us about her experiences from the week and getting to know the Ugandan culture in her first-ever trip to Africa. She also loved her time on our safari and gorilla trekking tours, from which she shares some breath-taking photos with us!     1. What made you sign up for the Uganda Marathon? In March of 2016, I set a goal to run a marathon on every continent. I returned from the Antarctica Marathon and had completed the logistically hardest race, so I figured I might as well run the rest of the world! I knocked out the other continents in no particular order, and Africa was my final continent to complete a marathon on. There were so many African races to choose from — running in the Maasai, running in the Serengeti, running in Madagascar, running in major South African cities — but the 2019 Uganda Marathon stood out the most. I loved the principles of giving back to the community, leaving a legacy for generations to come, and finishing up a week of physical work with a marathon. I wanted to be...
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