10 Reasons to Run the Uganda Marathon in 2018

10 Reasons to Run the Uganda Marathon in 2018

It’s that time of year again – the weeks start flying by, Christmas rapidly approaches, and the year draws to a close. It’s a time to celebrate, but also a chance to wind down and reflect on the year gone by. And of course, when looking back, there’s also an exciting emphasis on moving forward and planning the year ahead. With a New Year, comes exciting opportunities…and one of those opportunities is the Uganda Marathon. So, as you make your exciting plans for 2018, here are ten reasons to include running the Uganda Marathon in your plans…   #1 It’s more than a race – it’s a 7-day Adventure! Don’t be fooled by the title, but pay close attention to the slogan: ‘An Adventure Like No Other’. Yes, the race is a brilliant, special, unforgettable experience, but there’s a lot more to the week as well. In short, it’s a 7-day festival focused on helping the Ugandan community – it includes volunteering at two different Charity Projects, organising a sports day for local children, experiencing the Ugandan culture, connecting with the local people and taking on a big challenge in support of those people. There is also a big social element to the week as well with locally sourced entertainment each night, and at the very end of the 7-days, a big party to celebrate the week!   #2 An unforgettable race experience – for all abilities The focus of the race is very much on using the challenge to help the local people and as a result, it has a great community feel to it. By this point, Day 7,...
Guest Blog: My Uganda Marathon Story – By Syed Habib

Guest Blog: My Uganda Marathon Story – By Syed Habib

Here one of our previous participants, Syed, writes about his experience of the Uganda Marathon. From signing up to training runs, to the meaningful experience of meeting the Ugandan community at the projects, as well his account of Race Day and decision to extend his time in Uganda to volunteer, here he tells his Uganda Marathon story. We join him in January when he was contemplating signing up…   As I’m sure everyone has a weird or unusual reason for signing up to do something crazy…mine was insomnia. Unable to sleep one night I had blindly signed up for the 2017 edition of the Uganda Marathon without truly realizing what that would entail or the challenging conditions I would face – particularly the extreme heat, humidity, altitude and the course elevations with monster climbs (worst of which is nicknamed ‘The Beast’). However, as the weeks and months passed, and during the course of training with the inspiring founders and young organizers of the Uganda Marathon here in the UK, I began learning more about the amazing community projects the marathon was involved in in Masaka, a small town close to the famous Lake Victoria. I was so impressed with the sustainable local projects they were supporting that I committed to remaining in Masaka for an extra week, at the end of the marathon, to volunteer at one such project. The project I chose was Masaka Vocational Rehabilitation Centre (MVRC) where kids with disability are taught vocational skills; a cause that sadly takes on much greater significance in some parts of Africa due to some archaic local superstitions and the stigma attached...
Interview with a UGM Runner – Esther Lips

Interview with a UGM Runner – Esther Lips

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. From Amsterdam, Esther participated in the half-marathon event, using the challenge to fundraise for the Charity Project ‘Knowledge for Children’. Our biggest fundraiser in 2017, here she shares her experience of the week, talks about her fundraising journey, and shares some tips for future runners!     1. What made you sign up to the Uganda Marathon? In the fall of 2016, I was in the final stage of my PhD. Between all the hard work, I was dreaming about rewarding myself with a special trip when everything was finished. But I didn’t want to make a ‘typical tourist trip’. Around the same time, one of my friends ran the New York marathon for a good cause. This inspired me to do something similar. I started my search for a half marathon for a good cause and one of the first hits on google was the Uganda Marathon. In a split second, I knew: ‘THIS IS IT!’. Running for a cause in Uganda was a great opportunity to return something to the world, fulfil my personal dreams of meeting the real Africa, and an opportunity to cross running on the equator off as my first ever half marathon!   2. What project did you choose to fundraise for and why? This is where it gets a little personal. I grew up...
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...
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