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...
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: 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 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 – 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 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:...
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