Something new – an insight into life from our team in Uganda

Something new – an insight into life from our team in Uganda

Time for something new! Every two weeks we’ll be bringing you an update into life in Uganda, from our team on the ground that not only organises the race, but supports and evaluates the charity work year round! – Written by Andy Bownds and the Uganda team If you are reading this you are a joining us on a journey as this is our first ever project focused blog. We are going to be taking you through the daily running of the Uganda Marathon Masaka office, and how we work throughout the year to ensure the Uganda Marathon projects are working towards sustainability. Today though I want to introduce you to our office and the epicenter of all our work. Based right in the next to Masaka Towns Taxi Park our office is in the hustle and bustle of the community. In and amongst shops, restaurants, saloons, internet cafes, phone repair outlets and copied movie stores the office seems to absorb this energy and have a constant buzz. With an open door policy we have constant stream of wide variety of guests from local officials like the Mayor of Masaka coming to tell us about events and developments taking place in town. To members of the deaf community helping us recycle plastic bottles. To the town’s loudest street preacher who comes for water to sooth his throat from our water filter. To project leads coming for specific training. It is for this reason that our office has become a real part of the community and everyone in Masaka knows where to find us and that they will always be...
Interview with a UGM Runner – Kate Westcott

Interview with a UGM Runner – Kate Westcott

  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. Kate joined us for her first ever visit to Africa where she took on the challenge of the 42K event, her first trail marathon! Below, she shares her experiences of staying at Athletes’ Village, volunteering at the project ‘House of Love and Hope Uganda’, connecting with the local running club, and the big day itself, Race Day!      1. What made you sign up for the Uganda Marathon and was it what you expected? The Uganda Marathon had been on my radar for a little while. I’m always on the look-out for good volunteering opportunities and loved the idea of being able to spend time with the local community, supporting local projects and training with the local running club before taking part in a marathon together at the end of the week. I’d also been wanting for a long time to visit Africa, and this seemed to be the perfect way to travel there – staying in a village off the typical tourist track and getting a true local experience, while at the same time, helping to make a positive impact. A few of my friends had done the Uganda Marathon the previous year and spoke very highly of it. When they signed up again, along with some other first-timers, I just felt like it was a trip I had to join. Despite the...
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,...
Interview with a UGM Runner – Max Haspels

Interview with a UGM Runner – Max Haspels

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. Max, an experienced marathon runner, joined us from the Netherlands when he was searching for an event outside his own country. He ran the 42K, fundraised for the project ‘Youth with a Vision’ and also extended his time in Uganda to go on a Safari and Gorilla Trekking in the Rainforest!   1. What made you sign up to the Uganda Marathon? I was looking on the internet for a marathon outside of the Netherlands where I live and coincidentally found the Uganda Marathon. When I had a look at their website and discovered that the Uganda Marathon is more than just a marathon, but a full week of meeting new people and getting involved with development projects and local people, I got quite excited. I had never seen such projects from close by and the marathon looked like a great challenge. As they also offered safari extensions and I was still making new holiday plans, it all came together and I signed up.   2. During the week, you stayed at our hotel option. How was it? The hotel was good and there were quite a few runners staying there. The room was comfy and the staff were very friendly. The pool is a good place to cool down from the African sun and I even hit the gym a...
Interview with two UGM Runners – Prudence & Bob Baldwin

Interview with two UGM Runners – Prudence & Bob Baldwin

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. Prudence and Bob joined us all the way from Florida in the USA and participated in the full marathon event, running 42 Kilometers through rural Uganda for the Charity Project, STEP (Support for the Elderly Person). At 65 years old themselves, they prove age is no barrier to taking part in the 7-Day Adventure…all that’s needed is a positive attitude and a desire to help the local Ugandan community!   1. What made you both sign up for the Uganda Marathon and was it what you expected? For several years we have supported a young Ugandan woman and her son. Prudence had never had the opportunity to meet them and was searching for a reason to travel to Uganda. On a whim, she googled Uganda Marathon and that was our first introduction to a “race like no other.” This seemed like a perfect opportunity to achieve two bucket list items, to meet Judith and Brandon and run a marathon in another country. The unique service (ie. volunteering) component sold us on the opportunity. Our week in Masaka was so much more than we expected. Beginning with the first introductions, international friendships were made because of our common goals of serving and running. The warm and inviting local community did so much to encourage our efforts. All of this was made possible by...
A UGM Runner’s Training Diary: Part 3 – By Vix Anderton

A UGM Runner’s Training Diary: Part 3 – By Vix Anderton

Here, one of our runners, Vix, tells her story of preparing to run the Uganda Marathon 2017. Her first ever marathon event, she tells us about the highs, lows, and challenges of training to run 42K through rural Uganda, all in support of the Charity Project ‘Women’s Soroptimists’. We join Vix as she takes on her longest run in her training – at the UGM’s 20 mile training run along the Thames Path…   Part 3: Four weeks to go… By Vix Anderton It is all getting very real now! As I write, it’s three weeks until I get on a plane out to Uganda and, in four weeks, I will have run my first marathon….eek! Any of you who read my last training post will know that I was having a hard time with my training in mid-April. I had so much support and advice from friends – including the UGM community – and I am delighted/relieved that training has been going really well in the last couple of weeks.     The highlight of this period of training was yesterday: a 20-mile run from Tower Bridge to Richmond with some of the UGM team and other runners. Kudos to the others who also logged their longest ever runs and who will be running their first marathons in Uganda – everyone did so well!     It wasn’t always pretty – I was really hanging on for the last couple of miles (the furthest I had run before was 17.5 miles) but, for the vast majority of the three hours, I felt strong and calm – and apparently...

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