The UGM Runners’ Blog: 10 Great Tips if Uganda is Your First Race

The UGM Runners’ Blog: 10 Great Tips if Uganda is Your First Race

  Welcome to the Uganda Marathon Runners’ Blog! Our series of blogs dedicated to our participants preparing to take part in this year’s event. Every Sunday, we’ll share new tips to help in your preparations for the 7-Day adventure, from training tips to fundraising and travel advice. Written by a former participant, these blogs are all about helping our group of 2018 runners – please feel free to get in touch if you have questions or topic suggestions – we’d love to help!     So Uganda’s your first race? (Or you’d like to brush up on the basics!) No problem! Everyone has to start somewhere- whether Uganda is your first race ever or the first time you’re tackling a particular distance, here we’ll go through the basics so you’ve got them covered. When I signed up to the Uganda Marathon’s 42K in 2015, my fitness was practically zero and I knew very little about running. But before long, I really got into it and it became routine. Your body will adapt and you’ll pick it up quicker than you expect, so don’t worry if you’re literally starting out. And if you’ve got some running experience under your belt, but would like to brush up, that’s great too! Here are some tips to help, which can sometimes get missed in the midst of training. Here are 10 tips to get you started and to bear in mind over the coming weeks, whether you’re running the 10K, 21K or 42K in Uganda…   1. Break it up When I started running, I found a marathon distance pretty scary. Heck, even a 10K...
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...
Interview with a UGM Runner – Ian Healy

Interview with a UGM Runner – Ian Healy

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. His first time in Africa, Ian entered the full 42K marathon event and fundraised for the Charity Project, the Suubi Centre. An experienced runner, he talks about Race Day, but also his experience of the other exciting elements of the week- including ‘See your Legacy Day’ and his stay at Athletes’ Village.     1. What made you sign up for the Uganda Marathon, and was it what you expected? A number of my friends signed up for the 2016 and 2017 marathons, which is how I started hearing about the race. I’d been interested in doing some volunteering abroad for a number of years, and the race seemed like a huge challenge, so it all came together perfectly for me. The Uganda Marathon was what I expected in the sense that I knew it was going to be a huge eye-opener and a massive culture shock (I’d never been to Africa). I guess what I didn’t expect was to be able to see the direct impact of projects funded by the marathon while I was there – meeting your project and being able to see what was funded the previous year, and the impact it has had, was really inspiring. My project, Suubi Centre, runs a school and maternity clinic in Lubanda Village. A goat farm was funded and built by the...
Extend your 7-Day Adventure: Gorillas & Safari Tours

Extend your 7-Day Adventure: Gorillas & Safari Tours

  The 7-Day Adventure involves a wide number of activities – volunteering at two Charity Projects, organising a sports day for local disadvantaged children, connecting with the local community, enjoying a festival atmosphere at Athletes’ Village, running an incredible race, and more. But if you don’t feel the seven days is quite enough, and you’d like to explore more of what the beautiful country of Uganda has to offer, we’ve prepared three special tour packages for our runners. You can do these either before or after the main week. Make the most of your time in the Uganda and see more of what this magical place has to offer, and turn an amazing week into the holiday of a lifetime!   Gorilla Trekking This tour takes places over 3 days and 2 nights, giving you the chance to see a family of gorillas in the wild. You’ll trek through the rainforest in Bwindi to locate our closet relatives, a special experience in itself as you explore one of Uganda’s most stunning locations. Then, come face-to-face with a band of gorillas – including infants, mothers and even the mighty silverback!   Runner’s Story – read Helen’s experience of the Gorilla Trekking after the 7-Day Adventure, where she realised a ‘lifelong dream’. This extension was a big reason for her signing up for the main event.   Gorilla Trekking & Safari Spanning 5 days and 4 nights, this tour includes everything mentioned in the Gorilla Trekking above, plus exploring one Uganda’s most famous tourist attractions – Queen Elizabeth National Park. Located in the Savannah Plains between the Ruwenzori Mountains, it is the...
Interview with a UGM Runner – Amy Broadhead

Interview with a UGM Runner – Amy Broadhead

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. Amy, from Barnsley, was seeking an opportunity to do some volunteering for charity but didn’t consider herself well travelled. However, she decided to take the plunge! She fundraised for Bugabira Primary School, used her time in Uganda to go on Safari and Gorilla Trekking, and despite not considering herself a ‘runner’, on Race Day she stepped up to do the Half-Marathon!     1. What made you sign up for the Uganda Marathon? I signed up for the marathon because my friend Ryan suggested it- he had seen it on the internet and we were trying to find an experience that would suit us both. He loves to run and I’ve always wanted to do charity work, and it combined both of them into one. I was apprehensive at first as I didn’t know what to expect… I hadn’t travelled that far away from home so it was very nerve racking but with the extra push I needed, I decided to sign up. But I’m so glad I decided to go in the end as going to Uganda was the best experience of my life!   2. Which project did you choose to fundraise for? Tell us about why you chose this project and your experience with them in Uganda. I chose to fundraise for Bugabira Primary School and chose this...
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,...

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