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.
Ryan, a careworker from the UK, joined us in Uganda to run his first ever marathon! Below he tells us about his experience of Race Day, what it was like to run the final 500 meters(!), and how he tied in his choice of project & fundraising with his career!
1. What made you sign up for the Uganda Marathon, and was it what you expected?
I signed up for the Uganda Marathon because I had never run a marathon before and sort of wanted to prove to myself that I could run the full distance. The race itself is far from what I expected (my fault guys, shouldn’t underestimate those hills!) I expected the course to be far different from the reality, including weather on the day etc. The week itself was great fun and exactly what I expected from you guys [the team] so thank you!
2. What project did you choose to fundraise for and why? What was your experience with them in Uganda?
I chose to fundraise for STEP. I chose this project based on my job as a care worker at home and thought it may be a good idea to see how elderly people live in a lesser developed area of the world. I had a great experience with STEP and it is something I’ll never forget.
3. You joined us in Uganda having never run a marathon before. Could you tell us about your experience of Race Day and what it was like to cross the finish line?
My experience of Race Day is quite different to what I had planned! The race was brutally tough yet ridiculously enjoyable all at the same time. I always knew crossing the finish line had potential to be emotional, however, it’s a moment that looking back on, it’s quite hard to pinpoint how I was feeling as I was completely beyond exhausted!
4. Before the event, you participated in the Safari and Gorilla extensions. Could you sum up the experience for us and tells us a highlight from each?
The experience of both the safari and the gorilla trek were amazing! The highlight of the safari had to be seeing lions out in their natural habitat and realising that you’re actually seeing the animals out in their natural home! The gorilla trek was quite surprising, to be honest. It was a massive adrenaline buzz seeing an animal such as a wild gorilla up close and personal going about its daily routine.
5. Finally, what was your best overall memory from the 7-Day Adventure?
My best memory of the week has to be after the run through town on the second lap [on the home straight towards the finish]. It suddenly becomes real all at once and it was completely overwhelming for the last 500 meters. I don’t think anything could come close to that feeling, at least not yet anyway!
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