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.
Jameel joined us from the UAE in his first-ever visit to Uganda. Below he gives us his highlights from the week – an experience he enjoyed so much he’s already signed up to return next year. We can’t wait to see you again in 2020, Jameel!
1. What made you sign up to the Uganda Marathon?
The Ad for the run for the Uganda Marathon popped up on my Facebook under world marathons. I’d previously met 2 fellow runners from Uganda which made it appeal to me, and it also excited me that I could actually do some work towards a charity and be able to run a marathon as well. That’s why I signed up! 🙂
2. You joined us for your first visit to Uganda. What was it like to experience the Ugandan culture and visit the Charity Project, ‘Ideal Women’ on Legacy Day?
It was a most wonderful and memorable visit! I loved the culture and the people so much, I have signed up to return in 2020!
At the project, I was actually the only man in the group! We were taught to sew and stitch, I made a computer bag, and a purse for my wife, which gave us insight into how the community make items themselves to sustain the organisation long-term. We had a lady explaining how to start and run a small business successfully, which gave great insight into entrepreneurial life in Uganda. How she was able to take care of her children as a single mother and do that with such a small investment was very inspiring!
3. Could you tell us about your experience of Race Day – what was it like to run a marathon through rural Uganda?
The warm-up was with African music and was so much fun!! This was a first time for me. I made some great friends with fellow runners during the event. The run wasn’t easy but some beautiful sights and passing through villages was so amazing!
4. Finally, what else stood out to you from the 7-Day Adventure, and what was your favourite memory overall?
Before I came I was a bit sceptical of what the accommodation would be like, but the Athletes’ Village where we stayed was clean and comfortable, and the food was great and the people were extremely friendly.
There isn’t just one memory but several of them: the visit to the women’s prison and the children’s house on the Legacy Days, seeing the paintings at the art sale to support local artists, and simply holding the hands of tiny, happy children for short stretches of the marathon on Race Day – helping you to keep going!
The whole experience is simply wonderful!!!
A big thank you to Jameel for participating in this interview! Also, thanks to the Glass Passport Project, Jameel, and marathon team members for sharing these great photos with us!