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.
1. What made you sign up to the Uganda Marathon and was it what you expected?
I was inspired by my friends, Levi and Szilvi, who went to Uganda in 2017 and 2018.
I signed up to the Uganda Marathon 2019 because I needed a strong goal to make some changes. I lived in London at that time but wasn’t happy. I wanted to move from UK but I couldn’t. I felt stuck. I had no idea where to go and what to do. The registration and the marathon training gave me the power to rebuild myself and find the way of my future life.
The whole marathon was how I expected. I am on a new path of living – I left the UK. I met a girl I love. I completed my Personal Trainer course. I finished the 9-5 job. My photography started to be more than a hobby. I’m now doing a 200 hours yoga teacher course in India.
2. Which project did you choose to support, and what was it like to visit them on Legacy Day?
My main project was ‘SMILE Street and Needy Children’. It was very emotional to meet them and to work side-by-side with them. These kids are full of potential but their options are limited. They have big hearts and open minds. When I met them first they just hugged me like a family member!
I felt that I arrived home. I helped build a garden like mine. I gave as much as I could from myself on that Legacy Day.
I am happy that I chose this marathon – where I could be more than a runner.
3. Could you tell us about your experience of Race Day? What was it like to run the 42 kilometers through rural Uganda?
I slept for 2 hours. I had my breakfast at 4:30am. My adrenalin level was somewhere in the sky! I left my comfort zone in the hotel and I prepared my body and my mind for something unusual. The first 21K of the marathon went well. The second half was quite challenging but I pushed myself to keep going. I felt the uplifting energy of the event! The temperature was perfect too, with clouds but no rain (which did come later).
It was one of the best experiences of my life. I feel like a new man.
4. Finally, what was your best overall memory from the 7-days?
It is hard to pick the best moment and memory. The whole week was fantastic and well organized. The accommodation in the Athletes’ Village, the food, the campfire, the dancing and entertainment in The Glade – they were perfect. The beach and pasta party was a cool way to relax yourself before the marathon too. I can say I went with the flow every day.
The organisers and the volunteers were amazing. I would like to say a special thank you to Ian and Johnson for how they guided and supported our team during the 7 days.
If you haven’t yet been to Uganda, don’t think too much. Just start your training and fly to Africa to be part of the Uganda Marathon – AN ADVENTURE LIKE NO OTHER.
A big thank you to Tamas for participating in this interview, and sharing these great photos with us!