It’s hard to believe, but we’re already a full month into 2017! And it’s been cracking start to the year for the UGM. Our second busiest time of year (behind the main event in June), the team has been all go with sign ups coming through, as well as helping runners to book their flights and extension-adventures.
And to tie in with the big start to the year, we’ve got lots of news, events and shout-outs to tell you about, plus an awesome personal story from the community.
Here are all the great things which been happening in the UGM Community in January…
A BIG welcome to our new runners!
Firstly, a massive, massive, welcome to our 2017 runners! We’re thrilled to have you onboard for our third ever event. There’s a reason 1 in 5 of our 2016 runners described the event as ‘the best week of my life’, and we can’t wait to share that experience with you as well!
The next few months are going to be incredibly exciting too, with fundraising, training and more. We’ll be with you every step of the way though via the group and feel free to get in touch if you need anything – our expert team will be on hand to help.
Welcome to the UGM Community! 🙂
Launch Night for the 2017 Event!
To coincide with the new year, we hosted our official launch event at WeWork Mooregate in London. Featuring leaders in startups, sport, adventure and travel, it was an inspirational night as these speakers gave personal accounts of their ventures. It was also a wonderful opportunity to meet new runners (and see old faces too) over some drinks. A big thank you to everyone who came – it’s got us SO excited for the year ahead!
A big thank you to Miss Uganda for joining us as well! (Pictured left, next to Emily.)
The Adventure Travel Show at Kensington Olympia
We were extremely proud to be present at our first ever Adventure Travel Show on January 21st/22nd. The event focuses on ‘travel experiences off the beaten track’, so being invited to have a stall there amongst so many other well-known organisations was a big step for us and reflects our strong growth over the past 3 years. The weekend proved a great success with lots of people showing interest in our event, for both this year and next.
Big shout-outs go to…Andy Miller (Marketing) was putting countless hours into organising the UGM stand at the show, Henry (Director) for giving such a brilliant presentation to the crowds, and especially our awesome former runners who volunteered and helped us out. You made it a brilliant weekend- thank you!
A Story from the Community: Emily Greenwood
We wanted to tell you about some very exciting news from one of our former runners, Emily. As of 2017, she’s decided to build a very special, inspiring lifestyle – all about giving her time and space for the things which are really important to her and lead a lifestyle which is a little less conventional. She’s quit her job, given up her base and stripped back on her possessions to what really matters, to allow her to embark on this exciting adventure of self-discovery. As of a couple of days ago, she arrived in her first country on her travels, Morrocco.
We’re thrilled for Emily, especially as she describes her experience at the UGM16 as ‘one of the best weeks of her life’ and a major turning point towards this new adventure. We’ll have more updates on Emily’s story later in the year, but until then, we’d love it if you could follow her Facebook page (or Twitter account) and her blog documenting her adventures, Untethered Living.
UGM Team member, Kate, arrives in Uganda!
Our Charity Impact and Communications Lead, Kate, has just arrived in Uganda on a five-week trip. Her focus whilst she’s there will be to work with all the Charity Projects & Masaka team to ensure the UGM has the best possible sustainable impact over the coming year. So far Kate has worked with the UGM Board, and her expertise has made quite a difference with Bugabira School and STEP, with more project visits to go.
We’re loving the updates and photos Kate, and hope you’re settling into Ugandan life well!
Let us Wine and Dine you! UGM January Social
On January 11th, we wined and dined some of our former runners with the help of our friends at Wonky Supper Club. They cooked up some delicious food from vegetables that weren’t quite the right shape for supermarkets! During the meal, we discussed with our runners what they thought could make the UGM even better in 2017 and we gave some Charity Project updates too.
A big thank you to everyone who joined us and shared their feedback, for what was a really nice evening and provided some great, exciting ideas for the year ahead. We really do value you giving your time and working with us to make the event even better! Thank you as well, Escape the City, for hosting us!
Goodbye to Ed & Bundle – and THANK YOU!
On 26th January, Masaka Runners’ Club put on a leaving party for two of its key international members, Ed and Bundle, who are returning to the UK after a year of living in Masaka. The party was subsidised by the club’s membership budget, which is something the club’s leaders are really keen on, as it helps to create a real team-community spirit amongst the club (as many members of the team do not have the finances to spend on socialising). It was a fantastic evening- thank you to everyone who made it!
Ed & Bundle will be sorely missed by the Runners’ Club as well as the UGM based team – they’ve been great friends to both during their last year in Masaka!
Finally, a big shout-out to our competition winner from January! Everyone who liked & shared our competition post on Facebook was entered into a prize draw for a free place on the UGM17…. Well done Mandi, we can’t wait to see you in Uganda! (Watch the live video of the prize draw at Bugabira Primary School in Masaka, here.)
Watch this space- Upcoming events!
We’ve got a few events coming up over the next few months…and we’d love to see you there!
- Our 2017 Social Training Run Schedule is now confirmed – designed to be fun, social and great prep for running in rural Uganda – check out our last blog for details.
- Fancy joining us for a weekend in the New Forest on 10th-12th March where we’ll be running, enjoying the outdoors, hog roasting, catching up and relaxing…all for FREE? A great way to get to know the team and some UGM runners – drop us an email if you think you might like to join – we’ll send you the details.
Thanks for taking the time to read our latest community blog. We’ll be back in a month’s time with more updates. In the meantime, we’d love to hear from you if you’ve got news, a story or a shout-out for yourself or someone in the UGM community. Drop us an email at [email protected] Until next time! 🙂
Like to read more?
- Interview with a UGM Runner: Ali Malvern
- 10 Testimonials from our Previous International Runners
- UGM Runners’ Community: Autumn Wrap Up
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