World’s most interesting races: Uganda Marathon
We’ve shown you desert marathons and ice marathons, and both are intense outliers in the international racing calendars. For something that lies between these two extremes (but is certainly no cake walk), check out the Uganda Marathon. Located precisely on the equator, this tropical climate race will push you in a whole new way.
The Uganda Marathon course itself is laid out over plenty of hill climbs and rolling countryside. To give you an idea of the challenge ahead – the steepest hill is known as ‘The Beast’, and the overall course elevation is around 1150m – high enough to require some acclimatisation before the race. There are up to 11 water stations across the full marathon course. Both 10K and half marathons are also available but all include the infamous hill! If the race is too challenging, a team of UK doctors will be on hand to provide care.
There are around 3000 participants, and the event has a very community-based feel. As runners must fundraise to be a part of the event, many locals come out to celebrate the efforts runners have made in the lead up and during the race. Runners choose where and how to donate the funds, and the impacts of the donations can often be witnessed first-hand.
The marathon package sets the race as part of a 7-day tour package that’s designed especially for race participants. Runners can choose their level of accommodation, can take advantage of local tours, and join hosted, taper style runs in the lead up to the main event. All meals are also included.
The Uganda Marathon is an incredibly challenging race, but it’s clear that organisers use every effort to make the experience worth your while. The Ugandan sense of hospitality (think dancing, singing, and plenty of laughing) may be what carries you through those last gruelling hill climbs. The next race is held June 2018.
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