The Kampala Marathon ... perhaps best known as the MTN Kampala International Marathon - does it really matter? shhh ... for the sponsor's sake, it really does matter!
Are you into running? ... and not just running, but running for a good cause, perhaps you've always wanted to do something like this but not had opportunity.
When are you next in Uganda? Mark it on your calendar and ...
On your marks, get set, ... but just before that, have your running shoes strapped, find suitable clothes and off we go ...
MTN Marathon - Photo by MTN Uganda
The Kampala Marathon has fast become 'the event' in East and Central Africa and perhaps even Africa at large. This annual event that has been organised since 2004 has attracted over 25,000 professional athletes, corporate runners and enthusiast in the past and continues to attract more every year.
There is not much needed to participate - apart from of course the registration with a minimal fee. You will certainly get a kit that includes some goodies from the sponsors of the event and along the way, lots of volunteers on standby to help anyone struggling, lots of water and entertainment.
You can pretty much guarantee a perfect day with some of the most amazing scenery you will ever jog through - if only I would rightly predict the weather for you ... but even if the good weather went missing that day, that only happens once in 30 years! That should be the least of your worries, Kampala is known for its wonderful weather.
Photo by; Faith and David
And the beauty is, the Kampala Marathon is a great opportunity to meet new people - you never know where this leads to, I know a couple that met at the Kampala Marathon in 2012. Many take part for the fun of it, others for charity, while others compete to win - of course there is usually a big prize for the very best.
And for some extra knowledge - just to put a spin on how seriously the Kampala marathon is rated, the marathon is registered by the Association of International Marathons (AIMS) and certified by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF). There you go ... this marathon is some serious race!
You will find the novices, enthusiasts and professional - call them elite runners here.
The marathon usually has four races to choose from;
It follows a challenging route through the seven hill of Kampala ... and just to emphasis, the proceeds go towards humanitarian causes whose thyme is different every year. The route is blocked off from the other users and traffic with the help of the Uganda Police and volunteers.
Photo by; Joshua Goldstein
There are quite a few other marathons in Uganda - these might not be annual events but good runs for a charitable cause say like; the Kabaka of Buganda's birthday marathon - 2014 whose proceeds went to helping women with the Fistula disease.
And with more connections, if you are the running enthusiast, there are relays and running clubs in Kampala and in other Ugandan cities and towns you can join and enjoy a good run in the afternoon or mornings - why not!
If you are interested in taking part in the Kampala Marathon, registration is always in a centralised headquarters that is announced weeks before the race.
So ...why not join the fun! Hope to see you at the start of the next edition - just mark the dates off sometime in November!
Keep on your two feet and keep going as you keep-up with the speeds - you could be in for a surprise running among the elite pack that includes Uganda's own Marathon Olympic Gold Medallist at the London 2012 Games - the one and only Stephen Kiprotich
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