It started as a way to help a superb charity raise funds, whilst getting to show people from all over the world what a special and untouched place Uganda is, and how wonderful it feels to run here.
And it does do all those things, but...the hours and hours spent in the evenings and on weekends marketing it, the time out in Uganda managing it and the holiday we have to take from work and can't use for...holidays. The financial risk that falls entirely on our shoulders, the thought of somebody getting hurt, the thought of somebody not enjoying it! The difficult customers, the bribes to the police, the hours lying awake worrying about it. The week of the event spent with almost no sleep, people letting you down, being difficult, being rude...sometimes managing it all is, well, it's tricky.
Why do we organise Running the Rift Marathon...is a good question.
And the morning after the event last year, Paul and I lay in bed, and had a serious conversation about knocking it all on the head.
It is just so hard. It is so hard to create an event that surpasses all expectations - which it must - empowers and engages the local community - which it must - and makes money for the charity - which, of course, it must.
So why didn't we knock it on the head?
Well, here's why:
Runners' Reviews 2017
And here's why:
The Kyaninga Child Development Centre
And here's why:
When I was in intensive care, my body and my mind knew it was dying, there is no doubt about that. And instead of fear, I felt immense peace. I thought about the two things I'd really achieved in my life - finding true love, real raw honest true love, with my husband Paul. And the creation of Running the Rift Marathon. It was enough.
And Finally, Here's Why:
There is a lot of this: Pride when our first runner crosses the line. Pride when our second runner crosses the line. Pride when every single runner crosses that line, all beaming! Happiness when I see our runners, strangers just a week before, laughing together, beating drums together, pushing each other into the pool. Getting to know our runners, some of the most interesting people I've ever ever met! Having local villagers grab my hand and say 'thank you for bringing this race to our home'.
Running in the most beautiful place I've ever set foot, and getting to introduce it to others. Seeing our runners' jaws drop when they first see the lodge, and then again when they see the view from the lodge. When the last medic gets back off the race course and we know everybody made it back in one piece. And playing and playing and playing with the kids from the KCDC and feeling such a swell in my heart.
And I wonder why I ever complain at all! Setting up the marathon has been the single most important and worthwhile thing I have ever done.
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