Uganda International Marathon

Masaka, Uganda
28 May, 2023 (Sun)


10 km, 21.1 km, 42.195 km

About the event

The Uganda International Marathon is an incredible 7-day adventure in rural Uganda, where you can explore the stunning scenery and support fantastic grassroots projects. Join us as we organize a sports day for local disadvantaged kids and run in the biggest international race in East Africa. This brainchild of Henry, Nick and Moses was created to showcase the beauty of Uganda and its warm, friendly people, while also providing a platform to tell the amazing story of hope and promise in the country. Since its inaugural race in May 2015, the Marathon has become the largest public fundraiser in Ugandan history, with the full support of the Ugandan government, several charities and NGOs, hundreds of runners and adventurers, and – most importantly – the local community of Masaka.Choose from a 10KM, 21KM or 42KM race, and join us in making a powerful impact on the community. Together, we have raised over Two Billion Shillings – $750,000 – for charity.

Races offered by this event

10 km

28 May, 2023 (Sun)
10 km
On site


28 May, 2023 (Sun)
42.195 km
On site

Half Marathon

28 May, 2023 (Sun)
21.1 km
On site

Course details

Course highlights

It’s a beautiful, beautiful route. One lap for the half marathon, two laps for the full marathon. Half a lap for the 10k. Expect mainly off-road: hard baked, red African dirt roads, with a little bit of trail and a little bit of tarmac at the start and finish.You will cross the start line at the convivial Liberation Square with plenty of whooping & cheering! Our 21k and 42k runners head out in the same direction, north of Masaka town. From there you will pass a bustling village called Ssaza and then up along a path to another village called Ndegeya (host to the Athletes’ Village). You’ll pass Bugabira (a school which the marathon is supporting) and likely by this point be joined by local children, running barefoot! You’ll then loop back through more villages with plenty of cheering, until you reach Masaka town again.From there you’ll defeat The Beast (quite a hill!) and head up onto Pine Ridge, where you will be rewarded with unsurpassable views over rural Uganda. You’ll finish the 21k loop by running down a welcome, gentle slope, all the way back into town. As the volume levels rise you’ll finish back where you started, at Liberation Square! Half marathon runners can rest and celebrate, while another loop for the full marathon runners awaits.10K runners will start shortly after their counterparts, and follow the second half of the course. You will take on The Beast, gorge on all the views from Pine Ridge, and be cheered on by locals through Masaka town.

Start address

Katwe Rd, Masaka, Uganda

Finish address

Katwe Rd, Masaka, Uganda

Route map

route map
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Focus on a raceInterview

Interview: Uganda International Marathon

13 Feb, 2015 (Fri)

Credit : Uganda International Marathon Hello, on May 24th 2015, you’ll be organizing the Uganda International Marathon. Can you tell us where it is located? The Uganda International Marathon is being held in the town of Masaka, near to the famous Lake Victoria – source of the river Nile. The entire community of Masaka has opened their doors to this event and the 6 days where runners stay within the community are going to be embraced by the whole town. This is one of the main reasons that The Uganda Marathon is an adventure like no other. We aren’t just visiting a town, running a race and then leaving again. Runners will immerse themselves within the town, get involved with local goings on and see the appreciation of the fundraising within this amazing African community This will be the first edition of the race. What was your motivation in creating it? Where to start? The race is the brainchild of the Shauku foundation, a charity that enables anyone to get full charitable benefit from fundraising for small projects. Over the past 2 years, Shauku raised £3,000 to build an orphanage in Masaka for around 180 children. To launch the opening of the orphanage Shauku planned a short run around Masaka for the people involved in funding the orphanage. The initial response for this race was phenomenal! What we thought was “just a fun thing to do” turned into this bigger and bigger event that has, in a very short space of time, become Uganda’s first international marathon. Our motivations to keep going and make this the most amazing running event on the planet is to bring something to an exceptional African community, to show runners an entirely different culture of running, and to reinvent what a charitable marathon event looks like. §staticmap(24426,5,800,400) What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it? The route is being planned as you read this write now ☺. We have a very experienced marathoner sourcing out the best scenery, the most interesting tracks but ultimately the most achievable route around Masaka. Because the community is so keen for this event, we have complete free reign to map the route round the town and surrounding areas, so it is going to be a good one! The terrain around Masaka is going to be rough and hilly, this is going to be mostly a trail marathon, a bit of tarmac, rough road, rutted path, uphill downhill – don’t expect to get a PB on this but it will be a unique race! How many runners do you expect on Sunday morning? What type of runners do you plan to attract? We are expecting around 1,500 runners, of which about 200 will be international runners; the rest will be Ugandan locals and expats. Our runners will all be people looking to adventure and do something out of the ordinary. Of the signups so far 4 out of every 10 runners have never done a marathon before so the standard is extremely varied. What makes this race special is the atmosphere of the race during the day. Do you organize other races during the Weekend? If so, on what distances? We’re doing 3 races in total; the full marathon, the half marathon and the marathon relay. We’re really excited about the marathon relay as it turns it into a team event. The idea is that 4 people run a quarter of the course each, we ferry them out to points in the course and the previous runner tags them in as they arrive. Runners don’t necessarily have to sign up in teams of 4 as we are matching people up with others. It means that if you want to come along but aren’t comfortable running that kind of distance, you can still take part. Credit : Uganda International Marathon At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect? May is towards the end of the Ugandan rainy season, which means it’s going to be quite wet and muddy. Temperatures are at a high of 25 degrees and a low of 18 degrees. The race will be at 6’o clock in the morning, which should be relatively cool. This is going to be a tough race, in tough conditions. However, if you can run a marathon distance then you’ll be able to do this marathon – it’ll just be slower! We have taken stringent medical precautions should people be susceptible to overheating. Have you planned festivities around the marathon? We have planned so many festivities – it’s what truly makes this a race like no other! During the 6 day stay, runners will stay with an African family. You’ll hear their stories, eat their food and take part in their lives during the run up. You’ll also get to visit and volunteer at some of the projects that the marathon is supporting. Whatever your chosen project is, you’ll be able to visit the people that your fundraising has directly helped. Then 2 days before the marathon, we are holding the Kids Run Wild event, a 2km race for the children of Masaka, marshaled by The Uganda Marathon runners. You’ll cheer them over the finishing line, hand out medals and share in their joy as they take part in the race. The day before the race there will be a pasta party hosted by Masaka Town, they’ll thank you for your hard work by cooking a delicious meal before the big day! Finally, after you exhaustedly cross the finish line we are putting on a carnival that will last for the rest of the day. You can celebrate your amazing achievement by partying with the African town, they are very excited about this! Credit : Uganda International Marathon The race finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to Masaka before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing, a must-do activity? There is so much to do in Uganda and we invite you to stay as long as you like to explore all you can. Uganda is one of the best places in the world to see gorillas so we highly recommend doing the gorilla tour. You can go walking with the animals and sometimes get to sit with them and stroke them. There’s also safaris to enjoy, sites to see, places to walk. Africa is a beautiful, amazing place and we want you to do as much of it as possible. Once you’re signed up, our team will be in touch to find out what you are interested in and what we can arrange for you. In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of ahotu Marathons to make them register for the Uganda International Marathon? The Uganda Marathon – A Race Like No Other is an opportunity to undergo a real adventure! Do something completely different that you will remember for the rest of your life. Interview with Andy Miller.
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