Our three marathon runners tell us why they are running this epic distance and how their training is going.
On Sunday 3 October 2021, Holly, Marian and Mandy will run the virtual Virgin Money London Marathon in Orkney, Herefordshire and Hong Kong – joining a record 50,000 participants who will run the traditional Virgin Money London Marathon from Blackheath to The Mall. This will be the biggest marathon event ever staged anywhere in the world and we are thrilled to be part of it and to raise money for REACH Bwindi!
Bwindi Community Hospital plans to have a sports day on the same day as the virtual London marathon to join in with our fundraising. We will be connected across the world!
26.2 miles is a long way, especially without the crowds in London cheering them on – so please donate to encourage them on their way! If you are unable to donate at this time, you can also support us by sharing the page and by following our progress on facebook (REACH Bwindi) and Instagram (@reachbwindi).
Our three runners tell us how their training is going:
Hello, I am Marian Davis and I live in Herefordshire, which is on the border between England and Wales. I first visited BCH in 2016 and have been back several times since then working with local doctors and nurses to develop youth friendly services. Uganda is a very young country with half of the population being under 15.
I will be running the virtual marathon along the Brecon and Monmouthshire canal- flat, you see… There are some pictures of the canal here:
I have covered the whole route on practice runs- the scenery is beautiful, and I have met people in barges, fishermen, cyclists and dog walkers. The barges are only allowed to go at 3 miles per hour so even I can go faster than them.
I am the oldest member of the team and although I have run marathons before, my target this time is just to complete the distance.
The healthcare facilities in Hong Kong are well-established and easily accessible. However, patients in Uganda may not be able to receive proper care due to a long travelling distance to the hospital which may eventually put their health at risk. While the nurses at Bwindi Community Hospital are trying to deliver meds to their patients at villages by motorbike, I myself as a nurse and motorbiker hope to support this by raising money from Hong Kong.
I have regular training in the track and field on Tuesdays plus running 10km on the weekends. I also do other sports between the runs to maintain my fitness e.g. playing table tennis, kayaking and swimming.
This photo (below) was taken in Bwindi as I was finishing a run, about a year and a half ago now. It was hot and dusty running along the dirt roads, and I was usually accompanied at least part of the way by excited local children. Here on Orkney, I mainly just have the wind to contend with. Early on Saturday mornings I pass very few people on my long runs on the back roads and I have plenty of time to contemplate why I’m doing this.
So many people in the area served by Bwindi Community Hospital can’t reach it to get healthcare because of the poor roads and absence of public transport. Today I ran 34km (it was painful) but imagine having to walk over twice that distance to see your Doctor when you are ill. Or take your elderly relative or young child for hours over rough and muddy roads on the back of a motorbike to get treatment. The hospital tries to address these challenges with their community outreach work, reaching out to bring healthcare to those who need it in the most remote areas.
Thank you for supporting us in our challenge and reaching out to help such a valuable service across the globe.