Running a marathon in Eastern Rwanda to help the Msaada Cow Project

25 Jul 2014 03:00
Jean-Loup Fenaux
Focus on a race Interview
Credit : Rwanda Challenge Marathon

Hello, on February 22nd 2015, you’ll be organizing the Rwanda Challenge Marathon. Can you tell us where it is located?

The race is held in Eastern Rwanda, based at Avega East, a widows’ cooperative, which can provide race accommodation.

How old is the race and why was it created in the first place?

This will be our 5th marathon and it is a fund raiser for the Msaada cow project a self sustaining project importing dairy cows from Ireland, enabling families to sell excess milk, fertilize their crops and cook with methane produced. The first female calf is passed to another family and so the gift grows.


What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it?

The route is off road on dirt tracks and is a tough, hilly challenge with plenty of water and banana stops and huge local support along the way.

How many runners do you expect on Sunday morning? What type of runners do you plan to attract?

We expect 150 runners on the day to run alongside the Rwandan marathon team and the race will appeal to adventurous runners looking for an unusual challenge in a fantastic part of Africa with optional visits to a game park, the cow project and the gorillas, as part of a package.

Do you organize other races during the Weekend? If so, on what distances?

We also organize a half marathon and 10k race alongside the marathon.

At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?

The race starts at 07:00am to avoid the warmest part of the day – temperatures are warm but not oppressive.

Have you planned festivities around the marathon?

In the evening there is a post race party with African dancing.

Credit : Rwanda Challenge Marathon

The race finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to Rwamagana before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing?

Rwamagana is just over an hour from Akagaera Game Park, which is well worth a visit, and the fantastic Ruzizi tented lodge would be great for post race relaxation.

In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of ahotu Marathons to make them register for the Rwanda Challenge Marathon?

Run with Msaada in Rwanda raising money for a worthwhile cause, away from the normal tourist routes, with the added attraction of Akagera Game Park and that long awaited gorilla visit.

Interview with Gill East race director of the Rwanda Challenge Marathon.