The Uganda connection started with Jonathan’s mentor, a Ugandan minister in California, who sadly passed away at the age of 35, but not before teaching Jonathan that you just don’t talk about things; you need to act on them. After a visit to some of the villages, he saw firsthand that these people had basic needs such as food, clean water and schools. It was then that Jonathan realized his passion was to impact the country and people that he had fallen in love with.
Jonathan partnered with the World Harvest Mission, whose founder was close friends with his mentor, and decided to organize a race to spread awareness and raise funds to build water wells in Uganda. Now, being a new Race Director is no walk in the park. “I look at it like I look at running. Look at the problem and take the steps one by one to solve it. When planning these races, I go through highs and lows to solve the issues, just like running a race.” Jonathan used a simple Evite for his first event, which was an 11k held just north of San Francisco in 2009. He had a total of 30 participants, where every runner received a full breakfast and a pair of socks from their one and only sponsor, Injinji. In 2010, 40 people showed up, and in 2011, due to a marketing campaign that brought in a Giants professional baseball player, there were approximately 175 runners. His race grew by adding a website for information and registrations and offered two distances of 5k and 10k. In 2014 Jonathan brough in a race company to run the event due to the amount of much needed equipment and logistics to handle the larger crowd.