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Live Together: Simon Rugut

Discover the incredible journey of Simon Rugut at Tuscany Camp. From Ugandan athlete to pacer and mentor, his impact on the running community.
simon rugut running
Simon pacing another athlete during training.
Where is Simon? He knows how to do it." "If you want to know how Tuscany Camp works you have to talk to Simon." "Hey Simon, run with him and make sure he doesn't run too fast"

Simon Rugut, Simon for everyone at Tuscany Camp, is one of the OGs here. During his stay, he saw the Camp coming together, evolving, and rising as an institution in the world of athletics. We didn't know him before but after spending one day with the athletes we understood that he was someone worth talking with. We saw him pacing young athletes during our morning run while talking with Coach Giuseppe. Later, he took care of the vegetables in the garden. Then, we discovered to have some mutual friends from our hometown and he immediately Facetimed them and started laughing - how small the world is.

We heard a lot about you from other runners here at Tuscany Camp. Tell us more about yourself.

I am the first athlete who came here from Uganda. I arrived here in 2014 when we stayed at Hotel Castello just down the road. That was the first Tuscany camp. We stayed there for 3 years and it was fantastic.

What was the first thing you thought when you arrived here for the first time?

I didn’t know anything about Italy and Tuscany. So it was a shock but then I reapplied it was fantastic.

simon rugut tuscany camp
Simon in his garden.

How has your life here changed over the years and what do you do now at Tuscany Camp?

I run marathons. This is why I came here. My PB is 2:14. But nowadays I don’t run these that much anymore. I mostly pace other athletes during training and in races. During my stay here, I also learned how to do massages. I do it for all other athletes who stay here. I am the one who shows around the newest athletes and teaches them how Tuscany camp works. I am the oldest in the end [laugh]. I also have my garden here where I cultivate the vegetables we all eat.

What does run together mean to you?

Running together helps you. You go faster. When you are in a big group you make friends and they motivate you.

What is your relationship with running?

I love running, especially for the people I meet. At first, they knew me because I was fast but now, after many years, they still recognize me and we hang around, especially the Italians thank me a lot because maybe I helped them in the past.

Simon rugut interview
Simon during our interview.

After 10 years at Tuscany Camp, what do you think of this experience?

When I moved here, I changed my life completely and now I feel I am somewhere.

What is your relationship with your motherland, Uganda? Do you go back regularly?

Usually, I go back to Uganda in December to see my family. Then Giuseppe will join me or I join him if he’s going there to help him with the scouting.

It was the first time we met a professional pacer. How is the life of a pacer?

I have many athletes asking for me, even races. Recently I paced Sofiia Yaremchuk in Venice and I helped her achieve her objective. I also pace other athletes here, mostly the girls and young boys, during the training. I help with other training, when Giuseppe is not here I help the young boys with their training plan.

This interview has been edited.


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