It’s no secret that I love the Lady Khama Trail Run – it is super organised, well coordinated and absolute FUN and the trail itself is well-marked, accurately measured, traversing tarmac, uneven dirt track and some grassy bits. On the 14th of April 2019, I ran it for the third time but for the first time I was not in a fancy dress costume! I had really been looking forward to the race but for some odd reason when I got up that morning, I was in a slightly grumpy mood. I wasn’t nervous at all but I just wasn’t in the mood for a run. My strategy was straightforward – this was going to be a chilled Sunday morning training run.
The Race: The Start/ Finish was at the UB Stadium. We started warming up and then wished Zurika and Elisa luck as they set off on the Half. Thuna soon arrived with her son, who was participating in his first official race and Polelo joined us shortly after. We went to the Start where Polelo and I remained in the middle of the pack and Malcolm and Ditiro edged closer to the front. The gun sounded at 07:01 and we were off! We exited the UB Sports Complex Gate and then ran towards the National Stadium where we turned right onto the dirt road. This took us behind the Cricket Club where there were already some keen cricketers in the batting cages. We ran along the Gaborone Golf Course, passed Blue Tree and the beautiful Sir Ketumile Masire Teaching Hospital. The 3 km mark was just along the Gaborone Game Reserve and we saw some Half Marathoners inside the reserve. I had a smooth and fast start to the race, 07:16/ 06:55/ 06:53 min/km.
We headed onto a dirt road and then turned right into the bush and onto some slightly muddy, rugged jeep track. I think it was here that there was an elaborate water stop with music and several sweet offerings. We eventually emerged behind the Botanical Gardens and headed towards the Old Tlokweng Bridge where we hung a right and were back on tarred road, heading into town. My splits were consistent, 07:00/ 07:00/ 07:04. We followed this main road all the way to News Cafe and eventually passed the UB Main Entrance. Shortly after, we turned left onto the dirt road, running behind the UB Campus (07:08/ 06:53/06:45). We headed into the UB back gate and were now on the homestretch. I remember nonchalantly looking at my watch and being shocked to see how close I was to a PB. I knew I had it, if I could just take it up a notch – 06:26 min. Boom!
I looked at my watch in disbelief when I saw 1:09 and in the photo below I am running towards Ditiro shouting, “I did it. I finally got my PB. I did it!”
My time: To put it into perspective, last year I ran this course in 1:15:09 meaning I now had a 5:20 min course PB! But it also took down my 1:10:24 time set in 2017.
After the Race: I was over the moon and I kept repeating, “I can’t believe it”. I’ve tried to be consistent with my training and I think I’ve been quite positive but sometimes you just need that validation in the form of a PB. And I finally had it. It took 23 months but at last I had a 10 km PB and a sub-70 min time on the most unexpected of days. I told everyone, “I really need to be grumpy more often! Maybe I’m just too cheerful on Race Day?!” But seriously, in the four weeks since the Gabs 1/2 Marathon, I’ve incorporated weekly speed work which is really making a difference. I can feel there has been a real and positive shift in the quality of my running.
We headed to Sanitas later that day to meet up with some old High School friends and all those who had raced that morning took a post-race selfie. Most unexpectedly, 20 years after finishing High School we are racing together! How about that?!
And that’s a wrap folks! Thanks to Thuna, Ditiro and Malcolm for the photos!