Race Recap

Y-Care Oodi-Mmamashia Walk Race Recap, #1/20

I started running in 2017 by challenging myself to 17 races that year. This year I’ve returned to how it had all began with a #20in20 Race Challenge. Botswana doesn’t have too many races (probably less than 20 a year) so I’ve been keeping a close ear to the ground to make sure I don’t miss any. My first race was the Y-Care Oodi-Mmamashia Walk Race. This is a strictly walking/hiking event so no running allowed but I’ve loved doing these kinds of events over the years. I did the sandy 30km Jwaneng Desert Walk in 2016 and 2017. In 2018, I did the 40km hike from Gaborone to Otse and last year I enjoyed the 30km hike through Oodi. This year I chose the 15km route (instead of 30km) as I needed something gentler on my legs given my long weekend runs. I had no real goals other than to have fun and collect my first medal of 2020!

In the early hours of race morning it started raining heavily and it got progressively worse. When our morning alarm sounded, we groggily muttered to each other that surely the race would be cancelled. But when I looked at my phone there were no messages. I then messaged Elisa asking if she had received a cancellation notification. No, she said! Reluctantly, we started getting ready. As we drove to Elisa’s house, our windscreen wipers swooshed violently from side to side as it continued to pour down. We were still convinced the race would be cancelled.

However, when we arrived at the Oodi Kgotla, we were shocked to find several cars already parked and many participants were fully dressed in their rain clothes, seemingly unperturbed by the rain. We finally accepted that rain or not, this race was happening so we hopped out of the car, put on our rain gear and made our way to the Starting Line.

There was a short greeting followed by a prayer and thankfully by the time the race began, the rain had somewhat subsided and remained that way for the duration of our race. The 15 and 30km walkers all set off at the same time and we made our way through Oodi village. The early morning rain meant the trail was extremely muddy and in parts difficult to navigate. Many of the walkers had hiking poles which made it easier for them to traverse the muddy sections.

I loved the walk through the quiet village and masimo (land for growing crops). Everything was really green with a splash of colour coming from the yellow and purple wild flowers.

Oodi Hill was a prominent feature for most of the walk and when we got quite close to it, we turned left onto a tarred road. We remained on this road for most of the walk. Last year, we spent a lot more time in the bush and I wonder if the race organisers had changed the route given the heavy night and morning rain to allow for a more walkable option.

Somewhere along this road we crossed a river but instead of continuing on the main road, we decided to cross the river using a narrow concrete bridge. With the river flowing quite fast, we actually felt dizzy going across! But the photos made it worth the trouble 🙂

We continued on our way until we reached our first (and only) water stop. At this point, the 15km walkers were told to turn back and the 30km walkers continued on their way! I must admit I was slightly envious of the 30km walkers but quickly remembering we had taken 6 hours to complete the walk last year, I was also relieved that we would be done in half that time.

It was an out and back so the route back wasn’t too different. The overall mileage was 16.45 km. As last year, we were greeted by the Kgosi (Chief) upon our return which was a lovely touch. We were happy to have secured our first medal of the year in a somewhat relaxed fashion.

We stuck around for a little bit and noticed a health station taking blood pressure and glucose readings. I thought that was a great add-on to the event and a reminder of how important these health checks are. When you lead a fit and active lifestyle it’s often easy to assume that all is well when it fact we may be some underlying health issues that need to be addressed. Thankfully, my BP and glucose readings were in the normal range.

After a somewhat reluctant start to the race, we ended up having such a lovely morning and I was really glad to have participated in this event. Aside from my momentary feeling of #FOMO of those who were doing 30km, I was happy we had chosen 15km. Great company and conversation while getting some exercise done. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Have you done a strictly walking event before? Do you incorporate walking as part of your fitness routine? Do you do regular health checks? For my marathoner readers, did you do specific health tests before your first Marathon? Let me know in the comments!

I’m joining two fabulous runners, Kim from Running on the Fly and Deborah from Confessions from a Mother Runner for their link up the “Weekly Run Down”.

30 thoughts on “Y-Care Oodi-Mmamashia Walk Race Recap, #1/20

  1. So much rain and mud! I would have hoped for a cancellation, too! But look how lovely it turned out – even the sun popped out in the end! Beautiful countryside! I love the green grass with the red soil.
    I have never done a walking race before, but it sounds very relaxing. I make sure I get my 10’000 walking steps in every day. My Garmin sets a dynamic target, so now my goal is 15’000 steps a day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 15,000!! You are amazing!! So much more relaxed than a running race and when you’re done you still feel like you’ve had a great workout! In fact, I always feel I’ve worked different muscles 😁 Looking forward to hearing how your clinic went! I saw some pics on Facebook and was looking out for you.😅

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t done a strictly walking event before, but I do like to incorporate walking into my daily life. I often like to PowerTalk at least once a week and try to squeeze in walk breaks during my lunch hour at work.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Aside from the really muddy part, that looks really lovely! I wish we had events like that here. Or if we do, I don’t know about them.

    When I was a kid I did do a few charity walking event — we do have charity walks (but not hikes — or not that I know of, anyway).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. All the mud! Well done on getting that done after not wanting to start (naturally enough!).

    How is the COVID-19 situation there? Of course we’ve heard no news. Hope you’re all OK.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As you know, I’m a huge advocate for walking. I’ve been doing so much stair climbing recently, though, that my walking has dwindled. I’m hoping to get back outside for more walking, especially now with the extended daylight hours. This sounds like a great event…love that medal. Congrats!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. OMG, that beetle!! It’s funny how much we dread getting ready when the rain is pouring at a race, but it always seems to clear up and turn out good.
    Getting those tests done was a good idea. I just had my annual routine bloodwork done. You just never know!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. oh my gosh the MUD!! but what a great event!

    a long time ago, in my “previous” life (my US life) I did a 5K Walktoberfest 🙂 That was the only walking event I ever participated in. here in the Netherlands we do have the 4 Day March which I consider doing for about 1 minute and then I come to my senses (4 days 40KM each day, 50 if you are under 50). I wanted to do the Airborne 10K Walk last year but I had a hernia…

    we have gotten health checks before. it’s actually required to have a certificate for events in France and for some in Italy. We’ve done a complete check at the Olympic training centre here in Arnhem also to just see where we are at health wise.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.