Race Recap

The 2021 Y-Care Walk Race In Five Quotes

My first event of the year was the Y-Care Walk Race held on the 30th January. In 2019, I chose the 30km distance, in 2020, the 15km route but this year I felt brave enough again for 30km! We arrived at Serene View Gardens in Oodi around 05:45 and found all our friends were already there and warming up. As per the safety protocols, we had our temperatures checked, our hands sanitised and our names written in the special register. Only 50 walkers were allowed on the trail and during the warm up, everyone was widely spread out and wearing masks. The “new normal” was plain to see. After some brief remarks by the organising team, we set off. I thought I’d try something a little different and use FIVE quotes I feel best describe the walk.

“In all things of nature there is something of the marvellous” – Aristotle

One thing that never ceases to amaze me is just how pretty the countryside is. We’ve had a lot of rain the last few weeks and what struck me was how beautifully green everything was even against the backdrop of grey skies. I think living in a relatively dry country makes one appreciate just how rain injects life into our surroundings. There were a few colourful wildflowers dotted around the landscape and some lonely yellow sunflowers scattered around a cornfield.

There were several termite hills and white wild mushrooms growing in some of the grassy areas. We found some lazy goats lying on a road and at different points of our walk, cattle with some calves walked and grazed slowly, looking at us intensely with their big brown eyes.

“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt” – John Muir

There was no escaping dirt on this walk! The rain over the last few days meant there were several muddy sections and we actually had fun navigating them. One section thankfully had a fence neatly positioned next to the muddy pool of water which greatly helped us!

“The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I love this quote because it really fits with the time we are in. There are days I’ve been quite overwhelmed by our current situation. Botswana has had relatively low Covid-19 infections and fatalities compared to other countries but after the festive season, we’ve had a marked increase in numbers. The numbers are no longer just “numbers” but people we know. Throw in the added reality that we are headed for some extremely tough economic times as a country which is already showing in company closures, job losses and increased stress levels. And on a daily basis, you never know what you’re going to face. Just last week my son had to be tested because he had been in contact with a playmate who was positive. Thankfully, he was okay but all of a sudden things turned upside down with me having to balance work deadlines with home-schooling. But what I’ve found works is accepting the situation and paving a path that is within my control – let it rain. On the walk, when it started raining around 13km, we simply grabbed our raincoats and marched on, without skipping a beat. Life must always go on.

“Methinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow” – Henry David Thoreau

I started the walk with Sanne and Elisa and we chatted up a storm for around 9km discussing everything from parenting to work to life in general. Working from home, not socialising much and running solo has limited deep discussions with friends. It felt good to chat and discuss our worries in a safe environment. We connected different issues and it felt amazing to let it all out.

When Sanne left us around 9km to follow another route, Elisa and I continued our discussions and after six hours of walking, we’d had several more a-ha! moments.

“Walking: the most ancient exercise and still the best modern exercise” – Carrie Latet

I think as runners we sometimes underrate the value of walking. But whenever I walk, I’m reminded of two things – firstly, walkers are incredibly strong. The group ahead of us finished 40 minutes before we crossed the Finish Line and it wasn’t as if we were strolling! Secondly, walking always exposes my weaker areas. Regular brisk walking according to this article helps to strengthen our bones and muscles and improve our balance and coordination, not to mention all the mental health benefits. Being out there felt so peaceful and although our legs were very heavy at the end, I think I speak for many when I say our minds certainly felt lighter.

Thank you so much to the Y Care Charitable Trust for organising another great event and giving us a little bit of normal at such an abnormal time. We felt safe and supported at all times, with a marshal always behind us and there were a number of stops with water, energy drinks and fruits on offer. I say this every year but this is such a worthwhile event for both walkers and runners.

And of course, the bling didn’t disappoint! I would have done this walk without a medal, but the joy of finally having a #MedalMonday to share – PRICELESS!

Do you incorporate walking as part of your fitness routine? Have you earned your first medal of the year? Have you heard any of these quotes before? Let me know in the comments!

I’m joining a brand new link up, FIT FIVE FRIDAY with FIVE amazing hosts – Run Laugh Eat Pie, My First 5K and MoreRunning With Attitude, Zenaida and Runs With Pugs. Be sure to check out what they have to say this Friday!

32 thoughts on “The 2021 Y-Care Walk Race In Five Quotes

  1. Can’t tell you how much I love this recap. Those quotes are great. I especially love Muir’s quotes.

    I am enjoying hiking this year (even more than running.)

    And yes walking is my favorite thing to do.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I LOVE walking. I’m always a bit surprised (and taken aback) when runners shun it. IT works similar muscles, but in a different way, than does running, and all the cardio benefits are there. I love the quote about just letting it rain. Yes, indeed! We cannot control the rain (or many of our circumstances), but our attitude is all on us. This Y Care walk looks like something I’d really enjoy 😉 Thanks for all the details 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’d love this and I know you’d be among the top finishers too! I’m definitely going to do a lot more walking. Y Care organises bush walks every month. Only this one comes with a medal but I’m going to sign up for the rest. Firstly, for all the health benefits and secondly, to see all the places I’d never see otherwise.


  3. What a great format for a recap, Shathiso! Where do you get your creative ideas from?

    I think I’ve never walked 30k in my life. How long did it take you?

    You also highlighted a big advantage of walking over running: it’s much easier to talk! What a nice way to spend some time together with a friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for sharing this experience with us. Honestly, walking is not my thing. I’d rather walk. Years ago I did a few 3-days walks to raise money for breast cancer. Ha, don’t think I would do them now (well, with no pandemic, of course).

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It wasn’t that bad because we could go at our own pace. However, there was a time cut off and if we weren’t at a specific place at a specified time, someone would pick us up and take us to the meeting area.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I will incorporate walk intervals in my runs-it’s been a run saver for me! I love the quotes you used for this event. And I am SOOOOOO jealous of your warm weather.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Starting a YouTube channel and taking daily walk with my husband and dog were two of my pandemic projects. The walking has been such a wonderful way to connect with each other as well as with nature. I love the quotes you chose and I agree with all of them. What a fun event!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love that you walk with your husband! I did a 72 day walk streak to honour what would have been my mum’s 72nd birthday and for many of those walks my husband joined me. They weren’t long – about 2km, but it was such a great way to “de-stress” from the day and just really connect. After the streak, I haven’t done much walking and would love to return to that!


  7. Love this recap so much. I would so love to walk this with you one day. I’m still dreaming of coming to Botswana though now I don’t know when I’ll actually get there. But I will! My favorite quote is the Muir quote – so incredibly fitting right now!

    I walk a lot more now. I don’t want to be injured again and I have less feeling of obligation to running without any races to train for. Walking is amazing – I’m constantly gazing at the nature around me, stopping to feel the sun on my face or just trying to notice the world around me. Last month I walked 147 KM. 147!! I never have walked so much.

    So sorry that covid-19 tried to come so close to home. We’re not out of the woods yet by far. We keep having spikes here as well and it’s just so frustrating when we pretty much do nothing and see hardly anyone. I’m at the point that I miss going to the office! I never thought I would feel that way. Are you guys getting a vaccine program going?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 147km!!!!! That’s a lot of walking and time spent out!!! Well done! Running has so many benefits but walking just gives such calm and tranquil vibes. Y-Care organises monthly bush walks and I’m really keen to join them once a month this year and to incorporate some more short walks during the week.

      The Minister of Health announced last week that we are in the process of sourcing vaccines – no clear schedule yet but they will start with Essential Services. I’m really hoping it’s sooner rather than later. Looking forward to seeing an actual implementation plan for vaccine roll-out. Let’s cross fingers and toes my friend.


  8. 30k is absolutely one of my favorite distances. It is not typical. I love how you used the quotes to describe your race experience. You certainly had a beautiful place to walk! I have never seen a termite mound. They are amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is a lovely recap of the walk. I was on the 15 km walk and if it was not for you pushing me a bit, I probably would have missed this lovely walk. I love the way you described all the things on the walk. I am now seeing them from a very different perspective. And I love all the pictures. With this experience, I feel that runners probably walk slower than regular brisk walkers, although I would want to go on more walks and runs to know better. However, I now learnt that I should probably include brisk walking into my fitness routine.

    Thankyou once again
    Shathiso for this lovely recap and for all your inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Pramila! And I am so glad that you and hubby decided to do this walk and above all enjoyed the whole experience! I think runners are certainly slower especially if we don’t walk regularly! It’s quite an art it seems. But nothing that practice won’t sort out! 🙂 So yes, please include more regular walks, that’s what I’m going to do. I’ll also DM you the Y-Care schedule for their monthly bush walks.


      1. It is indeed an art and a sport on its own. I thought I would rest my ITB and decided to join a group of Phakalane early morning walkers three weeks back….boy was I mistaken. I had to do a light jog just to keep up so I am not left in the dark on my own…so much for resting my knee!lol!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Another precious walk and we came out with our cups full! Love how you put this recap together using the quotations; just wonderful reminders of the value of walking and being out marveling at nature. Something we can’t fully appreciate as runners. Love it 💚💚

    Liked by 1 person

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