As part of the recently concluded 10×10 Challenge, I paid tribute to and celebrated the TOP 10 countries reading my blog in 2022 by wearing their national or flag colours on each run – starting with Number 10 and building up to Number 1 on the Final Day. When I wanted to quit halfway, I knew I couldn’t possibly leave out the Top Five so it was a great motivation to keep going. If you follow me on social media, by now you know who made it to the Top Five! But in case you don’t – here is the full run-down! Before we get there though, let me remind you of the countries occupying positions 10 – 6; in 10th place is The Netherlands, then Tanzania, Kenya, Ireland and finally Australia in 6th place. For the full recap, check out this post!
Here is Our TOP FIVE!
5 – Canada. About 12 years ago, Ditiro and I hosted several Canadian volunteers in our home – we must have had around 30 guests over a period of 4 years. It was such a lovely experience for them and for us. Some of them met Kaia, but none of them met Thiwa as we stopped hosting when I was about 8 months pregnant. By staying with us, they gained a better understanding of Botswana, its culture, people and customs, and we learned so much about Canada, especially as they came from all over the country – Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, Alberta, to name a few places. Many have remained dear friends, so I was very excited to run in red and white.
4 – United Kingdom. I was very fortunate to get Government sponsorship to study in the UK – Kent for my undergrad.; and Surrey for my postgrad. If it wasn’t for Ditiro’s disdain of British weather, I probably would have lived there for a few more years! But I’ve kept in contact with many dear friends; and communicate with some weekly. My first running coach is from here; and she once shared what it’s like to run in Waddesdon, plus, of course fellow blogger Liz is from here and if I remember correctly, her husband and I went to the same university! Liz also shared what it’s like to run in Birmingham with us. I’ve also loved connecting with Myfanwy from the She Runs Cardiff Running Club in Wales – taking part in some virtual events with the club and I also recently interviewed Myf on her experience of running with arthritis.
3 – South Africa. I’ve written several blogs on South Africa so I would’ve been disappointed if it was not on the list! I’ve also had several South Africans/residents contributing to the blog: Ticha has guest blogged many times, sharing his running and hiking adventures; Robyn blogged about running in East London; Taffy has shared several recipes; and Khanyisa shared her experience of running with endometriosis. After apartheid, the new South Africa was coined the Rainbow Nation in celebration of its different cultures, languages and ethnicities. So, for my run I thought it fitting to wear these colourful tights designed by South African Rich Mnisi for Adidas.
2 – Botswana. There are not many fitness bloggers in Botswana so for the last six years, I have loved occupying this space and writing about running in Gaborone as well as other places in the country. I have appreciated all the support from people who tell me on the street that they read my blog and love that I share Botswana-focused content which is often hard to find. I have also thoroughly enjoyed sharing stories from Batswana/ residents through interviews and guest blogs – to name a few of them – Elisa (fitness journey), Zurika (400km journey to 40), Nana (yoga story), Tshireletso (running Comrades), Tapiwa (Run the Berg), Polelo (Green Juice Recipes), Jongman (from asthma to marathons), Gape (running in Asmara), Gobona (cycling and running), Naema (marathon nutrition)… and I’m sure I’m missing others!
1 – USA. I wasn’t surprised to find the USA at the top! In fact, I think the USA has ranked first every year! I link-up with several runner bloggers, so this definitely plays a role in the stellar ranking – I’m very thankful for all the support, encouragement and love over the years from this group of powerful women! I’ve also had a few of them contribute to the blog – Cari shared what it’s like to run in New York City, Kim shared her runs in Grinnel, Iowa and Wendy took us for a tour of Chicago! My sister-in-law who is based in Connecticut also wrote about the importance of protecting our eyes on the run! To all other USA-based readers, thank you. Hopefully, one day I will visit and write about running in the USA; and with some of you!
THANK YOU so much for all your support this year. It really serves as great motivation for me to continue blogging. Please do let me know what other content you would like to see from me in 2023! Should I run in more places in Botswana? Would you like to see more content on food? Would you like me to share my training plans/ workouts? And if you would like to collaborate with me or guest blog, please do reach out to me – I would love to have you on here.