I am so happy to be sharing all the bling I earned in 2022! In 2020, I only ran three races before the pandemic hit and the rest of the year was filled with virtual challenges; in 2021, Botswana’s race calendar was empty, and I only participated in two virtual challenges. In the first quarter of 2022 we thought the year would be the same but then races returned in full force. So, for a year where I didn’t expect to race much, I’ve managed to run FIFTEEN! I shared the first eight races in this post; and in this one, I’m sharing the remaining seven! Enjoy.
9 – Jwaneng Bush-Desert Walk, 30km | 30 July. This is a popular event amongst walkers and hikers, as well as runners looking for a different kind of challenge. It has attracted several hikers from our neighbouring countries, the top being Lesotho, South Africa and Zimbabwe. This was the third time doing it and although I was definitely fitter this year than when I last did it in 2017, it was still tough. That desert sand was relentless and towards the end of the 6+ hours out there, I had had enough! It was also great doing this Challenge with my dad – he did the shorter distance, but we had such a great road trip together.
10 – BDF Half Marathon | 28 August. I was so excited to run this Half and given my dodgy training, I was surprisingly confident. But with a finish time of 2:48:06 (07:53 pace) this was my worst-ever performance in this distance! Following the race, I wrote a detailed account of what had gone wrong – and it was everything: poor nutrition and hydration, bad decisions during training, complacency with my running, and if that’s not bad enough – when I realised things were going wrong during the race, I let my ego control the pace and subsequently crashed and burned. It was such a bad experience but what I needed. Click here for race recap.
11- Kgosi Malope II Race, 10km | 17 September. After my dismal performance in Mogoditshane, I changed my entry from the Half to 10km. The race was mostly downhill for about 4.5km and although I enjoyed it, I kept thinking, “What goes down, must come up again!” And indeed, it did! Our ascent began as we headed into the bustling town centre. Each time I was tempted to walk, I told myself, “Just Keep Pushing.” This seemed to work as I ran up each incline, except for maybe 50 metres of a particularly difficult incline towards the end. It was such a great run, and the views were incredible. There were flowering trees in all colours – the Syringa trees showed off their pinks, and the Jacaranda trees, their purples, not to mention a host of others, with bright yellow, white, red and orange blooms. Click here for race recap.
12 – MAP Fun Run, 5 km| 08 October. I was overjoyed to be part of a final celebration of my secondary school’s 50th anniversary, together with my husband and son, as well as my good friends, Polelo, Elisa and Tapiwa, all of us proud members of MAP Class of 1998! I did the 5km run with my son Thiwa who alternated between running and walking, with a lot more walking in the final kilometre. But as we turned the corner by the football field, he gave his last bit of energy for a very enthusiastic finish! Ditiro had a successful day on the track he grew up with and bagged a first-place finish. It was such a fun day with family and friends, and a tonne of memories to keep us entertained for hours! Click here for race recap.
13 – UB Race, 10km| 27 November. As I was still working my way back to fitness, my aim was never to race this 10K. But I was keen to run strong and maintain a consistent pace. This I did, completing the race in a 7:20 min/km pace, and running stronger than I have done in a long time. As part of this race, the University was paying homage to Botswana’s globally recognised elite athlete Isaac Makwala for his contribution to sports development in the country. Not only did I see him at the start line, but I also spotted him at the end, and interrupted his stretching route to politely ask for a selfie! He was so gracious and humble, and put up with us taking several photos! Is there a better way to end a race?! Click here for race recap.
14 – GSRC 10×10 Challenge, 100km | 01 – 10 December. Of the four 10×10 Challenges I’ve done, this was by far my toughest one – each run was a struggle, both physically and mentally. Although the 10×10 always coincides with end-of-year deadlines, school functions and other activities, this year just seemed harder than usual, and I never got to the point of really enjoying my runs as I’ve done in previous challenges. Maybe I shouldn’t have taken on the challenge this year? But I felt after a poor running year, I needed a victory to close out the year. And even though it was a slog to the end – I did it. That makes me proud. Click here for race recap.
15 – Spar Community Challenge, 10 km| 01 December. Instead of joining the Grande Finale of the 10×10 Challenge, I was keen to bag another medal from this series. After 90km of running at this point, my legs were exhausted but I managed a 07:27min/km pace which was my fastest run in 10 days! We usually don’t stay too long after races but this being the last one in the series, we hung around for the prizes and announcements. A representative from SPAR showed us the hampers (consisting of clothes and treats) that would be given to the children of Gamodubu as part of their Christmas celebration. It felt great to know that not only had we had tremendous fun during the series, it had all been for a great cause. Click here for the race recap.
I keep saying I didn’t have a great running year, but all this bling tells a different story – I bagged an ultra-medal AND then continued to get up and race throughout the year, even if I wasn’t at my fittest or fastest. So, from this perspective, it wasn’t actually a bad year!
How many races did you do this year? What stands out as your favourite? And what was your most valuable lesson?
I’m joining the link-up, Runner’s Roundup with Mile By Mile, Coach Debbie Runs, Confessions of a Mother Runner, Runs with Pugs, and Running on Happy! Hop on over to their blogs and others and be inspired!