To date, I’ve run nine Half Marathons with my ninth resulting in a shocking Personal Worst (PW) time in Mogoditshane. I say shocking but there were many reasons for my dismal performance, a key one being complacency. After this race, I pulled out of my next scheduled Half in Kanye and ran 10km races for the remainder of the year. But my favourite distance is the Half and in 2023 my biggest goal is to return to my self-proclaimed title – Queen of Halves! LOL. This will mean a return to dedicated training but I’m excited to train for this distance again. As it stands now, I’m a long way from beating my official PB of 2:24:01 but I’m looking forward to getting back to that level of running, before working on my Big Hairy Audacious Goal: a sub 2:15 time! In 2023, I would also like to bring my tally to 15 Halves which will mean running at least six!
What are Some of My Options?
1/ Gabs Half Marathon. The last time I ran this race was in March 2019. I ran a beautiful 15km, but it all fell part in the last 6km when I lost my mental game. I finished at the back of the pack. Even though it was a PB at the time, all I felt was a crushing sense of disappointment at how poorly I’d run those last 6km. But I took so many lessons from this race. I would love to take it on again as a stronger runner with a better attitude. Before the pandemic, it was a March race, but this year it took place in October. If it returns to its March slot, I’m looking to be ready.
2/ Peleng Half Marathon. This inaugural race takes places in the town I grew up in, Lobatse. Last year, I returned to Lobatse for a leisurely run through the town, but I would absolutely love the opportunity to run a Half here with greater coverage of the town. It is a lot hillier than Gaborone, so it won’t be an easy one! This race is scheduled for March/ April 2023.
3/ Gaborone Striders Half Marathon. This is another inaugural race that was announced a couple of months ago. The Gaborone Striders Runners Club organises the 10×10 Challenge and provides technical support for many other races. So, this will be a Half Marathon I don’t want to miss. I will use this as an official goal race, with a first attempt at a PB. It has been scheduled for 8th April 2023 (which is Easter Saturday) so not sure if this date will remain.
4/ Two Oceans Half Marathon. This is held in Cape Town and has always been a race I’ve wanted to do! Of course, travelling to Cape Town won’t be cheap, so I’m still weighing this option. But my goodness, this would be THE DREAM. It has been scheduled for 16 April 2023.
5/ Gubungano Half Marathon. This is an inaugural race in Francistown. My dad has lived in Gaborone for 50+ years but Francistown will always be his city! I would love to run here and bring him along for the 10K race! It has been scheduled for 15 July 2023.
6/ Phikwe Half Marathon. When I started running in 2017, this was one of the races I bucket-listed and although it took me 5.5 years to #RunPhikwe, I finally did it this year! Even though the last third of the race was tough, I kept things steady and pushed through with a smile on my face running the course in 2:35:47. I would love to return. This is a July race.
7/ BDF Half Marathon. Haha! You know I need to get back to the scene of the disaster and redeem myself on the streets of Mogoditshane. This is an August race.
8/ Kgosi Malope II Half Marathon. Remember the Half I chickened out of after my disastrous BDF Half Marathon? That was this one! I did the 10K Race instead which I absolutely loved. But I would love to redeem myself and run all 21.1km of those hills! This is typically a September race.
9/ UB Half Marathon. I had the best time doing the 10K here last month so would love to do the Half which my husband thoroughly enjoyed. This is a November race.
10/ Jacaranda Half Marathon. I’ve wanted to do this race for the longest time. It is held in Pretoria, South Africa, when the purple Jacarandas are in full bloom. I’ve heard only wonderful things about this race and would love to do it! This is a November race.
There are many great races to choose from! You know part of me wants to do ALL 10, but if I can do the six that I’m aiming for, I will be a very happy runner. Run a sub-2:24 time and I’ll be even happier… Get to sub 2:15…OMG! You won’t hear the end of it!
What are some of the races on your Bucket List for 2023? Do you enjoy Half Marathons? What’s your favourite distance? Have you ever felt the need to redeem yourself?
3 thoughts on “My Bucket List of Half Marathons for 2023”
You have a lot of options…
PW happens and for many reasons… many are out of your control. Remember “finishing=winning.”
I enjoy the half marathon distance for the challenge but I also enjoy 5ks because you don’t have to train and you can have a time goal if you choose. I don’t have time goals for half marathons.. they are too hard and there are too many variables that affect your time (weather, fitness, course, etc.)
Of course if I have a bad race, I want to redeem myself initially and then if I think about it, I realize that I don’t have to.
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I can’t wait to get specific dates for the Half Marathons but have started training, so I’m ready either way!
5Ks scare me more than Halves because they are over too quickly before I’ve gotten into my run! 🤣