On The Run

Running The Alphabet | H – P

Inspired by Judy from Chocolate Runs Judy, I’ve been running the alphabet! In my first blog of this series, I shared places I have run, walked or hiked from A – G. It’s been NINE months since that post as it took me so long to find places starting with H and I. But with a recent trip to Mpumalanga in South Africa, I nabbed an ‘H’ and I got creative with the ‘I’ which seems quite illusive in this part of the world! But WE’RE BACK for my second installment.

The Rules Of The Game

  • Letter should be of a city, town, village, mountain range, game reserve; and NOT a country or province.
  • I should have run, walked or hiked in the place.
  • I should blog in order of the alphabet.

Let’s Run The Alphabet!

H is for Hazyview. Who knew it would be so hard to find an H?! There is a small village, a few hours’ drive from Gaborone called Hatsalatladi. But I knew it would be difficult to convince family or friends to go for a random trip to such a remote location! But thankfully a recent family vacation to South Africa meant I finally found my H. Hazyview was an hour’s drive from our lodge, so while the family visited an elephant sanctuary on the outskirts of this town, Ditiro and I ran into Hazyview, around the industrial section, before making our way back.

I is for iPitoli. As for ‘I’ – this seems to be rarer than Q or X here! So, I’ve had to be a little bit creative whilst still sticking to the rules. iPitoli is the Zulu name for Pretoria in South Africa which is the country’s administrative capital. I’ve run here on at least two occasions: first for the famous Monster 10K race in 2017 and then for the Phobians Half Marathon in 2020, just before the world shut down. Both races were amazing even with the city’s infamous hills!

J is for Jwaneng. This town is a 2-hour drive from Gaborone and is home to the richest diamond mine in the world. I’ve never run here but this where the epic 30km Bush-Desert Walk takes place. I’ve done this three times – in 2016, 2017 and most recently in 2022.

K is for Kang, Kanye, Kasane and Khudumelapye. Kang is a village in the Kgalagadi District lying between Ghanzi in the north and Sekoma in the south. I ran there on a trip to the Okavango Delta in 2020. Located 85km from Gaborone, Kanye is well-known for its rolling hills, beautiful gorges and stunning scenery. I’ve participated in two races here – in 2017 and 2022. I ran in Khudumelapye, a remote village on the outskirts of the Kgalagadi Desert when we were returning from a camping trip in the desert. Finally, when we visited Kasane in 2021, I took the opportunity to run in this world-famous tourist town with all its fabulous baobab trees!

L is for Lobatse. Nestled in a valley, surrounded by several hills sits Botswana’s second oldest town. It is home to Botswana Meat Commission, the first High Court of Justice and the first referral psychiatric hospital. Lobatse was also the safe refuge for many prominent liberation fighters including Nelson Mandela, Samora Machel and Sam Nujoma – all of whom became Presidents of their countries. Lobatse holds a special place in my heart as it is where my parents met, where I went to primary school and where I met many friends. I ran here in 2021.

M is for Magaliesberg, Maun, Metsimotlhabe, Mochudi, Mogoditshane, Mokolodi, and Molepolole. The letter ‘I’ may not be popular here, but ‘M’ certainly is! I’ve done some beautiful trail runs in Magaliesberg, South Africa. I briefly ran in Maun on my way to the Okavango Delta and I’ve walked along the banks of the river in Metsimotlhabe several times. I’ve also done an epic 30km run in Mochudi and two races in Mogoditshane, the last being the ego-shattering Half Marathon in August 2022. I also did an exploratory run in Molepolole, an urban village about 50km from the city and the official gateway to the Kgalagadi Desert, and of course, several trail runs, races and walks in the Mokolodi Nature Reserve.

N is for Notwane and Nshakazhogwe. When I was training for Addo, I did some trail running in Notwane which is just outside Gaborone on the Lobatse Road. I also did one of my 10×10 Challenge runs in Nshakazhogwe, my family’s home village in 2019, about 6 hours’ drive away.

O is for Okavango, Oodi and Otse. On my 40th birthday, I did a 2-hour walk in the Okavango Desert led by two guides who had extensive knowledge of this pristine environment. The walk was such a unique experience – there was something so special about being close to the ground and noticing the small yet significant miracles of nature that are often overlooked. Oodi is an unassuming village in Kgatleng District, 20km north-east of Gaborone and offers several different terrains for runners – tarred road, pavement, trail as well as climb up Oodi Hill. Otse is about 40km from Gaborone – I know because I once walked from here to Otse with my friend Elisa! I’ve also climbed Otse Hill with Ditiro and done a couple of runs in the area.

P is for Palapye, Pandamatenga and Pilgrim’s Rest. I did a 10K race in Palapye, ran in Pandamatenga on the way back from our trip to Kasane, and very recently (in fact my last blog), I ran in Pilgrim’s Rest which was a mining town that was sold to the government to be protected as a national museum. The town’s architecture remains largely unchanged since its days as a bustling mining town. I felt as if I had been thrown back in time and was intrigued by the different buildings and impressed by the types of businesses that existed at that time.

So, I finally found an “H” allowing me to post the second installment of the Alphabet Challenge! I have one more post to go but with Q, U, W, X, Y and Z missing, you could be waiting awhile!

Have you run or walked the Alphabet? Have you run in a Q or an X?

I’m joining Kooky Runner and Zenaida on their link up, Tuesday Topics. And a huge THANK YOU to Judy for inspiring this series! Be sure to check our their blogs.

13 thoughts on “Running The Alphabet | H – P

  1. Well done on the “H”!
    It’s funny how some letters are hard to find, depending on the country and language.
    I could get a “Q” not too far from Zurich (“Quarten”).

    But the “X”?? I’d have to get very creative!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true! I’ve seen a place called Queensburgh close to Durban so if Ditiro does his Iron Man this year, I’ll take full advantage!

      You may get lucky while you’re in the Western Cape as Xhosa is widely spoken so I think some towns may have an X? Hopefully, anyway! 😀🤣

      Liked by 1 person

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