Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Striding for a purpose

‘Test your limits, keep fit, have fun and run for a purpose!’ This will be the main message as Gaborone Striders Runners Club take the strides during this year’s edition of the annual change 10 X 10 for 10 challenge.

Unlike many challenges, the Gaborone Striders 10×10 for 10 Challenge, which is said to be growing in leaps and bounds, is made to benefit the runners and the society. Club chairperson Trevor Matlakala says the objective of the 10 X 10 for 10 event is to promote an active lifestyle, physically and mentally challenge the endurance of runners and non-runners for endurance for 10 consecutive days, while having fun and getting fit as well as helping charity.

Everyday those who are up for the challenge are expected to Run 10km daily for ten days. According to Matlakala the race is achieving its objectives and every year the demand is high. “Numbers are growing as we leaped from 300 (2020) to about 550 this year. We had targeted 400 participants, but exceeded it due to huge interest,” explained Trevor.

The 550 runners are expected to abide by strict covid 19 health protocols all the time. For the runners, safety is not an option but a must.  “COVID-19 has resulted in doing business unusual when it comes to races. Virtual races are the norm now where participants are required to do virtual runs in very small numbers or individually wherever they are and send their race results through a designated running App,” Matlakala said when explaining how they do the race under new Covid-19 normal.  

In the past they runners could gather in large numbers but they have since been given strict instructions that they are not allowed to gather in large numbers. “We are adhering to covid health protocols. No gatherings of more than 50 people, we do keep a register, sanitize and wear masks or buffs to comply all the time” he stressed. 

The runners are also engaged in social responsibility activities to assist where they see need to help and give a supporting hand. “This year we are presenting the challenge with a twist. The twist is to run and dedicate each of the 10 days to an important cause and raising awareness, thus the tagline of 10 x 10 for 10,” Matlakala said.

“Participants had the option to donate to a charity of their choice and our sponsors are also making a donation. We trust this will grow over time and demonstrate that we are just not a running club, but part of a community hoping to solve some of the key issues in our society,” the chairperson said.

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