Gaborone — This year's Lady Khama 21 trail marathon attracted more than 3 000 runners and is part of Lady Khama Charitable Trust (LKCT) annual fund raising activities. Proceeds from the race activities will be used to support vulnerable women and children across Botswana.
The race, held at the University of Botswana stadium was divided into three denominations of 5 km, 10 km and 21 km and was run on an off road from the University of Botswana, through Sir Ketumile Masire Medical School, down the Roads Department to Gaborone Game Reserve and back to the UB stadium. Diacore Running Club dominated the 21 km Open in the men's' category scooping first, second and third positions.
Rapula Dipho emerged first with a time of 01:06:28 followed by Kenatshele Shepard with a time clock of 01:06:45 while Godiraone Ntlhompe came third with a time of 01:08:57.
Rapula said he was happy about the time he ran which means that he had prepared himself fully for the race. He explained that though the terrain was difficult due to water, he managed to traverse through because this was not the first time he participated in the race.
He however, appealed to the organisers to increase the prize money which is one of the things that he said make them pull out of the race. Bulolo Kealeboga topped the women's race under the same category with a time of 01:25:55 while Matshidiso Tamare came second clocking 01: 38: 41 with Sunset Steinberg settling for position three with a time of 01:41:42. The 10 km race under the female category saw Kefilwe Galeitsiwe scooping position one with a time of 38:42 while Marea Maano came second clocking 38:53. Both runners are also from Diacore Running Club. The third position went to Lesedinyana Tumelo (independent) with a time of 39:17.The 21 Trail Run is in its 6th year, with each year showing a considerable growth in runner and spectator participation.
In a bid to keep growing the Lady Khama Charitable Trust, the Trust has invested in improvements in terms of technical support, race timing, on-line registration and route selection. It has also solidified "our relationship with the Diacore Gaborone Marathon; with the Lady K. RUN21 now referred to as the warm-up event for the Diacore Gaborone Marathon as well as with the Gaborone Independence Marathon Team.
The Trust also has existing partnerships with organisations such as Botswana National Sports Commission, Botswana Athletics Association, Botswana Police Services, Gaborone City Council, Gaborone Game Reserve, Sefalana Cash and Carry, Security Services, Rescue One, Gaborone Running Club (GRC), O3 Beverages and Creations of Africa, all of which contribute to the success of the event.
The Lady Khama Charitable Trust (LKCT) chairperson Dale Ter Haar said the Patron of the LKCT the former president Lt General Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama could not grace the event because he is on leave.
However, he said the money raised will make a difference in other people's lives, particularly those in rural areas where life is very difficult for them.
In the 2016/2017 financial year, the Trust disbursed about P3million after raising over P5million.
The P3million was shared between 'Ithute Go Tshameka', the concept the trust came up with for early childhood development and play groups and the completion of a double story building for the Botswana Retired Nurses Society in Tlokweng for their daycare centre for vulnerable and orphaned children and the Botswana Red Cross society Tlamelong Rehabilitation Centre where they supplied a borehole and refurbished the Centre.
Source : BOPA