Are you one of the 550 people who have registered for the free, weekly 5k?
Hosted by the Gaborone Golf Club, the event takes place every Monday afternoon at 5.15.
The initiative started late last year when two keen runners from the community saw the need to create a safe, established route for people to train on. In three months, the membership has exploded from 5 to 550. The last meet up saw 145 people take part.
Everyone Is Welcome.
You don’t have to be a runner, you can walk the route and take your time. It’s never a competition. It is a timed event, so although people try to beat their personal best you can choose to set your own goals. You can do something for yourself and your family that gets you fresh air, exercise and an overwhelming sense of being part of a community.
It can be difficult to find an activity the whole family can get involved in, but the 5k run is perfect. You can see babies in prams, children, parents, and grandparents meeting up to get fit and active. If we want our children to be healthy, we have to model healthy behaviors ourselves.
I’ve taken my children a couple of times but they are little so it gets a bit much for them. They loved it though, so we have started taking them on some mini runs and encouraged them to race each other in the garden. It’s never too young to get into a healthy mindset!
The event is appealing to so many people because it is safe. No cars, no dogs, a clear green space to run along, and apart from the occasional monkey or warthog, no wild animals to startle. Nearly half the runners are women and the age ranges from seven to seventy!
The event is FREE, although the team is going to start looking for donations or sponsorship to help them sustain it as it grows.
A community is at the heart of the initiative. Volunteers map the route, monitor times and clear up afterward. Participants cheer each other on throughout the course and there’s usually the chance to socialise at the end.
Health and Wellness
In the UK, an initiative backed by the Royal College of General Practitioners sees doctors ‘prescribe’ outdoor activities. Such as the popular Parkrun events that occur throughout the country. The scheme aims to prevent the rising problem of obesity, as well as tackle the symptoms of depression and other mental illnesses. This demonstrates how the medical profession is supporting the holistic benefits of exercise.
There are lots of well-documented health benefits to running such as improving cardiovascular fitness, strengthening muscles and maintaining a healthy weight. Running also contributes to your mental health and overall wellness as well.
It builds confidence. I have heard so many people (myself included) say they can’t run. But then they try it out and find that they can usually do a lot better then they expected. Each run builds that confidence.
It’s a good mood booster. Exercise releases endorphins that contribute to a general sense of happiness. You can get your week off to a great start by running away the Monday blues.
You can train your mind. Whether you use the time to think through a problem you have or you empty your mind of all other thoughts and focus on the run itself, it is an opportunity to reduce your mental load. Sometimes we need space to think, sometimes we need a break from thinking. Running provides that opportunity to create some headspace. You can also strengthen your powers of focus and determination as you push through to the end.
The GGC5K is Botswana’s fastest growing wellness community. If you want to be part of it, you can register on the GGC5K website.
Once you have your bib number, you can turn up on the day and your run will be timed.
We look forward to seeing you there! Please share this post with your friends so they can also hear about the GGC Walk, Jog, Run. If you’re looking for more tips to keep your family fit, why don’t you look a Colo’s blog post on how to help your kids get fitter?
Photographs courtesy of the GGC 5k Walk, Jog, Run Facebook page.
Caroline holds a Master’s degree in Mental Health and Psychological Therapy and works to help others achieve their full potential. As one of the Directors of SensoBaby, she focuses her attention on families and young children.
You can find her at www.littlenaledi.com