Running for safer streets

Leungo Mokgwathi
READY AND SET: Runners at the marathon activation

Botswana is set to witness a historic moment on October 21st, 2023, as four thousand avid runners converge to participate in the nation’s inaugural night marathon.

This groundbreaking event, known as the Gabz Night Marathon, is the brainchild of Mbakiso Mawila, and it carries a crucial message – the promotion of safer streets in the bustling city of Gaborone.

Mawila, the visionary behind this unique night marathon, drew inspiration from the escalating crime rates that tend to peak during the nighttime, rendering our streets unsafe. “The night concept was inspired by the escalating crime rate which is most prevalent at night, making our streets unsafe,” shared Mawila.

A diverse array of stakeholders, including the Botswana Police Services (BPS), Turnstar Holdings, Security Services, Motovac, and ER247, have enthusiastically joined this noble campaign to restore safety and security to the streets of Gaborone.

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Mawila explained, “We recognized that an event of this nature and magnitude required a collective effort, and a marathon emerged as the most unifying sporting endeavor.”

Mawila proudly unveiled Isaac Makwala as the marathon’s brand ambassador, citing his famous solo run as a source of inspiration due to its unifying impact on the nation.

This marathon, poised to attract approximately 4,000 runners, has already gained international recognition, with participants registering from as far away as Kenya and Ethiopia.

Mawila is optimistic about its potential to evolve into an international event and emphasized the need for its success.

In an event of this nature, safety is undoubtedly a paramount concern. Mawila reassured participants by announcing that the BPS and Security Services would be strategically stationed at every street corner to ensure swift responses in case of emergencies. “Furthermore,” he added, “routes will be completely closed off to prevent any accidents caused by drunk or reckless drivers.”

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This commitment to safety extends beyond the marathon itself. The event’s organizers, in collaboration with the BPS, will conduct crime prevention and response workshops for neighborhood watch groups, aiming to unite and empower these groups that currently exist in isolation.

Registration is currently open at www.rungabzbynight.com, with a deadline of October 10th, 2023. The marathon offers various race categories, including the 5km for P200, the 10km for P250, and the challenging 31km race for P300.

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