Women’s Race – March 8th, 2024

Women’s Race – March 8th, 2024

‘I wish I was a woman today!’, told me one of our teachers laughing while we were just about to leave.

In the days before the race, as it is now cool to say, there was HYPE, super HYPE even though the majority of them does not even know what the word means. Along the road the women were asking for confirmation on the race, on the prizes and on the lunch … As a matter of fact, taking into consideration participation, fun, sportsmanship and joy this was one of the best editions; more than 400 participants who were amused more than they were fierce, colored and electrified the valley of Mukwamba Village like the light beam of an optic fiber which will reach this village maybe in 50 years.

The official theme of this year ‘Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress’ too is not bad. It must be one of the best the bureaucrats of the United Nations came up with in the recent past, well always a theme it is, if we consider that a few months ago the same United Nations found that the world is failing to achieve gender equality, making it an increasingly distant goal. If current trends continue, more than 340 million women and girls will still live in extreme poverty by 2030, and close to one in four will experience moderate or severe food insecurity.

A forecast that the women of Mukwamba Village can only live bucking the trend is the one that the next generation of women will spend on average 2.3 more hours per day on unpaid care and domestic work than men … here for our participants the situation can only get better because as at now the men do nothing at home, and often even outside the home.

The races started late almost at midday because the athletes of all categories kept coming for the registration, but the long wait too was lived with joy and happiness, a chance to stay together laugh and have fun; like the two seventy-year-old who sprinted more than once along the last uphill for a placement at the back of the rankings, with the audience in raptures. Our friends from our long-term supporter of the Women’s Race, Associazione Progetto Jacaranda would have fitted in! Well yes! It could seem odd that we have an audience, even some ultras; there is an audience because by now the Women’s Race is a show, where the arrival uphill represents the natural final catwalk, the slope slows the athletes down who enjoy the arrival and the audience. At the arrival for all there is the race pack with the highly sought after pads, exercise books for the Juniors, jiggies and drinks. And then the super lunch with nsima and chicken!

The prize giving ceremony is second to only the Olympics, in the hall of the preschool filled to the brims it is impossible to find a place to sit or stand, 25 women rewarded for each category. Here for posterity the first three:

Junior (under 12 years)

1) Jannifer Mukombwe

2) Gracious Mwaliteta

3) Rachel Mukomba

Senior (13 – 30 years)

1) Esnart Choongo

2) Joyce Chola

3) Sarah Chaba

Master (above 30 years)

1) Yuste Chikambwe

2) Eunice Sekeleti

3) Lavender Shampangu

See you next year, also thanks to our sponsors who we thank, other than Associazione Progetto Jacaranda there are the Patel family, Forlì Duathlon, Dairago Run and Parmalat Zambia.