SESEBO MATLAPENG: The Rising Star of Botswana’s Half Marathon Scene

“Running half marathons feels like medicine to my body” 



This native of a picturesque Kgatleng village of Mochudi that lies approximately 40 kilometres south of Botswana’s bustling capital, Gaborone, has emerged as a formidable force in the realm of half marathons.

With unwavering dedication to his craft, Sesebo Matlapeng has etched his name in Botswana’s athletics history, captivating audiences with his consistent podium finishes in 13 half marathons this year alone.

In a telephone interview with Gazette Sports this week, Matlapeng attributed his remarkable success to an unyielding commitment to hard work.

“Without steadfast dedication, I couldn’t have achieved these results,” he stated. “Running half marathons feels like medicine to my body.”

The stout-built athlete just secured an impressive second-place finish in the half marathon category of the fiercely competitive Run Gabz By Night Marathon over the weekend.

Reflecting on the event, he expressed his elation that got another podium finish, and acknowledged the stiff competition that he faced. “The competition was fierce,” Matlapeng said.

“Contending with athletes from Kenya, Zimbabwe and my fellow countrymen is not easy because they are all capable of posting impressive times. Inspite of this, I managed to secure a spot on the podium, which fills me with immense pride.”

Asked about the challenges of running at night, Matlapeng emphasised the heightened need for vigilance and focus. “Running at night presents its own set of challenges, demanding heightened attention, especially considering the sharing routes with motor vehicles,” he noted.

“Unlike some international events where routes are reserved exclusively for athletes, our races use public roads, thus necessitating extra caution.”

However, Matlapeng stated his willingness to participate in future night marathons but contingent on safety measures in place and the efficacy of the team in managing logistics.

Imparting words of wisdom to aspiring half marathon runners, he emphasised the indispensable need for rigorous training, as well as maintaining a critical balance between effort and recovery.

“Success in half marathons is a product of consistent and focused training,” he said. This underpinned by dedication and adequate rest.”