Dalai Lama said, “once a year you need to travel to a place you’ve never been before”. I say once a year you need to run in a foreign land. This past weekend nine members of the #RunWithPat crew drove down to Maseru in Lesotho to take part in the 2018 Maseru City Urban Road Challenge. This was the first time the Johannesburg based crew ran outside South African boarders, never mind a different city..

About the Run

#RunWithPat Crew before the Maseru City Urban Road Challenge

The Maseru City Urban Road Challenge is a half marathon race that was started 3 years ago with the aim of encouraging a running lifestyle and boosting Maseru’s tourism and runners have the option to run 5KM, 10KM or 21KM distance. This year the run attracted over 200 local and foreign runners from neighbouring countries. Five of our runners took on the 21KM challenge which happened to be a 1st for some, while the others took part in the 10KM run. I ran 21KM and it turned out to be my fastest 21KM, having finished it in 1h48. Everyone that ran did well, achieving their personal goals.

About the Drive

Driving down and getting around Lesotho was such a pleasurable experience, all thanks to Mazda South Africa who gave #RunWithPat two cars, namely the new Mazda CX3 and the Mazda 2 (stunning cars I tell you). Although the primary purpose of going to Lesotho was to run, we also took some time to explore Maseru (Lesotho’s capital city) and to visit tourist attraction sites such as Thaba Bosiu.

We learnt a lot about the history of the Basotho nation and King Moshoeshoe. Thaba Bosiu is located about 24 Kilometres outside of Maseru and at the top of the mountain you see King Moshoeshoe I and King Moshoeshoe II graves. Thaba Bosiu also offers breath-taking 360 degree views of the Maseru region and tranquillity as one gets to connect with nature atop the sacred mountain of the Basotho.

The Mazda 2 and the CX3 parked at the Thaba Bosiu Cultural Village

Not only do both cars boast stylish designs but they also produced outstanding performance on the road.

Mazda 2 and the Mazda CX3 parked outside the Basotho Hat

I drove the Mazda CX3 2.0 Individual Auto whilst my running mate, Lebo Matubatuba drove the Mazda 2.
Although the Mazda CX3 was built with the city in mind, it proved to be capable of taking on the country roads. Equipped with the latest SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY, this compact SUV provided natural agility coupled with fuel efficiency. The drive to Lesotho was long, however the Cruise Control feature in the car made the drive more pleasurable. There was no need to put the foot down the accelerator to feel that the car was moving as I could just increase the speed of the car at a “click of a button” whilst the Head Up Display (HUD) ensured that I am aware of the speed limit and the speed at which I was at driving at. The automatic air conditioner kept everyone in the car cool whilst the power sliding and tilt glass sunroof enhanced the ambiance in the car. The full leather seats warranted comfort. No one complained about having back pains or cramps from uncomfortable seats. To top it all off, the interior of the car is nothing short of luxury.

Driving to a foreign country can be headache especially if you don’t know your way around. The integrated navigation system helped us get around the city without having to stop and ask people. When we about 40 kilometres from the Maseru Bridge Boarder gate I needed to refill petrol, the navigation system showed me the nearest petrol station.
On our arrival in Lesotho it was blazing hot and we couldn’t sit inside the guest house. So in true Mzansi style, we chilled outside and the Bose sound system with 7 Speakers in the CX3 turned our “chillas” into a party.

Chillas outside the guest house

Lebo drove the Mazda 2 and here’s what she had to say about it…

Lebo with the Mazda 2

The Madza 2 lives up to the saying “dynamite comes in small packages”. I drove the Diesel powered SKYACTIV-D with automatic transmission. Getting into the car, one cannot miss the luxurious leather finishing in this comfortable car. The Mazda 2 model comes with a central touch screen, but I found the rotary commander to be easier to use as it gave me easy control to my music and the navigator without having to take my eyes off the road. The lightweight of the Madza 2 makes the drive light and swift and because this was a long-distance road trip, I was most impressed by the fuel efficiency as we drove all the way to Lesotho on one full tank with no worries of trying to find a petrol station along the way. Safety comes first and the Head Up Display (HUD) kept me in check with the required speed limits, while the Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) indicated if there was a car approaching allowing me to safely change lanes. The Mazda 2 is a beauty, on the inside and outside and it sure did move me in the most enjoyable way.

Memories were made and Madza will always be part of the memories of the good times we had.

Mazda definitely gets a Pat!

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Thokozani Patrick Mahlangu

Thokozani Mahlangu is an internationally certified digital marketing professional and an Mcom Business Management graduate from the University of Johannesburg. He is the Chief Brand Creator of Pat onBrands and Pat onFitness- a fitness movement through which organizes weekly runs under the banner #RunWithPat.

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