Running for Mountain Kingdom Runners (MKR) is more than just keeping fit.
It is a platform for connection and unity.
Established in December 2021 with a group of 20 friends, the club now boasts a larger membership of 127.
“MKR is a Running Social Club aiming for healthy lifestyle orientation,” MKR captain Pule Rantšeli explained.
“The brains behind the brand is Themba Lengoasa, who at the time resided in Botswana, and while there was participating in physical activities in a quest to promote healthy lifestyle living.”
When he returned home in June 2022, he motivated a group of friends into being more active, resulting in more members joining in, Rantšeli added.
“We currently have 127 members from all different professions such as, but not limited to, thought-leaders in the field of fitness, health, finance, business management, logistics, and administration.
“The vibrant MKR aims to inspire and promote healthy living, change members’ lifestyles, create friends, and eventually build a family of runners.”
MKR is today an international brand with membership in neighbouring South Africa, Australia, Japan, and around the country with a majority of its members residing in Maseru, Leribe being the second district, Butha-Buthe, and Quthing.
Rantšeli said being a social running club, its members assist each other reach their fitness goals and/or challenges as well as support each other when attending professional, local, and international races.
“We have included an element of support focused on helping members of the club achieve other personal goals such as furthering studies, and implementing different projects.”
Since the establishment of the club he said, they “have managed to get a representation at the 2022 Soweto Marathon with six members, in the 2023 Kloppers Run we had 20 representatives, while in the 2023 Maseru City Run we had 21 members participating.
“In the 2023 Isuzu iron man and the 2023 Comrades Marathon, we had one member each running. All these milestones were achieved through collective efforts and sharing of experiences.”
The club plans to host its second major race in October 2023 dubbed the ‘Independence Mountain Kingdom Runners Race’ with details to be shared in due time.
“We are also planning a charity run in December whose proceeds will go to the communities we use as routes for the race.
The captain said the use of social media platforms has managed to generate popularity for the club, but it is the physical achievements that top the attention generation.
“We run around town and people who see us and recognise physical changes of our members instantly join us. We are a realistic group of people who support each other holistically,” Rantšeli said.