On Sunday, thousands of runners participated in the much anticipated Metropolitan Slave Route Challenge. The Slave Route Challenge is an event that honours South Africa’s heritage. Each registered participant runs in honour of one of the 8000 men, women, and children who are symbolic to South Africa’s history. The 8000 names are listed on the Column of Memory at the Iziko Slave Lodge.
Event PR manager Fatima Allie says over 9000 participants participated in the race yesterday and entries had exceeded the anticipated capacity. The race had to accommodate an extra 1000 participants making it bigger and better than previous years. Allie says the organizing team was saddened to turn people away as the race could hold no more entrants. The event has grown in stature as Capetonians see the race as a tribute to the trials of dispossessed individuals who contributed significantly to the development of Cape Town and South Africa.
The race took runners past several historically significant landmarks, such as the Castle of Good Hope, Grand Parade, the Whipping Post, Old Slave Church, the Iziko Slave Lodge and the Slave Tree Plaque. This event is presented by the Itheko Sport Athletic Club under the auspices of Western Province Athletics. The Slave Route Challenge is sponsored by Metropolitan, as part of its Mojo Series which celebrates the community.
Participants could choose between various distances; 21.1km, 10k, 5km Fun Run, and a 10km Big Walk.
Runners ventured past numerous historic monuments that are symbolic of South Africa’s slave history, including; the Grand Parade, the Whipping Post, Old Slave Church, the Slave Lodge, and the Slave Tree Plaque.
In addition, participants ran through the iconic Cape Town Castle, District Six, and Bo’Kaap.
Medals were handed to each registered participant. In race tradition, a prize giving was hosted following the cut-off time.