10 000 tackle slave run

The participants of the Slave Route Challenge at the starting point.

Just under 10 000 participants lined-up for the 2019 Slave Route Challenge on Sunday March 31.

The race started at City Hall in Darling Street, then moved through District 6, Gardens, the Company’s Garden, Wale Street, Bo-Kaap, Sea Point (Cape Town Stadium), Green Point (Fort Wynyard), the CBD, up Adderley Street into Spin Street (Slave Plaque) and then through the Castle of Good Hope to finish on the Grand Parade.

The Mary Harding School, located in Athlone, was selected by the organisers as this year’s beneficiary and they will receive around R65 000.

Farouk Meyer, from the host club, Brimstone Itheko Sport AC, said he was pleased with the turnout for the event.

“We set out to get members of our communities to not only run but come together in support of their own community while at the same time, appreciating those of others. This thought was the birth of the Slave Route Challenge and nine years on, I think we have established a special community of our own, as the word spreads and we continue to grow. We were a little worried initially about bringing the date forward, but we have been blown away by the enthusiasm and support for this event, to the point where we actually needed to increase the number of entries for several of the disciplines.

“We can’t wait to see what happens next year, as the race will remain at the end of March for the next two, too.”

Mayor Dan Plato addressed the participants from the City Hall balcony, encouraging them to finish the race.

He said the route traced heritage sites like the whipping post where slaves were whipped, the hurling swing pump where slaves had to pump water for their masters, the company bell that rang to call slaves, gallows hill where slaves were executed, the Castle where slaves were imprisoned and tortured and the slave tree plaque where slaves were sold.