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South Africa and Reunion Island – A history entwined

The 8thedition of the Slave Route Challenge in Cape Town took place over the weekend and celebrated the abolishment of slavery while commemorating those who have passed through the paved walkways of the Mother City. 10 000 runners and athletes took part in the race that catered for the novice to the avid runner with distances ranging between 5km and 21.5km. The Slave Route Challenge is unique in that it is a race with a heritage and historical significance. Participants were taken from The City Hall through District 6 and ended on the Grand Parade. All of these sites were chosen to allow people to not only experience the striking contrast of Cape Town but to also evoke a sense of history that still lingers in the present.

Past events have sparked tremendous international interest and through the involvement of the Reunion-based French Embassy and its Cape Town counterpart, a partnership has been formed with the Athletic League and Departmental Council of Reunion Island who has sent a delegation of runners and their coaches to participate in the Cape Town Challenge.

“The Slave Route Challenge is very well organized, with an amazing spirit along the day. A lot of people were there to support us and I will always remember the great moments in Bo-Kaap, with extraordinary landscapes.” Eddy CLEMENTS

“Outstanding challenge. The Slave Route Challenge flew by without me noticing. It was full of surprises. I run 10 km and I was glad to run a part of the race with half-marathoners. The conditions were excellent. I will keep these images in my memory.” Anne ATIA

In reciprocation, a similar event will be staged on Reunion Island on 20 December 2018, over the same time the Festival Liberté Métisse is taking place.

 “It is a privilege to partner with the City of Cape Town to take part in these commemorative races where people of all fitness levels, diverse backgrounds and varied interests can come together to pay homage to the abolishment of slavery, a blight on the common historical background of both our countries.  We are looking forward to the event on Reunion Island in December as part of the Festival Liberté Métisse”, commented Laurent AMAR, Consul General of France in Cape Town.
This Festival is one of the largest of many cultural events and has seen a growing influx of visitors since its opening in 2010. Visitors vary from people across the island to international cultural enthusiasts looking to indulge their senses in what Reunion Island has to offer. The Festival Liberté Métisse, or the festival of cultural heritage, is a unifying event that celebrates Reunion Island as a land of freedom and a place where a combination of cultures live together harmoniously.  

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