Photo: Stephen Granger
Photo: Stephen Granger

Reconciliation will be the winner again in 18th #GugsRace

By Stephen Granger Time of article published Dec 15, 2018

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Cape Town – Sunday’s Day of Reconciliation 10km enters its 18th year and the race organisers, RCS Gugulethu Athletics Club, expect to attract a record field of more than 2 000 participants.

The event has become one of the most sought-after road races on the calendar, not so much for its opportunity for fast times – although the flat circuit through Gugulethu does afford the elite athletes that opportunity – but for what the race has become to represent.

The “Gugs 10” embodies the true meaning of reconciliation, providing an opportunity to greet the early-rising residents of Gugulethu, in particular the many children who will line the streets in the hope of early Christmas gifts from the running “Santas”.

For others, there will be the opportunity to connect with an important part of the city’s Struggle history. Three kilometres into the race runners will enjoy the sights and sounds of a local marimba band, based at the memorial to the “Gugulethu Seven” who died in the notorious Trojan Horse operation in 1986. And just 100m further on is a remembrance stone to Amy Biehl, another victim of the Struggle.

But the event also stands as a competitive road race which typically attracts top runners from the province and further afield, with several upcountry athletes in Cape Town for the festive season likely to take part.  

Last year UWC’s Anthony Timoteus (second) was the only Cape-based athlete in the top four. UJ’s Cape-born athlete, Jermony Andreas, led the field home, with fellow Johannesburg athlete, Milton Kekana of TUT, rounding off the podium.

Sunday will likely produce a similar quality field, but with entries taken on the day, there is no certainty as to who will line up on the start line. However, expect the likes of Siviwe Nkombi, Duane Fortuin and Nkosinathi Madyo, who have been to the fore in recent weeks, to chase the prize money.

KPMG’s Zintle Xiniwe has won the women’s competition in the past two years and will likely be looking to make it three in a row ahead of Zimbabwe-born Fortunate Chidzivo, runner-up to Xiniwe on both occasions, and hot-form athlete Annie Bothma.

The race gets underway at 7am from outside the NY49 Stadium in Gugulethu with a 4.2km Fun Run starting 10 minutes later.

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