51 / 146 was my overall result for my first Big 5 Sports Challenge attempt during the Knysna Oyster Festival 2013. Not too bad.
I can’t remember exactly how I found out about the Big5. I ran the Knysna half-marathon about 10 years back when I had more modest athletic ambitions and at that time, I was only vaguely aware that there was a cycling component to the week. So when we booked our trip to Knysna earlier in the year I had no idea of the wide spectrum of events currently on offer. The plan was simply to have a nice week long family winter break and to run the ½ on the final weekend.
Sometime between booking the trip and about April, I now recall seeing an amazing photo of someone running up a steep hill with a stunning backdrop of the Ocean behind them and discovering from the description that it was taken during the Salomon Featherbed trail run. It also mentioned that the yellow bib worn by the competitor was because they were partaking in the Big5, a multi-disciplinary event that formed part of the Oyster festival. My interest was immediately piqued and looking online (you’ve got to love Google and the net) I found the details.
The Big 5 involves completing 5 of the 7 main sporting events held during the 8 day period. There are 3 events that one has to partake in, leaving participants with a choice between 1 of 2 options for the other 2 events as follows:
1.) Saturday 29 June- 80km MTB race
2.) Sunday 30 June – Choose ONE event from either
- 100km Road race OR
- Knysna Lagoon Challenge 22 km paddle race
3.) Tuesday 2 July – Salomon Featherbed Trail Run – Coelacanth – 14km
4.) Thursday 4 July – Totalsports XTERRA – Full distance 3km run / 23km MTB / 7km run
5.) Saturday 6 July – Choose ONE event from either
- Knysna Forest Half Marathon OR
- Full Marathon
At first glance it looked imminently achievable. My only slight concern was the back to back cycle races on the first 2 days. I reckoned I should have good latent fitness post Comrades but the time I could spend on a bike before kick-off would be minimal and probably leave me with a very soft bum and horribly short of bike time. The other slight concern was that practically I could only take one bike with me, meaning I’d have to ride my MTB for the road race on MTB tyres. Wa-Wa, no need to cry. This was going to be a challenge and my ulterior identity is Ultrabloke not PowerpuffMan. I needed to suck it up and get on with it. So I registered the day before cut off and looked forward to the challenge ahead.
I didn’t think much about it at all until after Comrades and managed to get in a few cycles and a few leisurely runs to try and keep the fitness up. I loved the variety of training and delighted in re-acquainting myself with my trusty Scott Scale 940 and was shown by the good lads at Dunkeld Cycles how to pack it up and reassemble it on the other side and so boarded a plane to George on Friday evening the 28th of June.
Bike event logistics
I must say that it is undoubtedly a bit of a ballache doing a cycle event away from home. It involves some of the following complications / challenges / pains:
1.) Trying to work out what size hire car you need to book that will fit 2 adults, 2 kids, bags and a bicycle. This took a considerable amount of time and I eventually settled on a Toyota Corolla and hoped like hell it would suffice.
2.) Working out how you will fit the bike AND bike bag / box (worse still) into / onto the car on the other side. Simple solution by my friendly Europcar employee at George Airport – Leave the box in a saferoom at the airport. Voila. Sorted.
3.) Reassembling your bike and praying that all is in working order.
Thankfully, all went smoothly. Bike was undamaged. I put it back together fairly quickly and without hassle and despite a slight balls-up of being given a Hyundai i20 (not what I ordered) which I thought we’d never fit into – we miraculously did.
EVENT 1 – (Saturday 29 June) – Pick n Pay Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour – 80km MTB race
BIG 5 PLACE FOR THIS EVENT: 67/137
PLACE OVERALL: 331/711
ELEVATION GAIN: 802m
It was a fabulous day out with the route covering a broad mixture of tar, jeep track, forest roads and even an amazing section of single track through the forest, the beauty of which was at times breathtaking.
Despite the beauty, for only my 2nd Mountain Bike Race ever (my first being a 50km event just 3 weeks before), I found it quite a gruelling few hours out. In the 80km’s we climbed just short of 2,000 metres which I am told is quite a healthy amount though embarrassingly I haven’t yet ridden enough to even know if it is. It felt like a hella va lot anyway.
The various MTB courses for the day (there are 15, 30 and 50km alternatives) are apparently designed / managed by Dr Evil (Leon Evans), who manages the world famous Absa Cape Epic routes which would quite easily, after looking through the profiles of the various Epic stages just a few days ago, explain why there was so much uphill.
It all started with the brutal climb out of Knysna and up past the Simola golf estate. My bike didn’t quite make it through the trip as unscathed as I thought. I discovered half way up that my gears weren’t quite ratcheting in properly and when my chain came off I thankfully managed to avoid falling and powered up the rest of the hill leaving me feeling quite impressed that the old legs still seemed to have it in them.
That was followed by a very fast dirt road descent through the forests which almost resulted in me guttering myself on a tight corner. After surviving that and the chill of racing downhill for quite a long time, the rest of the race is a blur of a mixture of a significant amount of dirt road through the forests.
One or two other sections worth noting were the afore mentioned incredible patch of tight single track running through the forest and taking you down to the 2nd or 3rd waterpoint at the 48km mark which was great fun. A couple of kilometres after that water point, the road took cyclists into a few much wider open spaces, one of which was quite picturesque with the roads cutting big swathes through the forests and taking us up what was for me the toughest hill. I was determined not to walk until my chain popped off once again while trying to switch to the smallest cog. Once I got the chain back on I wasn’t able to get the bike going again, such was the steepness of the climb.
Delightedly, aside from a brief stop at 2 water stands and a break to go to the little boys room, that was the first and only time I dismounted the bike and the chain issue had forced me to do so. A couple of times, when feeling really knackered on a hill, I seemed able to just keep going and then recover pretty quickly afterwards and be ready for the next.
So it really was a great day out. The weather was superb – not too hot or too cold. I don’t have much basis for comparison but the event seemed incredibly well organised with clear markings and good water tables and the route seemed a great mixture of all the types of terrain you’d like to traverse in a Mountain Bike race.
I enjoyed it thoroughly and didn’t think my performance too bad for only my second MTB race ever and a bike outing in the relatively early part of my cycling season.
I would highly recommend any keen MTB’ers picking a distance for the Argus Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour and enjoying the beauty of the Knysna forests.
EVENT 2 – (Sunday 30 June) – Pick n Pay Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour – 100km Road race
BIG 5 PLACE FOR THIS EVENT: 90/110
PLACE OVERALL: 552/831
ELEVATION GAIN: 802m
OVERALL BIG 5 POSITION AFTER ROAD RACE: 85
A 100km Road race the day after an 80km MTB had always been my biggest concern for the Big5. I didn’t know how battered my legs would be – nor how sore my ass. They were all complete unknowns. Furthermore, I had to ride it on my Mountain Bike and didn’t know quite how that would pan out. One thing that eased the concern ever so slightly was a communication from race organisers the week before informing us that in order to ensure the safety of the cyclists the distance had been cut to 80km due to road works.
I felt pretty good on my drive to Knysna but the feeling of excitement quickly changed to concern when afore-mentioned ass made contact with my saddle. There was a distinct tenderness there that I’d not felt since sitting on a hard wooden bench after a good lashing way back at boarding school. It thankfully dissipated on my short cycle to the starting pens and by the time I arrived there I was quite excited about what lay ahead.
Mr. Unprepared here was under the incorrect impression that the cycle was from Knysna to Plett and back. Imagine my surprise then when we turned left onto the main road and headed towards George. The hill I was dreading on that particular route was replaced by an equally nasty hill coming out of Knysna. The sub-consciously formed ‘just suck it up’ mantra sprang to mind and I geared down and powered up the hill overtaking about 30 odd people up the pretty long steep climb and eventually powering over the crest.
Hallelujah I thought. The legs they are working – and that pretty much set me up for what I thought was a cracking day out. The weather once again played ball, tending a bit on the overcast and slightly cool side and the route was a nice quick course through Sedgefield and stopping just short of Wilderness with 4 decent climbs along the way for good measure (a total Elevation Gain of 802m).
Throughout the race I managed to continually grab hold of a pack when I needed one and managed to keep up with them relatively easily. I didn’t think that was much of a big deal until a fellow cyclist felt it necessary to compliment me on the fact that I was keeping up with them at such a good pace on a Mountain Bike. This buoyed me for the rest of the race and I kept the proverbial pedal to the metal.
Turning round at the half way at Kleinkrantz I fell out of a bunch and decided for that for some Iron Man training (because of the non-drafting rules) to just tough it out on my own for a while. I really enjoyed the feeling of just driving quite hard on one’s own for about 10km’s, but when a small group of about 5 came powering past me, the temptation was too great and I hopped on board eventually falling off the pace with about 15km’s to go.
At the foot of the dreaded return big climb I decided I just had to go for it. About 300metres up I felt pretty strong and again just powered up, dropping lots of cyclists in my wake – a great feeling on any day – and cresting the hill decided I wanted to power in to the finish and take as many people as possible and not let anyone past me. I must have taken a good 20-30 people on the way in and thankfully didn’t let anyone past.
So I was very happy with my ride on completion, but when I received the overall Big5 leaderboard standings post-race and discovered that I had come 90th out of 110 in the Big 5 field and dropped considerably in the overall standings, an unknown spirit of competitiveness felt defeated.
The ride was fantastic though, and once again 80km and 50km distances along a lovely scenic and not too difficult route all made for a great day out.
So my resultant drop in the overall leaderboard following the road race, my rediscovered competitiveness and an excitement about the prospect of hitting some running events all conspired to get me seriously hyped up and determined to race the remaining 3 events.
I had in mind a goal to finish in the top 50, which with approximately 150 competitors, would put me in the top third. Having fallen to approximately 85th in the overall standings, I was going to have to run my gat off.
EVENT 3 – (Tuesday 2 July) – Salomon Featherbed Trail Run presented by GU – Coelacanth – 14km
BIG 5 PLACE FOR THIS EVENT: 47 / 142
PLACE OVERALL: 74/315 Male category
OVERALL BIG 5 POSITION AFTER TRAIL RUN: 75
Simply put. What an awesome race. And definitely the best start to any race (the ferry trip across the Knysna lagoon) I’ve ever competed in.
Athletes gather at the Cruise Café on the edge of the Knysna Lagoon and collect race bibs (bright yellow for the Big 5) before boarding various ferries to begin a very scenic trip across the lagoon to the Featherbed Nature Reserve. It’s also quite dramatic in the early morning as the sun rising across the lagoon casts a beautiful light onto it as well as warming things up for some chilly athletes.
You arrive on the banks of the beautiful Featherbed reserve and walk up a big wooden jetty and through the Featherbed restaurant building before exiting the other side and up a short hill to the big Salomon start line.
Athletes gathered on the hillside and tried to catch as much warmth from the sun as possible as they chatted nervously among themselves and waited for the race briefing.
There are 2 distances run, the Coelacanth 14km (the one that forms part of the Big 5) or Seahorse 11km. The athletes for the shorter distance all boarded Unimogs to be driven up part of the hill and begin their run further along the course, while the Coelacanth runners would start from that small hillock and do a short loop straight up the hill and back round through the main area (to separate the runners out) before what felt like the ‘real start’ of the race right on the point of the Western side of the Knynsa Heads.
I say the ‘real start’ because the comparative saunter before that doesn’t quite prepare you for the mineshaft ascent that starts from that point on the Heads. What followed was quite a slow arduous trudge up from the bottom which began with some rope for assistance and then followed a very steep meandering path with some steps.
Just as you think you’ve got to the top, you start a snaking series of switchbacks that keep you climbing to the proper summit. The Sun hadn’t completely broken through the early morning cloud cover everywhere and so the mist that engulfed some of the top of the Nature Reserve gave that top section a very misty ethereal quality that was wicked to run through. But after what felt like about the thousandth switchback I did find myself crying out “enough beeping switchbacks already” as the cumulative effect of the ascent was starting to tire me a little.
Unfortunately the fact that the weather wasn’t quite playing ball meant that we didn’t get the beautiful views from the top I have seen photos of in various magazines – the ones that compelled me to enter the Big 5 – and it was only once we began the descent back towards the lagoon and the rail bridge that the beauty of the lagoon side of the Reserve was visible from the top.
And so followed a rather rapid descent down the side of the reserve and out towards the rail bridge that in the many years that I’ve been to Knysna, I’d never realised crossed the lagoon at that point. With this particular realisation added to many others, it has dawned on me that I may possibly be one of the most unobservant individuals in the world.
Once I’d got over my switchback issue my legs came back strongly and I had a nice charge back into Knysna along a nice flat top section and traverse across the side of the reserve before a very short but rapid descent onto the start of the rail tracks. After about 3kms on the tracks and, towards the end of the run the thick gravel that sits alongside them, I had seen enough to last me a lifetime and was delighted to get off.
I finished in a very respectable 1hr17mins having powered through my last 6kms at an average pace of 4mins30 / kilometre. I was pleased as punch and hoping that perhaps I was a better runner than a lot of the other Knysna Big5 participants and would climb the leaderboard after this effort.
The race was followed by a nice breakfast and a great prizegiving with some awesome Salomon kit as prizes including a full trail running kit (shoes, shorts, shirt and pack) as the prize for the grand draw.
Due to the way the event has grown over the years, there are 3 different times it is run during the day and after we left, we were to be followed by the lunch time run and later again that day, a 3rd and final evening run. The meal and prize giving after each run make for a really lively and social atmosphere that really adds something special to the event.
Salomon, GU and Magnetic South have put on a brilliant show which I think is a must for any sporting enthusiasts down there for the festival. If you haven’t done a trail run before, the shorter distance is an awesome way to pop your cherry. Thanks too must go to William Smith (yes – he of Star Schools fame) for allowing Magnetic South to put on such a super event.
A good strong run had moved me from 85th to 75th in the overall Big 5 standings. Maybe 25 more spots was too much to ask?
EVENT 4 – (Thursday 4 July) – Totalsports XTERRA presented by REHIDRAT – Full distance – 3km run / 23km MTB / 7km run
BIG 5 PLACE: 46/125
PLACE OVERALL: 91/330
OVERALL BIG 5 POSITION AFTER XTERRA: 65
Before entering the Big 5 I had not heard of Xterra before and was absolutely clueless as to what it involved. I had a quick glance at the format before registering for the big 5 and it looked like a nice comfortable little duathlon of sorts with a 3km run / 23km cycle / 7 km run. Although I thought the distances fairly weird, particularly that of the cycle, it looked like a nice easy event to be handling just before the half marathon and I didn’t give it much more thought.
While reading through the guides during the week, I suddenly realised that this was an offroad event, with the 2 run legs being a trail run and the cycle a Mountain Bike event. I also discovered that Xterra, like Iron Man is a massive international brand that bills itself as the Premier Offroad Triathlon and Trail Run Series. There is a whole series of events around the world that form part of an American and World Tour and US and World Championship.
The 2013 Knsyna edition of Xterra took place at the Pezula Field of Dreams which on arrival appeared to be a large bowl of a cricket field perfectly situated amidst a very picturesque 360 degree spectrum of trees. The field and the roads in and out were a hive of frenetic activity. Many of the contestants that took part in the shorter ‘Lite’ had either finished and were leaving the venue, while the slower amongst them still completed the course. They didn’t look so much like people though, but more like mud-people from another planet. Each contestant was splattered from head to toe in mud and overheard conversations all revolved around what a muddy and at time treacherously slippery bike course the overnight rain had turned it into.
“Great” I thought. Now all my lekker new MTB gear is going to get dirty. While the start of the event was delayed about a half hour due to a slower bike course, I was able to pull myself toward myself and remember that this sport was called Mountain Biking not Cute-Clean-Roads-In-A-Nice-Safe-Clean-Environment-Biking. It’s one of those situations where you’ve got to take the ‘Glass Half Full’ outlook and think about how much fun it might be. I finally lined up at the start with this in mind.
And we were off. Into the first stage, a pretty fast paced 3km run off the field and out via a concrete road. After about 1km it was off the free flowing width of the road and into a very narrow single track through the bushes and up the hill. When you get backed up behind those moving really slowly, you realise why guys bust their balls at the start to try and avoid getting stuck behind slower runners. Mental note to self – remember this for future.
Before I knew it, we were tearing down a hill and back onto the field to transition to the bikes. Heading out of transition and across what I hadn’t noticed was an incredibly soft and muddy outfield was the first indicator that it was going to be a very slippery ride and the first bit of downhill across a field and into the foot of the forest was further testimony to that fact. The entire 23km course consisted of varying types of jeep road that weaved their way through the beautiful forest and there was quite a lot uphill with my GPS registering 650 metres of elevation over that short 23km.
The first 10km included the steepest hill I have ever ridden in my life, a nasty little 200m odd climb that required my granny gear, a lot of grunting and every ounce of co-ordination I have to avoid toppling over backwards (I’ve subsequently learnt to lean right over the handlebars) and to avoid running out of momentum and falling when a rider in front suddenly gave up in order to walk.
Once I’d got beyond that first 10km, the middle section was pleasant and free flowing and I got into a nice rhythm. It was at the 15km mark that I wondered where all the mud had come from. Till then, while very wet and slippery at parts, the ground had been fairly firm under-tyre with little mud visible. I wondered further if we were possibly on an entirely different route that might have seen us avoid it altogether. After all, there were only 8km’s to go. About 2km’s later we turned a corner and cycled straight into a long stretch of flat road that could only be described as a quagmire. Choosing a route through proved difficult as the bike didn’t always go in the direction you pointed it, opting rather to follow a course the mud dictated.
And so the last 7 odd km’s made up for all the mud the first 16 lacked, making the course difficult to navigate (in terms of steering) and more energy sapping that if the ground was firmer. But I must admit, sliding around every now and then, while challenging, was a hella va lot of fun. I was very happy however to finally head back onto the field and into transition for the final 7km run stage.
I’d heard the commentator talk about a Heartbreak Hill during the pre-start commentary, but hadn’t noticed the mineshaft incline heading off the field and up into the hills above. It was the one we’d run down on the first leg, but I hadn’t factored on going up it on the way back and on semi-weary legs, the 500 odd metres was a killer that required me to move in a very humbling shuffle. I managed not to walk though, which I was pleased to notice all the other athletes around me doing. Once I crested the top, I managed to break into a nice rhythm along concrete roads that weave their way around the houses of the surrounding estate, before we were diverted onto a fantastic single track running through the surrounding bush / forest. And the whole 7km’s followed the same format – bits of concrete road linking up some lovely single track through the surrounds before eventually heading us back along a last flat stretch of concrete road and onto the field for the finish. I managed a respectable 5mins30 per kilometre on the run, finishing 91/330 with a time of 02:20:47.
It was a brilliant race. Great fun. Massive variety in terrain for both the run and cycle legs and an all-round great day out. If all Xterra events are of a similar nature, I will definitely be seeking out a lot more of them in future.
So the Xterra performance had moved me up another 10 places to 65. I was going to have to really blaze the Half Marathon to make up another 15.
EVENT 5 – (Saturday 6 July) – Pick n Pay Cape Times Knysna Forest Half Marathon
BIG 5 PLACE FOR THIS EVENT: 42/162
PLACE OVERALL: 188/4,633
OVERALL BIG 5 POSITION AFTER HALF MARATHON: 51 (DAMN – just missed it)
And so it was to the final event of the week and probably one of the most well-known half marathons in the country – the Knysna Forest Half Marathon. As I’d run the Kysna half about 10 years back, and as 21km’s is now a really comfortable distance for me, it was without fail the event I feared least and probably the one I’d most been looking forward to. Added to that, it was the first event that other members of our holidaying family were partaking in.
So on Saturday morning, we left 6 children with a very brave and kindly brother-in-law and myself, my wife, her two sisters and the remaining brother-in-law headed off to Knysna. The one element that distinguishes this half from most others and adds a really fun and exciting dynamic is how you get to the start.
The start is right up in the middle of the forest and so for parking and logistics reasons, inaccessible to Mr. Joe Public. Instead, Athletes have to park wherever they can on George Rex drive (that leads out from the city to the Eastern Knysna heads) and surrounding roads before walking up the hill on Vigilance drive to where a steady stream of taxi buses pick them up and take them to the start.
It makes for great fun as anxious and chilly athletes huddle in the bus for a short 15 minute trip to the drop off point. After exiting the buses, you embark on a short snaking 10 minute walk into the forest. It’s initially fairly quiet with only the hushed tones of the voices of those in close proximity audible. But as you get closer and closer, the sounds of a gathered crowd and the strangely familiar voice of John Walland from 5FM (on announcer duties), pierce the forest air and you eventually pop out into a clearing full of lycra clad runners, all going about their various pre-race routines.
One of the things I really like about the Knysna Forest Half-Marathon, is a blanket and clothes charity collection the organisers have implemented and appears to have been running each year between my first run and this one 10 years later. As the time of year dictates that it’s always going to be seriously chilly at the start, race organisers encourage participants to keep themselves warm with blankets or clothes that they don’t mind discarding in collection bins. The collected items are then distributed later by organisers to the poor of the community.
During the 30 odd minutes we waited before the start, I was seriously disappointed that there were no visible collection bins, or signage pointing to them. Without knowing where to throw the items, participants were just throwing them off the road and into the forest below, where a few opportunistic individuals conspired to ruin the collection efforts by collecting all the items in bags before scarpering into the forest with their bounty. Eventually one or two policeman arrived and tried to keep them away, but most of those items were going to make it no further than the houses of a few cheeky families. I hope the organisers pay more attention to the charity collection element of the race in future.
After witnessing these goings on for a while, I made my way towards the start with 5 minutes to go and shortly after that John Walland was sending us on our way. As I’d climbed the leaderboard a bit more following a good Xterra, I really wanted to see if I could get myself into the top 50 of the Knysna Big 5 Challenge after this run. Race tactics were to try and run the first 5kms at 5min/km pace and see how the legs felt before deciding how far I could push it. Rather pleasingly, my legs felt good and the first 5 passed pretty quickly without issue. Maintaining that pace over the 21 would mean a 1hr45 time, which I thought respectable and so locked my pace onto the 5min/km.
The race runs you through the forest on fairly wide dirt roads from East to West and the terrain is fairly consistent throughout bar a great 5 km section (between km’s 8 and 13) where you leave the sanctity of the main roads for a more rustic and hilly winding patch before joining back up to the main road before the descent back into Knysna. Despite the hills I managed to keep the pace and stay on plan, knowing that there was a good stretch of downhill to come.
Now most often, descents bring some element of relief to runners. When too steep, the opposite is true as steep downhills can make absolute mincemeat of runner’s quads, making it difficult and painful for them to run thereafter. And such was the descent through Simola (the location of the first savage climb of the MTB race at the start of my week) as I began a savage 2.5kms descent where you drop 200metres in elevation. I don’t even think Fields Hill in Comrades (a notoriously nasty descent), was as brutal on my quads and I kept leaving the concrete to try and run on the grass on the side of the road, as others were doing, to escape the pounding.
I was delighted when I eventually got to the bottom and a quick calculation yielded the possibility of coming in under 1h40 and the possibility of a PB (my previous best being 1h41 at the Royal Parks Half Marathon in London). And so with 3km’s to go, I really upped the pace, giving it everything I had. My body responded well and I powered back onto the Knysna Main Road before eventually turning right towards the stadium and making it over the finish in very rewarding 1h37 for my 21km PB.
Despite a great run and a PB to boot, I fell marginally short of the top 50 – 1 teenie-weenie spot to be precise.
And thus concluded the Knsyna Big 5 Sport Challenge and a fantastic week of Running and Cycling events. I was a bit disappointed not to be in the top 50 finishers. I put in a big effort in the last 3 events, climbing approximately 10 positions each time to move from about 85th after the Road cycle, all the way up to 51st. The first set of results released actually had me at a very pretty 48th so I thought I’d done it. Not sure what changed between the 2 sets of results but I was happy with an incredibly fun week that included my first Xterra and a half marathon PB.
I’d say the toughest event, and by quite a considerable distance the longest, was the 80km MTB ride which was seriously challenging, particularly for a relative MTB novice like myself. There was a time about 30km’s in where I thought that if the next 50km continued with the same frequency and difficulty of climbs, I wasn’t sure I’d make it. Thankfully, I managed to grind it out and the wonderful route through the amazing Knysna forest probably edged it as my favourite event of the week.
Aside from that, while quite challenging, none of the rest of the events were particularly tough for someone of average to slightly above-average fitness and the Big 5 is something I would definitely recommend to Running and Cycling enthusiasts looking for a nice sporting challenge while spending a lekker week at the Knysna Oyster Festival. Aside from the first weekend with back to back cycles, the rest of the events take place 2 days apart giving one ample time to recover and have a bit of fun and a few drinks and rich food in-between.
What I really enjoyed most about the Big 5 was the variety of the events. You get great road and off-road cycles, road and off-road runs and then a combination cycle / run event to round it off nicely.
And the Knysna Oyster Festival is such a brilliant Winter getaway too that I will definitely be back in the next couple of years to see if I can dip well under that Top 50 finishers.
Knysna Oyster Festival – http://www.oysterfestival.co.za/
Knysna Cycle Club – Bike events- http://www.knysnacycle.co.za/
Salomon Featherbed Trail Run – http://www.magneticsouth.net/events/salomon-featherbed-trail-run/
Knysna Marathon Club – http://knysnamc.wordpress.com/pick-n-pay-forest-marathon/
Ultimate Cycling Knysna – http://www.ultimatecycling.co.za/