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Knysna Oyster Festival: 2015 edition


I have been visiting Knysna on and off during Oyster festival week for many years now. In the initial years always for just one event: the mountain bike event on the first Saturday of the Oyster festival. I think my first one could’ve been in 1994. Since then it has been hit and miss. Every HIT has been a most enjoyable experience and every MISS a sad memory…

Four years ago I entered the Totalsports XTERRA Pezula for the first time, my first XTERRA ever, and loved it. That same year I also particiapted in my first Salomon Featherbed trail run and enjoyed the experience very much.

In 2013 I thought I’d give the BIG5 SPORT CHALLENGE a go and did not know that one can have so much fun ( in such miserable weather ) in one week. Sadly 2014 was a miss again.

Not so 2015! This year I decided to order my own list of events from the big event menu. It turns out that I will be doing 4 such events between Monday 6 July and Thursday 9 July. Yip, an event a day keeps the doctor away ( or something like that!)

Here’s what I have selected from the great Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival menu:



The Athletics SWD & KMC Cross Country League 5: If you’ve never run a Cross Country (XC) event, you may want to try this one. It starts at 10h00 ( what a great time while on holiday) and consists of 5 diferent races between 10h00 and 13h00. Runners participate according to theiur age category with the maximum distance being 10km for senior men and women. I am in for an 8km run. It is not quite trail running but definitely not road. “Off-road” would be my best description.

See here for details:



The Salomon Featherbed Trail Runs provide much enjoyment. Sure, when you look at the entry fee you may feel that you can do a whole lot beter for that fee. If you take into consideration that you run through a private nature reserve, not otherwise accessible, that you enjoy a cruise across the lagoon on one of the Featherbed ferries and that besides a great run, you are rewarded with a meal at the end, it seems worthwhile to enter.

There are three time slots to choose from ( morning, lunch time and afternoon) and 2 different route options. I’ve opted for the long run ( 15km Coelacanth) and the midday run. I’ll enjoy a hearty Chef’s beef lasagne with a side salad at Cruise Cafe, where the run ends. I may of course have some refreshing beverage to go along with my meal. See here for all the info :



Some road running on Wednesday to let the trail shoes dry out! The Athletics SWD Knysna Marathon Club 5km & 10km run. Registration takes place at 13:00 at the Knysna Festival Grounds (Knysna High School)
5km – R10 pp
10km – R40 pp
Temp license – R35 pp

The 5km run starts at 14h00 and the 10km at 17h30. No early Wednesday morning for me!

Go here for an online entry:




My favourite event of the week: the Totalsports XTERRA Pezula presented by Rehidrat Sport. This is the only XTERRA event I’ve done to date and that’s only because it does not contain a water discipline. Well, that depends on the rains the weeks and days before the event, I guess. I suppose what they mean is that you dont need to swim. You may however see a lot of water ( or more like mud) while running and cycling. It is the type of mud you embrace, rather than cringe about!

The FULL event follows a Trail Run/MTB/Trail Run format. Run 3km, ride 26 km and then run another 7km. There is also a LITE version and several kids events on Wednesday, 8 July.

This event is a must and one that I simply don’t miss when I go to Knysna for the Oyster Festival. There is a great vibe at event venue. Last year I arrived in time for breakfast cereal and coffee. After the event I stayed for a beer and something to eat and just to soak in the vibe. Over the years I’ve been participating I was there on the start line with professionals such as Conrad Stoltz, Dan Hugo, Stuart Marais and Kevin Evans.

I’ve heard that there may be a great post-event party on the Thursday evening. Once I have the details, I will post it on twitter at @mtbZA

Go here for entries:

I have previously participated in the Knysna Marathon’s half marathon and love that one. The marathon itself is always a favourite and also gets fully subscribed in a matter of days. I will be missing those events this year in favour of the Salomon Bastille Day Trail Run 2015 on Saturday 11 July. This time I will be attempting the 35km run. More on that at a later stage.

So, what will you be doing in Knysna between all the craft beer tastings and oyster shucking this year?


Totalsports Xterra Knysna 2012

What a great day out in Knysna! The sun was shining and the skies were clear. For the duration of the event, anyway.

This was my second Knysna Xterra event so I had some idea of what was lying ahead. Of course I knew there would be mud out there, as it had been raining in Knysna the few days prior to the event. Running and cycling in wet and muddy terrain is not as bad as actually having to participate in the rain.

The set-up at the Pezula field of dreams was excellent once again. Various stands for coffee and drinks, a Facebook photo booth and a Bokomo breakfast stand offering free cereal set an almost carnival atmosphere on the day. It is of course great to start an event at 12h30 on a winter’s day.

Off we went on the first leg, the 3km trail run. After about 1km on a concrete road, we were funneled into a single track. This was a mess. Trying to push about 300 runners into single file so soon after the start just does not work! After the quick 3km run we were back at the transition area where we picked up our mountain bikes to head into the forest.

The only comment I have about the mountain biking ride is AWESOME. Sure, there was mud and lots of it. The vibe in the forest and the actual route itself made for an amazing experience and I loved every minute of it. The cool but sunny weather together with the beautiful scenery made for a ride that is difficult to beat. I did not want it to end and was surprised when I was back at the transition area sooner than expected.

Off with the helmet and bike shoes and on with the muddy trail shoes again. The next run was a 7km one and even more muddy than the first one. This time, however, we got to experience more single track and some serious trail sections through a canopy of trees with protruding roots that called for some careful footwork.

The last km or so was on the concrete road again with a nasty short little uphill just before hitting the soggy field towards the finish line.

That welcome voice of Paul Valstar at the end made for a great finish. Two cups of Rehidrat later and I could catch my breath again.

Yes, the Totalsports Xterra Knysna 2013 is on my list of “must-do” events.

Great to also be in the company of pro’s such as Stuart Marais and Kevin Evans.

Thanks to Michael Meyer and the Stillwatersports team for a great event, once again.


Forest to Falls results

Author mtbguy    Category Kevin Evans, MTB     Tags

Mazda MTN Forest to Falls 70km Marathon 2008
Graskop, Mpumalanga
Leading results
1 David George (MTN Energade) 02hrs35min13sec
2 Kevin Evans (MTN Energade) 02:35:14
3 Brandon Stewart (USN) 02:41:15
4 Melt Swanepoel (MTN Energade) 02:41:52
5 Johnny Kritzinger (Schwinn) 02:41:59
6 Marc Bassingthwaighte (Garmin DCM) 02:42:56
7 John Paul Pearton (USN) 02:43:28
8 Oliver Munnik (Red Mongoose) 02:46:33
9 Johan van Zyl (Mr Price GT) 02:47:29
10 Renay Goustra (Red Mongoose) 02:48:15

1 Paul Cordes (IMC Reaction) 02:52:06
2 Renato Albrecht (Garmin DCM) 03:00:27
3 Herman van der Westhuizen 03:01:45

1 Andrew McLean (Cycle Lab Toyota) 02:54:28
2 Damian Booth (Mugg & Bean) 03:07:22
3 George Oertel 03:10:00

1 Christopher Brand 03:02:47
2 Tim James 03:20:13
3 Cobus Slabbert 03:21:40

Grand Master
1 Art Stokol 04:06:54
2 Elton Prytz 05:55:48

1 Carla Rowley (MTN Energade) 03:17:44
2 Yolande de Villiers (Cycle Lab Toyota) 03:30:47
3 Petruschka Constancon 03:35:31
4 Yolandi du Toit (Garmin DCM) 03:35:33
5 Sanet Smal 03:35:44

1 Kirsten Tasker 03:50:07
2 Retha Harmse 04:35:50
3 Leandra Biann 04:40:38

1 Petruschka Constancon 03:35:31
2 Elsabe Jacobs 03:58:41
3 Elize Nieuwenhuizen 04:09:15

Mazda MTN Forest to Falls Half-marathon 35km, presented by Ferdevco 2008
1 Bryce Munro (Cycle Lab Toyota) 01hr19min20sec
2 Louis Harmse Jnr (Harmony) 01:21:00
3 Kris Jan Slabbert 01:21:27

1 Caitlin de Wet (Red Mongoose) 01:33:41
2 Genee Steyn 01:39:02
3 Beatrice Hogan 01:41:20

For detailed results, visit

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