The Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival, taking place this year between Friday 29 June and Sunday 8 July, has long been an annual pilgrimage for marathon runners and cyclists; and over the years the range of sporting events on offer at the Festival has grown significantly to include a swim across the lagoon, paddling, trail running, mountain biking, golf, as well as the Momentum BIG5 and BIG5 Lite Challenges for accomplished multisport athletes.
The first weekend sees the Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour MTB Events kick off festivities on Saturday 30 June, with 80km, 50km, 30km, and 15km routes, in addition to the newer 30km E-bike race. The challenging trails through the Garden Route’s forests and farmlands attracts serious mountain bikers and enthusiasts alike.
The Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour Road Race on Sunday 1 July features a 115km and a 50km route. In an exciting development this year, the Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour has confirmed that the 115km road race, along with the 80km and 50km mountain bike races will be seeding qualifying events for the 2019 Cape Town Cycle Tour.
The Forest Family Dam Ride on Sunday 1 July is not a timed race, but a more relaxed scenic 30km or 20km route for mountain bikers, into the forests above Simola and past some of Knysna’s dams.
Also on 1 July, the Spur Rotary Children’s Cycle Tour makes the cycling at the festival a family affair, and parents of 2-10 year olds can watch their children take part in the 2-4, 5-7, and 8-10 year-old categories at the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival grounds on Waterfront Drive.
The Momentum Health MTB X on Thursday 5 July sees four categories of mountain bikers choose between 1 and 4 laps of an 8-km loop, with between 8 and 10 obstacles of different difficulties to suit riders of all skill levels. The categories of Children, Youth, Amateur and Professional (CSA seeded and registered riders), means that anyone interested in cross country mountain biking is catered for.
The Harbour2Heads Lagoon Challenge, a marathon-style paddling event on the beautiful Knysna Lagoon Estuary, takes place on Sunday 1 July. Two distances of 11km or the main event of 22km is for paddlers of all abilities. K1’s, K2’s, K3’s and surf-skis are all welcome.
The Knysna Oyster Festival Bowls Tournament is on Monday 2 July, as is the first in the series of the FNB Forest Family Hike. The hike also takes place on Wednesday 4 and Friday 6 July. Young and old can take in the beauty of the Harkerville trails through the Knysna Forest and learn about the ecological importance of forests while enjoying a 10km or 6km walk.
On Wednesday 4 July, Pezula Championship Golf Course hosts the Motus Festival of Golf Ladies Day, with great prizes and entertainment on the day, and the Motus Festival of Golf Men’s Day is on the following day, Thursday 5 July. On Friday 6 July, the Europcar Knysna Classic Golf Tournament is a 4-ball charity event with proceeds going to Knysna Hospice and the Knysna Animal Welfare Society (KAWS). The Motus Festival of Golf ProAm tournament rounds off the golfing on Saturday 7 July. On Sunday 8 July the final match of the Knysna Oyster Festival Soccer Tournament takes place.
Runners are catered for on the first weekend of the Festival with the Ikasi 5km Colour Fun Run on Sunday 1 July, starting at the Sanlam Mall, moving through the township of Knysna and ending with a splash of colour.
Community based events take place on Monday 2 and Tuesday 3 July, with the ASWD and KMC Cross Country Relay Race and the very popular ASWD and KMC Street Miles, focusing on youth from the greater Garden Route area.
On Tuesday 3 July, the Momentum Featherbed Trail Run provides an 11km Seahorse and a 15km Coelacanth option. It starts at Buffalo Beach and ends at the Cruise Café restaurant on Remembrance Drive. Taxi transport will be available from the Cruise Café to the start but self-drive is welcome. The Buffalo Bay start is a 25-minute drive from the Cruise Café.
The Momentum Knysna Forest Marathon & Half Marathon are two of South Africa’s most popular running races and take place on Saturday 7 July. Runners can look forward to experiencing the incredible views over the Knysna Lagoon towards the Knysna Heads as they approach the finish line, providing all the inspiration they need to get there.
The Houtkapper Trail Run on Sunday 8 July has 9km, 15 km and 27 km trails that have been chosen not only to challenge the intermediate to experienced trail runners, but to provide them with an opportunity to experience single track and exciting terrain of the Garden Route National Park.
The Momentum BIG5 Challenge and BIG5 Lite is for athletes who choose to participate in five of the selected Festival sporting events between 29 June and 7 July. Ranked by their cumulative time, the athlete who completes all five events in the least amount of time will be the race winner. The Momentum BIG5 Challenge has become a bucket-list item on the international endurance and adventure race calendar, mainly due to the challenging events, but also because of the unbelievable natural beauty experienced at all of the five races.
Enjoying the fun and entertainment on offer throughout the week of the Festival is a great way to relax after you have made your mark on the sports events, so sign up now and get your training on track to enjoy an action-packed holiday. Still looking for the perfect place to spend your ‘Best 10 Days’? Then look no further, visit www.oysterfestival.co.za/accommodation to view our specialized packages or to search for the perfect setting.
For the full festival line-up, with links to enter all the sporting events, can be found on the website at: http://www.oysterfestival.co.za/programme-of-events/
Direct links to the following events can be found on:
The Momentum BIG5 Challenge and BIG5 Lite multisport events. Enter here: www.big5challenge.com
The Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour MTB Events on Saturday 30 June, with 80km, 50km, 30km, and 15km routes, in addition to the newer 30km E-bike race. Enter here: www.knysnacycle.co.za
The Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour Road Race will take place on Sunday 1 July; and offers a 115km and 50km route. Enter here: www.knysnacycle.co.za
The Momentum Knysna Forest Marathon & Half Marathon are two of South Africa’s most-hotly contested running races and will take place on Saturday 7 July. Enter here: www.knysnamarathonclub.com/forest-marathon