Taking place on Saturday, 7 July 2018, the Knysna Forest Marathon has become a firm favourite on runners racing calendars. Held during the annual Knysna Oyster Festival, it consists of a challenging 42.2km full marathon, a 21.1km half marathon and a 5km fun run, allowing professional and first-time runners to enjoy the scenic Knysna Forest.
With no private transport allowed, marathon day begins with a taxi trip to the start at ‘The Glebe’ in Knysna Forest. Dress warmly as it’s an early 7:00AM start for full marathon runners and an 8:00AM start for half marathon runners. The race begins with a challenging 2.5km climb into the forest which turns into a jeep track where striking scenery can be enjoyed and used as a distraction from this undulating path.
The hallowed Simola hill then commences – a challenging downhill stretch from the forest back into the town of Knysna and toward the much-anticipated finish. The finish line is almost palpable after this decent as the final stretch of flat bliss begins
Wear layers you wouldn’t mind losing for this race – anything left behind at the start and along the course is collected and donated to local charities and less fortunate residents in the area.
The Knysna Oyster Festival
If running is not up your street, there are plenty of other activities to be enjoyed, sporting and otherwise, such as the Knysna Cycle Tour. A perfect time for food, wine and a fun time, the Pick ‘n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival is full of family-friendly activities and plentiful exciting events which can be found on the official website. As the marathon takes place on the last weekend of the festival, there is a smaller selection of events to attend but still lots of restaurants, wilderness and local activities to enjoy. The event is also a perfect time to explore nearby Garden Route attractions.
Situated on Thesen Islands, The Turbine Hotel and Spa is ideally located for guests to enjoy the festival and explore the town. If you missed out on accommodation this year, feel free to pop in to the Gastro Pub or Island Café for a refreshing cocktail and some food or to watch the World Cup.