Knysna’s Big 5 Challenge (29 June – 6 July) once again showcased South Africa’s multisport talents. And while it’s amazing to see what can be achieved by the athletes gunning for top honours, we must not forget about the guys and gals lower down who are just trying to get through the week and complete all five events – champions in their own right.
For those of you who don’t know, these are the following events that have to be completed:
Pick n Pay Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour – 80km MTB race
Pick n Pay Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour – 100km Road race (changed to 80km due to roadworks) OR Knysna Lagoon Challenge 22km paddle race
Salomon Featherbed Trail Run presented by GU – Coelacanth – 15km
Totalsports XTERRA presented by REHIDRAT – Full distance
Pick n Pay Cape Times Knysna Forest Half Marathon OR Full Marathon
The final showdown for the over 200 Big 5 competitors came courtesy of the annual Forest Marathon, with competitors able to choose between the Half- or Full distances. There were no huge surprises and the BIG 5 standings post-XTERRA remained very much as is. Dan Hugo was unfortunately no longer in the reckoning after he pulled out just before the start of the XTERRA event with an injury niggle. Carla van Huyssteen proved too strong to dethrone in the women’s field, and led home Marilyn Fisher and Candice Davison. Stuart Marais once again returned to the top of the podium in the men’s category, flanked by the ever-green Kent Horner and a resurgent Matt Trautman. Full results can be viewed at either oysterfestival.co.za or magneticsouth.net