On Saturday I took part in my first Knsyna Forest half Marathon, the last time I had entered it was cancelled due to a terrible storm which flooded the route.
I was a bit nervous as I had heard it was a tough race, and I heard the start is very cold. So I bought some extra layers to throw over my running kit whilst I am waited at the start.
The start of this race is in the Knysna Forest and you can only get to the start with the event organised taxi transport, which starts running at 5:30 until 7:00. My race started at 8:00 however I was already at the start at 6:00. This allowed me time to socialise at the Pick’nPay coffee tent which was buzzing with excited runners. I bumped into Michelle Cupido from Pinelands Athletics Club,the lady who everyone knows as she chats to everyone during her race. I love her energy and spirit, she keeps everyone motivated with her chirpy comments and enthusiasm. Momentum Health also handed out red blankets at the start for the first 2000 people, so you can wrap up and keep warm before your race. Despite me getting to the start so early, the blankets were all gone. These blankets are collected a the start, along with all the warm clothes, these are then donated to various charities in the area. There were 3 trucks filled with clothing and blankets as the 21km started.The race was very hilly, with a lot of up and downs but the scenery was spectacular. It’s hard not to keep stopping to take photographs. The water points are stocked with water, and sugary drinks. The last water point (3km before the end) is stocked with water and fruit, to give you the last bit of a boost.I spotted singers Mario Ogle and Chad Saaiman along the route and then at the end. As well as some other furry creatures at the end 🙂Would I come back to do this race? Yes, it gets a THUMBS UP from me!!
Well done to all the organisers and volunteers who work so hard to make this race a success.
TIPS FOR RUNNING THE KNYSNA HALF MARATHON:
- Join a structured running programme to assist with hill training. (I joined Embark’s Knysna Training programme)
- Parking -on Race day, park half way between start and finish (my advise would be park at the Knysna Waterfront) . You don’t want to be walking back to the start to fetch your car after you’ve already run 21km.
- Buy clothing or wear old clothing over your running kit which you can donate at the start (this gets given to various charities)
- Bring warm clothes for the end, (there is a tog bag collection point at start and finish where you can safely drop off your bags)
- Bring an old blanket (it’s so cold at the start, I regretted not having a one)
- Pack money -there are food stalls at the end, remember to eat a well balanced meal at least an hour afterwards.
- Waterpoints – it’s cold but keep drinking fluids, you might not feel like drinking in the cold. Keep hydrated. There are water points at every 3km mark.
- Remember to keep eating something small every 15minutes (you are waiting at the start for almost 2hours) .
- Dateballs are my go to snack. I had breakfast at 4am and the 21km only started at 8am, that’s almost 4hours since breakfast.
- The queue to bathroom isn’t too long, join it when you get to the start, it’s a great place to make friends.
- Enjoy the Pick’nPay hospitality tent a the start.
- Make sure you join the correct race start (saw so many people running to their start area when the gun went off as they were queuing in the wrong start area)
- Start slow, there’s a long hill at the start, use it to warm up.
- Book a massage or remember to stretch after your run.