Cape Town - There were no surprises at the Knysna Forest Half Marathon, the final event of the BIG5 Sport Challenge,
with favourites and defending champions, Stuart Marais and Andrea Steyn taking
first place in the run and emerging as the overall winners of the 2016
BIG5 Sport Challenge.
over 7 300 athletes braved the cold for the 21km race, where Stuart Marais and
Andrea Steyn were the first male and female BIG 5 Sport Challenge athletes to
cross the finish line in the Half
Marathon with times of 1:13.32 and 1:24.56, respectively.
five extremely competitive high powered challenges, which were spread over a
total of eight days, Marais held onto his title, winning a record
breaking fifth consecutive BIG5 Sport Challenge, and rightfully cementing
himself as the official ‘King of Knysna’.
Marais placed first in four
out of the five BIG5 challenges, giving him a substantial lead on the overall
leaderboard, with Theo Blignaut coming in
second and Davide Del Fante just behind him in third place.
Marais was elated with his fifth BIG5 Sport Challenge win.
“The half marathon
brings an end to yet another amazing week in Knysna. I have really enjoyed
every event and today was no different.
ran with my mate Bradley Weiss, we set a pace we wanted to run and ran nicely
and ended up seventhin the field. What a great run for me!
was really nice in the forest this morning, ideal weather for a great run, with
no wind and a bit of mist.”
Steyn went into the race with a comfortable 26 minute lead over her closest
challenger. She dominated the ladies field throughout the event taking
her second consecutive BIG5 title. Vicky van der Merwe ended in second,
with local Knysna athlete Fienie Barnard in third.
Steyn comments, “It was a beautiful morning with perfect weather and I am
really happy to finish off my BIG5 Sport Challenge with a great run. Vicky and
I ran together for the first couple of kilometres and then I managed to get a
bit of a gap and managed to maintain it. I was hurting for the last 5km but pushed through it and was very happy to finish first.
am really happy with my win, and if my schedule allows it I will definitely be
back to defend my title next year.”
in 2008 the BIG5 Sport Challenge has grown into one of the country’s most
popular multi-sport events, becoming a bucket list ‘must’ for local and
international endurance and adventure athletes. At this year’s festival
children were able to be a part of BIG5 Sport Challenge with the all new BIG5
Junior, which offered a number of fun and exciting events designed specifically
Director Gary Marescia commented, “We are extremely happy and proud of what has
been achieved at this year’s BIG5 Sport Challenge. Entries are up 36% on 2015,
and the BIG5 Junior event was added to the challenge, catering for kids aged
12-19 years of age. 2016 also saw a significant increase in the sponsorship
support, including SUUNTO as presenting sponsor. The increased sponsorship had
a very positive impact on the benefits that the athletes enjoyed during this
year’s competition, and we had some outstanding athletes competing this year”.
are really appreciative of the support that we received from our partner
events, the Knysna community and traveling South Africans, and it
has been amazing to see so many families taking part in the various BIG5
events. Now we go back to the drawing board to plan for 2017, so that we can
make our eighth BIG5 Sport Challenge even bigger and better,
including an increased international field through a planned global marketing
campaign”, concludes Marescia.
BIG5 multi-sport challenge is one of the highlights on the annual Pick n Pay
Knysna Oyster Festival programme and includes The Momentum Weekend Argus
Knysna Cycle Tour MTB Race (80km), Dragons Featherbed Lagoon Mile Swim
(1.6km), The Featherbed Trail Run (15km), The Momentum Health OatWell
DualX, powered by PeptoPro (5km Run | 30km MTB | 2.5km Run), and The
Momentum Cape Times Knysna Forest Marathon (21.1km).
Momentum Cape Times Knysna Forest Half Marathon Big 5 Sport Challenge
Stuart Marais 1:13.32
Theo Blignaut 1:19.16
Davide Del Fante 1:20.07
Andrea Steyn 1:24.56
Vicky van der Merwe
Fienie Barnard 1:36.12
Momentum Cape Times Knysna Forest Half Marathon Big 5 LITE Results
Keegan Cooke 1:18.16
Alan Houston 1:21.24
Steve Mendes 1:34.42
Nina van den Berg 1:41.14
BIG 5 SPORT CHALLENGE OVERALL RESULTS:
David Del Fante / Dean Hopf
Vicky van der Merwe
more details on the BIG5 Sports Challenge visit www.big5sportchallenge.com or
follow the BIG5 Sport Challenge on social media:
• Twitter: @big5challenge
• Facebook: Facebook/Big5SportChallenge
• Instagram: Big5SportChallenge
• Hashtag: #BIG5