It is on. Festival Trail Run goes ahead. Despite the challenges posed by the worst natural disaster in the history of the Garden Route, organisers of The Featherbed Trail Run have announced that thanks to the timely intervention of Bayport Financial Services, the official Trail Run of the Knysna Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival will go ahead as scheduled. “We’re calling it the Bayport Phoenix Edition,” says event director Mark Collins, “and it will be simply unforgettable.”
With 100% of the original Featherbed Trail Run Routes affected by the fire, safety and environmental concerns forced event host – the Featherbed Company – and event organisers – Magnetic South – to abandon the original event course and format. “We always intended to do something really special for the tenth edition of the Featherbed Trail Run. Obviously this was the absolute furthest thing from our minds; but this new concept is going to work and in light of the amazing fighting spirit currently burning stronger than the fire in our town, it is going to be special. Possibly the most incredibly special event we have ever put on and I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
Collins is appealing to Trail Runners from all over South Africa and the world to come and support this town at the festival. “Knysna got burned. No one in our town is unaffected by the fires,” he said describing the heart-breaking loss so many people experienced. He went on describing the financial and logistical support for victims as “nothing short of phenomenal.” In this same generous fighting spirit Bayport Financial Services has come forward to ensure that one of the most beloved events of the festival goes ahead. Not only that, their involvement will ensure that 25% of the entry fees goes to alleviate the suffering of those directly affected by the fires.
Stuart Stone, Chief Executive Officer at Bayport, said “We are all devastated to hear of the terrible fires that have engulfed Knysna and massive swathes of the Garden Route. At the same time we are in awe of the togetherness and endeavour shown by concerned South Africans for their fellow citizens that have been affected by the fires.” He further explained his decision to partner the event: “We have witnessed a national relief effort from all sectors of society and in that spirit we at Bayport feel compelled to support the run and ensure that Knsyna and surrounding towns benefit from a successful Oyster Festival that no doubt is an important contributor to the local economy.”
Collins said that what the community needs most now is to feel normal again. “That is why we are going ahead with this event. We need to see our restaurants and pubs overflowing with enthralled festival goers as it always does.” “We have taken a huge knock but we are very much still here and we will be back better and stronger than ever. The rebuilding has already started. New plans, new ideas and new beginnings. As much as we are still in shock there is an undercurrent of excitement brewing. Be a part of that new beginning.”
The route will change, the timing will change, the logistics will change but that unique Knysna feeling that the event is famous for will be stronger than ever. The exact timings and logistic will be made public in due course.
Fore more information and entries go to www.trailtown.net