Fletcher Fluffs Feathers at Featherbed
Up and coming cross country runner Juwayne Fletcher caused a major upset by showing a clean pair of heels to a star-studded lineup at the 2010 Salomon Featherbed Trail Run presented by PETZL , during this year’s Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival. The 17-year-old from Uitenhage announced his presence on the trail running scene by putting a minute between him and international trail running star Ryan Sandes, as both men were the only athletes to get a sub 1 hour time on the spectacular new course. Fletcher’s time of 58 minutes and 7 seconds stunned even course designers Chris Crewdson and John Collins who believed that a sub 60 minute run would be a near impossible ask on the technical trail. Bloemfontein’s Edward van der Merwe clocked an impressive 1 hour, 1 minute and 8 seconds to round off the podium finishers.
In the woman’s race Michelle Lombardi bagged her second Salomon Featherbed Trail Run title to add to what is already proving to be a dream season for the Team Salomon runner with the two Oceans Trail Run, The AfricanX and the Fishermans Trail Run titles already in her bag this year. Lombardi’s time of 65 minutes remains one of the talking points of the race. Former adventure racer Benoni’s Susan Sloane claimed second spot with a run that was 16 seconds faster than Stellenbosch’s multisport star, Hanlie Booyens, who finished third.
Defending champion and hot favourite to win this year’s race Rohan Kennedy finished a disappointing seventh overall in the longer Coelacanth race and commented “ I may have over exerted myself in obliterating everyone on the morning running of the shorter Seahorse Route, and this year it seems the youngsters took on the seasoned trail runners on the long course with the opposite taking place on the short course. I will be back next year with a new strategy especially as the new upgraded route demands this.” Kennedy’s time of just over 46 minutes in the Seahorse race was just too fast for Knysna local Marcel Roos who also ran both courses during the day and still posted a sub 50 minute time for the shorter course running in the dark. Piers Perow from Johannesburg finished 3rdalso just under 50 minutes.
In the Ladies race on the shorter course Jacoline Haasbroek beat local runner Kerry Roos with an impressive time of 54:07 whilst Denise Derbyshire of Somerset West just kept Knysna’s Alison Hyde off the overall podium with the 3rd fastest time.
Of the 600 trail runners that made the ferry trip across to Knysna’s spectacular Featherbed Nature Reserve, only four were beaten by the challenging trails and inclement weather and had to be transported back to the cosy Cruise Café finish line. Among those who braved the icy winds which were at times gusting up to 70km/hour, were the Rhodes brothers Jonty and Clinton as well as Hollywood actress Vanessa Haywood. Haywood who is also taking part in the Oyster Festivals Big 5 is raising money for the Starfish Foundation.
Point man of the Salomon sponsored runners, Ryan Sands, who generally specialises in longer and more extreme races has become the face of the Featherbed Trail run which he does 3 times in the day and uses as part of his build up for the Trans Alps Race in September. The Oyster Festival holds a special place in the heart of the professional athlete as his running career which has seen him dominate the extreme racing circuit globally all began in Knysna.
The Salomon Featherbed Trail Run which has grown 50% year on year since its inception in 2008 saw the addition of the PETZL night running of the route at this year’s event. Knysna residents with a view of the lagoon were treated to the sight of hundreds of lights making their way across the railway bridge and could be forgiven for thinking that it was, at last, the Outeniqua Choo Choo returning to the town.
SALOMON FEATHERBED TRAIL RUN PRESENTED BY PETZL
COELACANTH 15KM ROUTE MEN
van der Merwe
COELACANTH 15KM ROUTE WOMEN
SEAHORSE 15KM ROUTE MEN
SEAHORSE 15KM ROUTE WOMEN