91-year-old looks to next Midmar Mile

2014-12-29 00:00

AT the ripe old age of 91, Lorna Cochran is excited about participating in her 17th Midmar Mile next year.

The great-grandmother who lives in Johannesburg, swam her first Midmar Mile when she was 75 and has not looked back since.

“My son came up from Australia to swim the Midmar Mile and afterwards told me, ‘Mom, you could do this’, and I thought he was crazy,” she chuckled.

Cochran decided to jump in and in 1998 she swam.

Since then Cochran has completed 16 consecutive Midmar Mile swims and is the oldest person to compete in the race.

Not only has she been recognised as the oldest person to compete in and complete the famous annual race, according to a Midmar Mile press release by Gameplan Media, Cochran was awarded the woman of the year in 2013 by the World Open Water Swimming Association (Wowsa).

Next year, Cochran is anticipating 11 family members to join her in the swim, including her eight-year-old great-grandchild.

“My family is excited to have four generations swimming the Midmar Mile next year, and I would really love to do it.”

The nonagenarian said she had some concerns about swimming the Midmar at her age and was waiting until the end of February to make a final decision on participating.

“I would really love to do it but when you are 91 you have to think carefully.”

The spritely Cochran enjoys a huge support base of 25 grandchildren and more than 25 great-grandchildren, and trains regularly although she said this year has had its share of hiccups.

“I will keep training and hope for the best. At 91 years old, you don’t say I am going to do this and I am going to do that. It’s a bit ridiculous, but I will give it my best shot.”

• chelsea.pieterse@witness.co.za

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