Still time to enter Midmar 2009

2008-10-24 00:00

There is still time to get in an early bird entry for the 36th annual Halfway-Telkom Midmar Mile that takes place at the popular Midmar Dam resort on February 7 and 8 next year.

To take advantage of a discounted entry fee, entrants have until Wednesday, November 5, before the fee increases from R95 to R110. Entry forms are available at most sports shops at the major shopping malls as well as Game Discount stores, while those who prefer the online entry system can enter on www.midmarmile.co.za.

A number of international swimmers have indicated their intention to race at Midmar next year, including Olympic silver medallist in the 10-km swim and three-time women’s winner, Keri-Anne Payne. Joining her could well be her British team-mate Cassie Patten, who took the bronze medal in Beijing over the 10-km event. If the British contingent do confirm their participation, the organisers will be putting on a special 10-km event on Thursday, February 5, at Midmar Dam.

“I think that we should do our best to give the British and any other international stars the chance of racing at a wonderful venue like Midmar Dam,” said Fina technical official Neville Smith. “Even Olympic Gold medallist among the men in the 10-km swim, Maarten van der Weijden, has shown an interest in returning to Midmar.”

Van der Weijden (Netherlands) competed at Midmar in 2005 where he came second to South Africa’s leading distance specialist and double winner Troyden Prinsloo.

In the recent Great North Mile swim in the UK in September, Van der Weijden was second to British star David Davies by a few seconds while Patten turned the tables on Payne by a second to win the elite women’s section.

With the Hungarians and the winning Australians from the Gold Coast Mile earlier this month likely to turn up once again at Midmar, the race is set for another bumper year.

As well as the hype that usually comes with the leading swimmers, the aim to set an official world record with the Guinness Book of Records will certainly put Pietermaritzburg and the surrounding areas on the world stage among the swimming fraternity.

Inquiries can be made to the office on 033 341 0790 while all the necessary information is available on the website, including the official seeding events for the 2009 Halfway-Telkom Midmar Mile. — Own Correspondent.

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