All set for Midmar Mile 2010

2010-02-13 00:00

SWIMMERS have arrived, the water quality has been tested and roads are cleared — all is set for Midmar Mile 2010.

Midmar’s oldest and youngest swimmers have made their way down from Johannesburg.

Midmar’s oldest swimmer, Roy Rees, will turn 87 this year. Lorna Cochrane, the oldest female swimmer, who turns 87 a few months after Rees, is also from Johannesburg.

“He just beats me,” she joked. This is Cochrane’s 12th Midmar Mile. She swam her first when she was 75.

When people ask Cochrane if she will swim next year, she replies matter-of-factly, “Look, at this age, all you can do is take it day by day.”

She won’t call herself a competitive swimmer either.

“I enjoy swimming for exercise,” she said. “When I’m training for Midmar, I swim a couple of times a week.”

Alexis Jaide Goate also swims for fun — that’s because she is four years old. She is this year’s youngest swimmer.

Her father, Adrian Goate, said she began swimming lessons at nine months.

“She has always loved the water,” he said. “When she was very young she would never hesitate getting in.”

Alexis has already completed four open-water swims with her dad.

“We have fun,” he said. “We swim together and sometimes she swims on my back.”

Goate said the idea is to get her to swim the mile by herself, “but of course, only if she can and if she wants to,” he added.

“I don’t want her to feel pressured. She’s far too young to be competitive,” Goate said.

According to Goate, Alexis is very excited to swim.

When her father asked if she was going to swim the Midmar, Alexis gave a shy giggle and a “mmm hmm”.

Both Cochrane and Goate will swim in Saturday’s family relay section.

Race preview: page 53


SWIMMERS young and old will be at ease knowing Midmar’s water quality is well above standard.

Tests done by Talbot&Talbot show E.Coli levels (which are an indicator of faecal pollution) range from two to nine colonies per 100 ml. Acceptable levels for swimming are 126 colonies per 100 ml.

“After analysing the water quality, we feel the water is safe for swimmers,” said Dr Francois Talbot.

Driving to and from Midmar should not be a problem either.

Race director Wayne Riddin confirmed “the roads open especially for the race”.

Riddin expected that by yesterday afternoon all lanes on the N3 would be open.

Magazines will be issued at the gate with directions and parking instructions.

“We expect high traffic volumes, and all we ask is for people to get the right change ready to pay for parking,” said Riddin.

Riddin and his team are ready for the 17 000 entrants and their supporters this weekend. 

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