Excitement for Midmar Mile mounts as German and British swimmers arrive in PMB

2010-02-12 00:00

WITH the Midmar Dam looking its best as the water trickles over the dam wall, the excitement of the 2010 Halfway-Telkom Midmar Mile is growing each year, as well as the international interest with the arrival of the British and Germans in Pietermaritzburg this week.

The opening event tomorrow will show the tremendous courage of so many who are involved with completing the Ironman competition that involves the 2009 Comrades Marathon, the recent Dusi Canoe Marathon and the Midmar Mile, as well as the stars of the race in the disability section. Although fewer than 500 swimmers take to the water for the 8.30 am opening event, for anyone wanting to witness true courage, this is the one to watch. Adri Visser, who took the Courage Trophy three years in a row, now who chooses the winner from over 70 disabled swimmers.

The team events that include the companies, non-companies and families before the inaugural Sportsguide Double Midmar Mile take place at 2 pm. For the first time, over 300 swimmers will start at the normal finish slipway, head to the start for their first mile, then on to the true Midmar Mile course. Once the top 10 complete the race, Howick’s own Pixie Bennet and her band will entertain the spectators.

Sunday’s events will lift the level of competition as all the age group categories are contested in the first two races, starting at 8.30 am for women and 9.45 am for men. Then the big races hit the water as the British and German visitors go head to head with favourite Keri-Anne Payne and Nadine Pastor the main contenders. But one cannot discount Cassie Patten, Katy Whitfield, Charlotte Wooliscroft and Sophie Casson.

Among the men, German duo Christian Reichert and Alex Studzinski will tackle the large British contingent of David Davies, David Carry, Tom Allen and Dan Fogg. The South African challenge will definitely come from defending champion Riaan Schoeman, Chad Ho and novice Capetonian Heerden Herman.

A fitting prelude to the prizegiving is another of Howick’s idols, Jason Hartman, who will entertain the crowd on Valentine’s Day before the prestigous awards are handed out.

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