Midmar: 40 over-eighties in the mix

2011-02-12 00:00

BY close of business yesterday more than 7 000 women and 8 000 men had registered for the the 38th aQuelle Midmar Mile race today and tomorrow.

The swimmers range widely in age, with two five-year-olds and more than 40 octogenerians. The bulk of the early entries yesterday were under 20 years old.

The Midmar Mile is the biggest open-water swim in the world. This year there are more than 15 000 participants and it attracts about 30 000 spectators every year.

The organising team has been working tirelessly to make sure that everything goes well for the participants and spectators.

Event organiser Wayne Riddin said, “It really takes a whole year to organise this event.

“I’m already thinking about the next year’s Midmar Mile. This year’s race has cost us a lot of money but it’s all worth it.”

Riddin has been organising the Midmar Mile for the past 20 years and said he doesn’t expect any major problems this year.

Talking by phone from Midmar Dam, Riddin said, “I’m really excited about the race and it’s so special to see people from different walks of life supporting it, even the physically challenged.

“There will be a lot of refreshments from aQuelle at discount prices. People should just bring their umbrellas and prepare to have fun,” Riddin added.

Among the thousands who will be taking to the water this weekend are Olympic gold medallists Franzisca van Almsick and Penny Heyns, extreme swimmer Lewis Pugh, Ryk Neethling, Keri-Anne Payne, Roland Schoeman and Charlene Wittstock.

Roads around Howick and Midmar will be congested and motorists are advised to be on the lookout for pedestrians and to follow parking signs.

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