Top-class field for Midmar Mile

2009-01-29 00:00

WITH entries slightly up on last year’s figures at the same stage, the 36th Halfway Telkom Midmar Mile has attracted a multitude of international interest and is set to be one of the most keenly-contested races in the history of this world-famous event.

Taking place at Midmar Dam near Howick and situated in the picturesque Midlands of KwaZulu- Natal on February 7 and 8, the world-renowned event has attracted a quality international field.

These include German ace, Nadine Pastor, fresh off a podium finish in the Fina 10 km Marathon Swimming World Cup on Santos, Brazil last weekend, compatriot Christian Reichert, Flemish sensation Brian Ryckeman along with a large British contingent that includes the likes of Olympians Keri-Anne Payne, Cassie Patton and Michael Rock.

Pastor edged Italian Olympian Martina Grimaldi in a thrilling battle for the minor placing in the Fina 10 km MSWC season opener in South America last weekend, getting the better of her more illustrious compatriot Olympian Angela Maurer, who advised organisers earlier this week that she will not be travelling to Midmar this year.

Pastor, who is the current German Open Water Swimming Champion in the 5 km and 10 km, as well as the German 1 500 m SC title holder, headed the overall 2008 European Cup ranking.

Germany’s Christian Reichert headed the 2008 European Cup standings to secure a unique double for that nation with some solid performances and is highly regarded as a bright prospect for the future.

Belgium ace Brian Ryckeman competed in Beijing at the Olympics and is a seasoned competitor on the international open water swimming circuit, having gained numerous podium finishes in the Fina 10 km MSWC events over the past few years. His easygoing nature belies the competitive streak that comes to the fore when he lines up against his competitors, as many have discovered.

Those entrants wanting to confirm their entry and seeding batches, visit the website to confirm. The site has been updated to include the batch seeding.

Registration for the world-famous event gets under way at the Liberty Midlands Mall on Wednesday 4th and Thursday February 5 from 12 pm to 4 pm while on Friday February 6, the hours are increased from 10 am to 5 pm.

Late entries will be taken during this time as well as on the two race days at Midmar Dam.

The long distance events that were re-added to the Midmar Mile programme have attracted some exciting international competition that is sure to challenge the local participants.

The 10 km swim over a 4-lap course will take place on Thursday February 5 at 8 am, the 5 km swim on Friday February 6 at 8 am and the 25 km swim at 6 am on Monday February 9. These events will start out of Morganzon Bay to afford spectators an opportunity to view these exciting contests.

Online entries are available for only these events until Sunday February 1.

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