Midmar Mile postponed due to Covid-19

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Swimmers at the start of the Midmar Mile at the Midmar Dam. PHOTO: JETLINE ACTION
Swimmers at the start of the Midmar Mile at the Midmar Dam. PHOTO: JETLINE ACTION

The famous Midmar Mile has been postponed by a month following the spike in Covid-19 cases, the organisers said on Friday.

The open water swim event was scheduled to take place on Valentine’s Day weekend at Midmar Dam outside Pietermaritzburg.

However, the event will now be hosted at the dam on March 13 and 14.

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“Safety is always the highest priority at the aQuellé Midmar Mile,” said race director Wayne Riddin.

“And this year we obviously have many additional considerations with regard to Covid-19 and minimising the risk of transmission at events. We are also respectful of the pressure that hospitals and medical staff are under at this time. “Time on duty plus the possibility of a medical emergency at the event would only place further demands on medical staff which we would all agree is not necessary,” he said.

Riddin also that the current regulations do not allow for swimmers to train in open water, and many are struggling to find a pool while dams, rivers and beaches remain closed to swimming.

He said the postponement to March will give entrants extra time to prepare for what will be the 48th Midmar Mile.

Together with input from representatives from KZN Wildlife and the safety committee, the race committee is investigating the feasibility of holding the events over more than two days.

ALSO READ | 14 000 swimmers expected at Midmar

Should this be both practical and provide an extra safety element, decisions will be taken swiftly and communicated immediately.

“All decisions will be taken in line with regulations in place and ultimately to reduce risk to all participants,” said Riddin.

“We cannot become complacent within the current situation. The 2021 Midmar Mile will be a very different event to previous years, but we are confident we can deliver a safe event space for participants to enjoy one of the highlights in their swimming calendar. “We feel taking this decision now is best for everyone involved as we plan the details over the next few weeks.”
Wayne Riddin, Midmar Mile race director

The organisers said depending on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s next announcement and the level of lockdown, some further changes may still need to be made, including the possibility of holding the event even later on in the year.

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