Catch the aQuellé Midmar Mile this year on 9 and 10 February on SABC Sport YouTube!
In order to handle the vast number of competitors, the swimmers swim out in 5 groups at three-minute intervals in 8 separate mile races over two days. The Saturday events start at 8:15 while the Sunday events start at 8:30.
The Midmar Mile swimming race is held annually in February at the Midmar Dam, north of Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Each year thousands of competitors, from serious international athletes and Olympic medallists to purely recreational swimmers, take part.
In 2009 the event was recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest open water swimming event.
Yes, the event requires participants to swim a mile (1.6 km), although in years with poor rainfall, competitors are subject to the infamous Midmar sprint start: a bedlam of bodies sprinting across the muddy lake-shore and through the shallows until the water is deep enough to swim!
Some facts about the 2019 aQuellé Midmar Mile field:
- Just over a quarter of the field is between 10 and 19 years of age.
- The youngest swimmer is six-year-old Rachael Rodd.
- The oldest swimmer is 86-year-old Mike Arbuthnot, who was one of the founders of the event back in 1974.
- The company with the highest number of entrants is the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).
- The school with the highest number of entries is Oranje Meisieskool.