Only two days left until the 38th Midmar Mile
Only two days are left until the 38th aQuelle Midmar Mile, also known as The Worlds Largest Open Water Swim Event. Swum for the first time in 1973, the Midmar Mile started because three friends who couldn’t, (due to petrol restrictions) make it to the Buffalo Mile in East London decided if they couldn’t get to the Mile then the Mile would come to them – and so the Midmar Mile competition was born!
The first event had 153 competitors and has steadily grown from a one day event to what it is now; the world’s largest open water swim event which has to take place over two days in order to accommodate all entrants.
Thousands of swimmers will take to the waters of Midmar Dam this weekend (Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th of February) and will make their way over the mile distance. Familiar swimmers to look out for are Olympian Roland Schoeman, long distance swimmer and human polar bear Lewis Pugh (who will take on his first eight mile swim) and the future Princess of Monaco, former South African swimmer Charlene Wittstock who will swim her first ever Midmar Mile.
I myself have taken part in six of these swims but the event seems to have changed since I last ran into the dam with other girls in my age group! I wonder if the half way raft that we would climb on and dive off again is still there. Looking back on it now I don’t know why we always wasted time hauling ourselves out the water; sometimes one even had to wait until there was space on the raft before you could climb up! I can distinctly swimming my last Midmar Mile with two friends who were a bit nervous to do it on their own and I spent the majority of my swim calling them back into line as they swam zigzags across the water!
I have great memories of taking part in this race, especially when my jelly legs hit the concrete boat ramp 25 minutes after starting and I’d made it!
Good luck to all swimmers and if you are not swimming then make sure you get out to Midmar Dam to spectate at The Worlds Largest Open Water Swim Event.