04 September 2010 by Roy Barford

Start preparing for Midmar Mile 2011

The Midmar Mile, which currently holds the Guinness World Record for the largest open-water swimming event, will take place on February 12 and 13 2011. Due to the popularity of the event, swimmers and spectators are advised to make travel and accommodation arrangements well in advance to avoid disappointment.

Held at Midmar Dam in the scenic KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, the Midmar Mile is likely to attract more than 17 000 swimmers in 2011, following the success of the 2010 event, which attracted more than 16 200 entries.

On the Saturday, teams of four can compete in the company relay, non-company relay and family relay. There is also an event for ironman athletes and disabled swimmers on this first day of the weekend’s activities. The Sunday sees swimmers take to the water in four individual events, categorised by age and gender.

The swim itself is a 1.6km straight dash through choppy, open water.

The event attracts everyone from Olympic swimmers to amateurs, as well as swimmers of pretty much all ages. In 2010, the oldest swimmer was 87.

The event attracts everyone from Olympic swimmers to amateurs, as well as swimmers of pretty much all ages. In 2010, the oldest swimmer was 87. My grandfather, who is 86, usually comes all the way from Scotland to take part in the swim.

There are some great parties in the area throughout the weekend.

There are camping facilities available at Midmar Dam and accommodation options of offer in nearby areas such as Pietermaritzburg, Hilton, Howick, Balgowan and Nottingham Road - but you are advised to book early to secure your place. Should you be interested in accommodation options a bit further afield, Durban is a one-hour drive away.

For more information about the Midmar Mile, visit www.midmarmile.co.za.

Midmar Dam is open throughout the year for camping and water sports. Boat hire is available.

Category: Sport

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