General Event News Swimchix meets Pevensey Place swimmers At the Pevensey Place inter-house gala, the Swimchix met the amazing residents that took part in this years aQuellé Midmar Mile. They were proudly wearing their Mile t-shirts and their individually engraved medals. Well done to the following swimmers: Bokke Rossouw, Hilda Gammage, Janine Brindle, Samantha Smith, Anton Egner, Moira Gray, Stuart Seymour and Udette Pretorius.
DATE 01 January 2022
TIME 08h15
ORGANISERS Midmar Events Office
DISTANCE 1600; 3200
PROVINCE KwaZulu-Natal
START VENUE Midmar Dam,Howick,
NAME Race Organiser
EMAIL info@midmarmile.co.za
FAX 033-3458949
WORK NUMBER 0861-MIDMAR (086-1643627)


Pre-entries: www.midmarmile.co.za. Entries are now open and close on 15 January 2018. The cost of entry increases closer to the swim date, so the earlier you enter the better. It is possible to register at the Midlands Mall from the Wednesday to the Friday before the race or on the day of the swim.


Race Start Coordinates: -29.491832789274912, 30.193090438842773 

Race Finish Coordinates: 0.0,0.0 

The Midmar Dam is just off the N3 near Howick in KwaZulu-Natal. If travelling from Johannesburg take the Howick turn-off. If travelling from Durban take the Howick off-ramp and turn left. Due to the volume of traffic it can take up to 45 minutes to get from the entrance down to the venue itself so allow for a delay.


The Midmar Mile is awe-inspiring. To stand on the bank at the start and look across the water at the finish a mile away, creates the impression this race so richly deserves. Before you lies a stretch of open water well marked on either side by gigantic marker buoys at regular intervals. Far-off on the opposite bank, the hubbub and techno-buzz of the finish marquees. Beyond that, the colour and splash of the mardi gras-like finish. Behind all that, alone on the hill stands a gigantic tree, a point to aim for. This then is the course of the Midmar mile.

Day Event Distance (m) Time Category
1 1,600m 08:15:00 Iron Man/Iron Woman, Biathlon, Disabled
1 1,600m 08:30:00 Girls 13 & under, women 31 & over
2 1,600m 09:45:00 Boys 13 & under, men 31 & over
2 1,600m 09:45:00 Family team
3 1,600m 11:00:00 Company team
3 1,600m 11:00:00 Women 14 to 30
4 1,600m 12:15:00 Men 14 to 30
4 1,600m 12:15:00 Non-company team


All finishers in all events receive a medal. For the disabled event gold medals are awarded to each of the category winners. In the company team event the first five swimmers in the winning team receive a gold medal and a floating trophy. Gold, silver and bronze medals go to the first three finishers in the Iron Man/Iron Woman and Biathlon events.

For the remaining events, the categories are split up as follows: 13 years and younger, 14 to 30, 31 to 40, 40 to 50, finally 51 and over. The first five male and female finishers in each category receive gold medals, and the next five positions win silver. Numerous cash prizes are also awarded in each event and category. Only swimmers that are seeded as red caps are eligible for prizes.


The water is clean but not clear. Visibility is two to three metres. The lack of clarity is due largely to disturbances from swimmers and boats from preceding events. While there is sometimes a small clump of reeds at the start, there are no other obstructions over the length of the race.


The Midmar Mile is a point-to-point race which poses its own set of logistical challenges. The start and finish venues are relatively far apart and the organisers have arranged for buses to travel continually between the start and finish points.

Depending on the water level, the start is sometimes on the bank and a short run may be required at the start and the finish. However, since the dam wall has been raised, almost every swim has had a water start, so this appears to have become the norm. Large buoys are placed in the water 400 metres apart to help with direction and time keeping.


The start area has a well-appointed registration tent, chemical toilets and starting pens. Once you have been through registration, volunteers write your race number on your arm and leg for identification purposes. Just before your race, all participants are gathered into start pens depending on seeding. Each seeded group is released at predetermined intervals to reduce the number of people entering the water at any given time. The finish venue has excellent facilities; food and drink stalls, craft stalls and a children's fairground. This creates a carnival atmosphere for both swimmers and supporters. 

To cope with the start and finish logistics it is advisable to arrive at the finish, park your car and catch the bus to the start. If you have not pre-registered, you can register on arrival at the starting point. Be aware that although the shuttle system works very well, the wait in the queue can be as long as 20 minutes. 



Race Name Release Date Media Release
NAME Midmar Events Office
PROVINCE KwaZulu-Natal
WEBSITE www.midmarmile.co.za


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The Midmar Mile has the petrol restrictions in 1973 to thank for its small beginnings. Mike Arbuthnot, Dick Park and Brian Glover were unable to travel from Natal to East London to compete in the Buffalo Mile. They decided to organise a similar race in Natal and the Midmar Dam was chosen as the venue. On a warm February day in 1974, 153 swimmers entered the inaugural race, with the youngest competitor being 10 years old. Trevor Strydom took first place, with Owen Ryan and Martin Godfrey coming in second and third. Women were only able to enter the race officially in 1975. Several women swam in 1974 but their entries were unofficial. The total field in 1975 was 315 swimmers, 220 men and 105 women.

The Seals Midmar Mile celebrated its 25th anniversary in 1998 with a record of 9 600 entries. The 2003 Halfway-Telkom Midmar Mile broke all previous levels with 16 050 entries. The Guinness Book of Records acknowledges this race as the world’s largest open water swimming extravaganza. Near-perfect weather conditions made this the best event in the 30-year history of the Midmar Mile. In 2007 appalling weather conditions forced the organisers to cancel the men's 14 to 30 category event for safety reasons. The first time this occurred in the history of the swim. The 2009 swim was special. No less than 13 Olympians took part. Britain’s Keri-Anne Payne and South Africa’s Riaan Schoeman took respective honours in their categories.

The race continued to grow and in 2010 the race drew yet another record field, exceeding the weighty numbers that earned it a place in the Guinness Book of World records. The 2011 event once again drew enormous crowds. The first race on Saturday featured various disabled categories. Craig Groenewald won in the mentally disabled category for the 13th time out of 13 swims. There was an air of glamour as the event was graced by our own faerie tale princess and previous Olympic swimmer, Charlene Wittstock; who married Prince Albert of Monaco in 2011. Other celebrity draw-cards included ‘The Human Polar Bear’ Lewis Pugh and swimming hero, Roland Schoeman. Both accompanied the princess in her swim. The race will be held for the 44th time in 2018.


Race packs containing your compulsory swimming cap, number tag and the timing chip can either be collected before your event or at the Midlands Mall on the same days that registration takes place. It is advisable to take the opportunity to get your race pack at the Mall as it greatly simplifies things on the day of the swim. 

With the growing number of participants, a seeding system has been put in place for various categories of swimmers. Each event is split into groups of swimmers of varying competency. This means that unless you have swum in one of the seeding events, you will start with the slowest of the swimmers. Competitors in each event are split into five groups of varying competency, each distinguished by different coloured caps. The fastest seeded swimmers go off first wearing red caps. For many, getting a red cap is an achievement in itself. The main reason for the seeding is to reduce the number of swimmers starting at any time, which reduces the crush at the start.

Seeding events are other races held during the season that have been licensed for the Midmar. Since the seeding events are subject to change, it is best to confirm the official seeding events on the Midmar Mile website. Swimmers who have not participated in a seeding event may still take part in the swim. In the future swimmers may have to take part in a seeding event to qualify.

The 8-Mile Charity Club raises funds for various charities. The fundraiser was started in 2001 to raise funds for the Conservation Trust. The quest is to swim in all eight mile events over two days. To join the 8-Mile Club there is a R1,000 entry fee which includes kit, food and entry into all the races. You will also be required to raise a minimum of R1,000 for the charities. You will be required to pay in the difference if you do not get to the R1,000. Entries close on 30 November 2017.

Time Limit: 55 minutes

Finishers: 0