63 Years Of River Swimming With Mally Richards

Courtesy of Shereen Bartlett, SPAR River Mile Festival, South Africa.

The SPAR River Festival started in 1924 by AE Murrell in Redhouse on the Swartkops River in South Africa and has been held ever since.

South Africa’s oldest open water swimming race, the Festival also includes a triathlon, running, and biking events.

The incomparable 82-year-old Mally Richards of Port Elizabeth completed his 63rd consecutive mile swim in 25:46.2 after competing in the same race as his 52-year-old son Kevin Richards, a six-time winner of the event doing his 30th mile, and his grandsons Sean (17) and Marc (14).

Longevity runs common in the SPAR River Festival as 72-year-old Ant Skinner competed with Richards and several other SPAR veterans in the over-65 years category.

SPAR River Mile Top 10 Male Results:
1 Daniel Jones (18 years) 13:31.3
2 Ian Venter (16) 13:35.8
3 Nicolas Adam (17) 13:57.5
4 Wayne Jones (21) 14:00.5
5 Slater Black (14) 14:15.6
6 Cullen Biddulph (13) 14:22.8
7 Adriaan Bouwer (15) 14:39.6
8 Dylan Smith (17) 14:41.7
9 Cole Craig (15) 14:45.1
10 Brandon Chapman (13) 14:49.0

SPAR River Mile Top 10 Female Results:
1 Jessica Canter (16) 14:59.0
2 Amica de Jager (16) 15:03.9
3 Jessica Beukes (14) 15:06.5
4 Tarryn Els (18) 15:27.4
5 Hannah Haswell (16) 15:30.7
6 Kirsten Marriott (19) 15:33.2
7 Payton Horton (15) 15:44.0
8 Jessica Booth (13) 15:46.7
9 Andrea Cudin (14) 15:51.5
10 Paige Black (13) 15:53.9

SPAR River Mile Top 10 Male Results 65 Years and Over
1 Conal Turner (69) 22:06.7
2 Chris Viljoen (68) 22:45.7
3 Ant Skinner (72) 23:31.2
4 Mally Richards (82) 25:46.2
5 Ernest Barber (74) 27:15.5
6 Desmond Stone (65) 27:52.6
7 Rodney Mandy (79) 29:37.2
8 Brian Driscoll (71) 29:59.2
9 Robert Leonard (68) 30:56.2
10 Rory Hilton (69) 32:53.8

SPAR River Mile Top Female Results 65 Years and Over
1 Elsa Craig (70) 20:04.0
2 Jennifer Strong (67) 25:15.5
3 Margaret Skinner (71) 28:12.5
4 Di Daniels (70) 29:07.0

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