Fascinating Facts About The Midmar Mile

Fascinating Facts About The Midmar Mile

The Midmar Mile, to be held on February 13th-14th, is the world’s largest competitive open water swim with all kinds of interesting facts:

1. Its small-town location, just north of Pietermaritzburg is located 76K from Durban and is called the last outpost of the British Empire.

2. It is named for its location, the Midmar Dam.

3. Its distance varies year to year depending on rainfall and the water levels in the dam

4. 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.

5. In order to handle the vast number of competitors, the swimmers start in several groups at two-minute intervals in eight batches over two days; the group division is based on a qualifying time in a previous event, with the fastest group leaving first.

6. The 1973 oil crisis led to the first Midmar Mile in 1974. Mike Arbuthnot, Dick Park and Brian Glover were unable to travel to London to compete in the 1973 Buffalo Mile due to gas restrictions. As a result, they organized the first race in the Midmar Dam with 153 swimmers entered.

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