Late Bloomers At 89 And 90 Still Going Strong

Late Bloomers At 89 And 90 Still Going Strong

With tens of thousands of swimmers heading to the aQuellé Midmar Mile this weekend in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, participants come in all shapes, sizes and ages.

But no one is of the age as Lorna Cochran.

Cochran is a late bloomer in the open water swimming to say the least. She first took part in the 1600m Midmar Mile at the age of 74 years young after retiring at the age of 70. With 7 children, 24 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren, she plans to become the oldest finisher at the 40th edition of the world’s largest competitive open water swimming event at 89 years.

If successful this weekend, she will be older by four months than Colin Cable who set the record for the oldest overall finisher back in 1999.

In this year’s edition, Cochran is at least 5 years older than the oldest male participant and 12 years older than the next oldest female.

But she will have to keep training and pushing to maintain her record.

Petrus Meyer, a local 90-year-old open water swimmer from Pietermaritzburg, became the oldest ever registrant in 2013, but he suffered a late setback that impacted his ability to swim this weekend. He is, however, determined to participate in the 2014 Midmar Mile at the age of 91 years old. When Meyer’s registration was received, race director Wayne Riddin gave him a call expecting that the entry form had been incorrectly completed. But to his surprise, Riddin said that he spoke with a young-sounding determined 90-year-old.

But at their ages, both Cochran and Meyer have learned to be patient and know that good things come in time.

The aQuellé Midmar Mile takes place on 9 and 10 February at the Midmar Dam, just outside Howick in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. For more info visit

Photos of Lorna Cochran by etline Action Photo/Gameplan Media.

Copyright © 2013 by Open Water Source