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Midmar Mile

The Midmar Mile, is recognised as the world's largest open water swim. The race was established in 1973, when three friends, Mike Arbuthnot, Dick Park and Brian Glover, who were unable to compete in the Buffalo Mile in East London due to petrol restrictions, so they decided to stage a race of their own at the Midmar Dam, located just west of Pietermaritzburg.

The first Midmar Mile hosted a field of only 153 competitors, with the youngest entrant being only ten years old. The winner of the race was Trevor Strydom, and Owen Ryan and Martin Godfrey finished second and third. Since those early days of the race Godfrey has competed every year, except for one event. Mike Arbuthnot and Mike Pengelly are the only two individuals to hold the distinction of having taken part every single year.

Since the humble beginnings of the race, the Midmar Mile, has grown significantly, and now draws thousands of competitors from across the globe, varying in age and capability from serious athletes such as olympic medalists Ryk Neethling and Natalie Du Toit, to purely recreational swimmers.

A unique feature of the Midmar Mile, is that although the distance covered by the swimmers is always a mile, in years with less rainfall, the level of the dam drops, and the actual distance swum by competitors is slightly less. In these conditions swimmers are subjected to the infamous sprint start, which sees competitors trying to sprint through the mud and shallows, until a depth suitable to swim in is reached.

In order to accommodate for the vast number of entrants, the swimmers swim out 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.

In 2009, the organisers of the Midmar Mile decided it was time that the event received official recognition as the world's largest open water swimming event, and contacted the Guinness Book of World Records to make this happen. Due to global economic recessions, the rate of entries was slow, and it was feared that the organisers would not meet the target of required entries to set the record, however a last minute increase in numbers saw the total number of participants grow to over 17,000. That figure will be entered into the Guinness Book of World Records, along with the 3,110 finishers - the most ever in a single event, the non-company relay.

The race is usually held during the warm month of February. For more information on the midmar Mile, including online entries for next year visit www.midmarmile.co.za

Nearby Listings

Sleeps: 13 in 3 units/rooms

Leafy Lane

Self Catering House, Cottage, Chalet Accommodation in Howick

3.7km North East of center of Midmar Mile

Leafy Lane is situated at the end of a cul-de-sac approximately 3 Kms from the N3 Highway. It consists of two bed sitting rooms and are fully equipped with double door fridge freezers, microwave, mini stove, toaster and kettle.

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Sleeps: 17 in 4 units/rooms
From R 420,00
Per person, per night sharing.

Sunbird Guest House

Bed & Breakfast Accommodation in Howick

4.9km East of center of Midmar Mile

Exclusive use by guests. Guest Lounge with TV, off street parking with remote controlled access, log cabin type outdoor gazebo with fireplace. Two separate private sleeping wings. Malaria Free Area. English breakfast or alternatives by prior ...

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Graded:
Sleeps: 20

Cedarwood

Self Catering House, Cottage, Chalet Accommodation in Howick

4.9km East of center of Midmar Mile

Our furnished, self catering house has four beautifully decorated en-suite bedrooms, two of which are family rooms and a loft room - comfortably sleeping 10 adults and 6 children

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Sleeps: 28 in 3 units/rooms
From R 360,00
Per person, per night sharing.

Hillhouse

Self Catering House, Cottage, Chalet Accommodation in Dargle

5.6km South West of center of Midmar Mile

Hillhouse Accommodation was featured in Elle Decoration - The Country Issue June/July 2013. Also in House and Leisure - The Travel Issue, 101 Dream escapes in May 2015. Again in Getaway mag 2015 and Midlands life in 2008.

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Sleeps: 20 in 8 units/rooms

Clydesdale On Lions River

Room Only / Limited Self Catering Accommodation in Lions River

6.8km North West of center of Midmar Mile

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Sleeps: 6 in 3 units/rooms

Amberleigh Guest Farm

Self Catering House, Cottage, Chalet Accommodation in Howick

6.9km North West of center of Midmar Mile

Amberleigh Guest Farm is a working farm situated in the Kwa Zulu Natal midlands 12km outside Howick, easily accessible from the N3 highway.

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Graded:
Sleeps: 38 in 16 units/rooms

St Ives

Hotel / Boutique Hotel Accommodation in Lions River

7.3km West of center of Midmar Mile

St Ives Lodge and Venue is situated in the heart of the Lions River Valley in the KZN Midlands. This 140-hectare Family Owned & Managed Estate offers something for everyone. The Estate Boasts A Luxury Lodge with Wild Animals Roaming the Grounds...

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Lions River Country Cottages

Self Catering House, Cottage, Chalet Accommodation in Dargle

7.8km North West of center of Midmar Mile

If your heart yearns for a tranquil blend of seclusion and luxury then Lions River Country Cottages, award winning accommodation, is your perfect escape into the solitude of the countryside.

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Sleeps: 13
From R 350,00
Per person, per night sharing.

Merci Dieu

Self Catering House, Cottage, Chalet Accommodation in Hilton

8.1km South East of center of Midmar Mile

Merci Dieu is the perfect spot for reunions, celebrations and family get-togethers. Merci Dieu sleeps 12 - 14 guests with 6 bedrooms (3 bedrooms have hand basins ), 3 bathrooms, 3 lounges, a large fully fitted kitchen and 2 spacious outside patios...

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Sleeps: 12 in 3 units/rooms

KwaNyoni Cottages

Self Catering House, Cottage, Chalet Accommodation in Hilton

8.2km North East of center of Midmar Mile

KwaNyoni Cottages offer a unique concept in accommodation; imaginatively transformed from old stables and a farm building, these three eclectically decorated self-catering units are set on a tranquil agricultural property with panoramic views over the

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