The final few qualifying events for the 2015 aQuellé Midmar Mile are nearing rapidly and culminate with a weekend of racing at the Heia Safari Ranch in Johannesburg, which hosts the Time Freight Lake Heritage Water Festival on 17 and 18 January. ??
The 1 200 metres swim, for those aiming to post a Midmar Mile qualifying time, takes place on Sunday, 18 January, incorporating the Northern Tigers Swimming and Central Gauteng Open Water Championships. ?
Midmar Mile organiser Wayne Riddin is expecting a big field for the Heia Safari Ranch event. "We normally have close to 2 000 people at that event, " he said. ??
Taking on the 1 200 metres about a month before the world's largest open water swimming event, comes with some advantages for the participants, he added: "The biggest advantage is to check that you can do a mile, or get as close to it [in distance] as possible, with it being four weeks out from the Midmar Mile. It also helps people understand whether or not they need to pick up their training so that they can have a decent Midmar Mile. ??
"Besides that, it's about gaining experience with swimmers starting in the batches like we do at the Midmar Mile. ??"This weekend, more than likely, we will be introducing a seeding system, like we have at the Midmar Mile, because of the numbers of swimmers and the space that we have available for the start. For those people who have not yet posted a qualifying time, a number of options are still open." Concluded Riddin.