Organisers of the aQuellé Midmar Mile have assured swimmers that they are putting every possible measure in place to ensure a safe and enjoyable event.
Flexible dates, no mass starts and masks at registration and the finish are just some of the measures put in place for this year’s event.
Race Director Wayne Riddin explained: “The safety of our swimmers has always been our top priority at the aQuellé Midmar Mile and considering the current circumstances and the COVID-19 pandemic, this is even more the case.
"We know swimmers may be nervous and so we are assuring them that we will take care of them every step of the way. The 2021 event has certainly produced some challenges for us as an organising committee but we are confident that we have come up with innovative solutions to meet these head on.”
Usually held in mid-February, the 2021 aQuellé Midmar Mile has been postponed to March and will be held over two weekends – 6-7 March and 13-14 March. This means less swimmers converging on the dam at once and a more flexible approach to proceedings. There will be no mass starts as is usually the case. There will instead be rolling starts with each swimmer’s time being recorded from when they cross the start mat to when they reach the finish. This means no swimmers will congregate at the start or be in close contact with each other.
Thanks to event partners North Safety, swimmers will also be issued with a disposable mask at registration, which they will wear to the water’s edge and then dispose of before swimming. They will then be handed another mask to put on immediately on leaving the water at the finish.
Designated Covid-19 Compliance Officers will be stationed at key points at both the start and finish areas. It will be their job to ensure entrants sanitise hands at allocated points, remain socially distanced, and are wearing masks.
No spectators will be allowed at the aQuellé Midmar Mile. Instead, if a minor is swimming, their parent or guardian will have to wait for them in the allocated car park after registration is complete.
“As for the competitive side of things, we will collate individual results over the course of the two weekends and release these according to the usual categories. We will also hold separate elite races for the pro swimmers with a much-reduced field for those gunning for the men’s and women’s titles,” added Riddin.
“We hope this puts our swimmers’ minds at ease as we look forward to a successful event next month and trust that we can hopefully return to our normal, wonderfully social atmosphere in 2022.”
For more information on the race and to enter, head to www.midmarmile.co.za