Magnificent Merrifield Mile

Twice as nice for Kyle Holmes with second consecutive win

MILES OF FUN: An aerial view of the start of the junior category of the Merrifield Mile, just one wave of the race. Other events that took place on Sunday, were the 500m Dash and Spur Splash. A total of 900 swimmers took part at Wriggleswade Dam Picture: KEVIN ADAMS

“It was not only the fastest swimmers who had a good day out in the water”

IT WAS twice as nice for Merrifield Mile overall winning man Kyle Holmes who swam his way to a second consecutive victory at this year’s 15th annual Merrifield Mile on Sunday at Wriggleswade Dam.

Holmes fended off runner-up Daniel Jones in a time of 21 minutes 44 seconds, just two seconds ahead of Jones after a sprint finish. Holmes won the 2016 Merrifield Mile in a time of 20m11s. The lag in his result this year can be attributed to the choppy water brought on by breezy conditions.

“The beginning was a little hard with all the people bunching up; then the waves picked up and I choked on some water. I was stuck behind the leader at the time until the end when I sprinted to win the race,” said Holmes, adding that he would definitely be back.


“The event is really good with all the great support from the crowd. My mother was saying that people were just screaming for me at the end and Daniel to see who would win.”

Jones competed in both the Mile and the 500m Dash, claiming victory in the Dash in a time of 7:19.

Overall women’s winner Chloe Velde came back to claim victory after a runner-up placing last year. She won the Mile event in 23:39 minutes, ahead of runner-up Tayla Botha who finished in 24:07. Botha won the event last year.

“I will definitely be back next year,” Velde said.

“The event is nice because you can race against people you train with and one doesn’t always get to do lots of open water swimming in East London,” she said.

It was not only the fastest swimmers who had a good day out in the water. A total 900 swimmers took to the dam in either the Spur Splash, the 500m Dash or the flagship Merrifield Mile event.

Weather conditions warmed up over the course of the morning, matching the spirit of the about 3000 supporters who lined the banks to cheer on swimmers.

“It’s great to see so many people here at Wriggleswade supporting the Merrifield Mile,” Merrifield Preparatory School and College executive head Dr Guy Hartley said.

Event organiser and Merrifield marketing manager Tracey Mangold hailed the day as a great success.

“A huge thank you to the swimmers and supporters for joining us at another magnificent Merrifield Mile! Although the swim was tough, the weather was perfect for a day outdoors. Special thanks to our team of sponsors for making it happen.”

Results are available on the Merrifield School’s website at


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