Top swimmers have endorsed the upcoming KFC Merrifield Mile as an event for all ages and abilities, as well as a great day out for the whole family.
It is also the only open water swim in the region.
“The race has put open water swimming on the map in the Eastern Cape and I have no doubt that it will soon be as renowned as the Aquelle Midmar Mile [world’s largest open water swim, held in KZN],” said swimmer Kyle Holmes, who is currently studying in the US on a swimming scholarship.
Holmes is a triple champion in the 1.6km flagship event, having won in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
“Swimming the Merrifield Mile was a highlight for me and winning it three times in a row was a dream come true,” he said.
“I was lucky to have had three relatively easy swims and I hope that the conditions will be just as good this year as they were for me. Good luck to all the swimmers and I hope to see a new record set this year!”
Also missing in action this year at Wriggleswade Damwill be up-and-coming talent Catherine Eland as she will be swimming overseas in England.
“The KFC Merrifield Mile is a perfect opportunity to push yourself and achieve your personal goals, while still having such a fun time with friends and family in a safe environment,” she said.
Triathlon champion Josh Kent, who won the 1.6km senior male category last year, said he would be putting his triathlon training to good use in the open water and encouraged swimmers of all abilities to take part in any one of the four events on offer.
“The KFC Merrifield Mile is an awesome event, the setting allows one to take the family and make a day of it,” he said.
“The staggered age group starts also allow beginners to participate without being swum over. The swim is challenging but wonderfully organised. It’s a lovely event on the EL endurance sport calendar.”
On offer at the KFC Merrifield Mile are four events: the 1.6km event, 500m Dash, TerraForce 250m and a KFC Splash (for children under the age of 9).
With a number of defending champions away on the day, top spots in the age categories are up for grabs, and there are plenty of lucky draw prizes on offer for all swimmers who attend prize-giving.
There is also a prize for the school which has the most swimmers entered.
Cambridge Primary student Bradley Tyson, who won the junior category of the 1.6km event last year, encouraged students to take part.
“I have not done any open water swims besides the KFC Merrifield Mile, which I truly enjoy,” he said.
“The event is unique, in my opinion, in that Wriggleswade Dam is safe for all swimmers, especially the younger swimmers.” For more information and to enter online, visit www.merrifieldmile.co.za
Entries for all events are also available at Merrifield Prep School and College, Sportsmans Warehouse and Cycle HQ.