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Race action on 11 and 12 February 2017

The 44th aQuellé Midmar Mile, held on 11 and 12 February 2017, has been hailed by many as the best yet. This was due in no small part to the fierce duel carried out in the men’s 14-30 category between defending champion Chad Ho, Olympic champion Ferry Weertman, the USA’s renowned Chip Peterson and the ultimate victor, South Africa’s own Matthew Meyer.

This nail-biting race saw Chip Peterson in the lead at the 1 200 metre mark, before being edged out by the local favourite in the home stretch. Seven-time champion Chad Ho was second out of the water, with Peterson ultimately coming third.

Event 7, the ladies 14-30 race, was contested by Great Britain’s Holly Hibbott and the USA’s Ashley Twichell. Victory went to Twichell, who took the lead early and never looked back. Hibbott claimed second place, while local Robyn Kinghorn rounded off the podium. Defending champion Michelle Weber finished in fifth place.

Perhaps the most talked about man of the 2017 Mile was American Craig Dietz. Dietz, born with no limbs, is a well-known motivational speaker and finished a phenomenal eight mile crossings over the weekend.

As always, race weekend started on Saturday with an event for over 70s and disabled swimmers, as well as biathlon and Ironman/Ironwoman contenders. This was followed by a family relay, a company relay and a non-company relay. Sunday’s action splashed off with the age-group categories, with a race each for women and men in the 13 and under; 31 and over categories. The excitement then reached fever-pitch in events 7 and 8.

Once again, the well-loved 8 Mile Club took to the water, with 178 swimmers completing all eight crossings to raise money for various charities. Upping the ante for the second year in a row, 14 intrepid swimmers completed 16 miles, swimming every event and then swimming back to the start, essentially starting a new mile every 37.5 minutes.

The weekend was a resounding success and race director Wayne Riddin thanked every swimmer, helper and sponsor for their support and participation.

The 2018 Midmar Mile will take place on 10 and 11 February 2018.

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2018 aQuelle Midmar Mile results

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