Louw sets sights on aQuellé Midmar Mile victory after seeding swim success

23 January 2023 – The final seeding swim before the aQuellé Midmar Mile took place at Prime View Adventure and Leisure in Midrand over the weekend.

The event, which doubled as the Prime View Water Festival, gave swimmers the opportunity to achieve good seeding times before the aQuellé Midmar Mile, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary from 9-12 February 2023.

Making the most of the idyllic venue in Midrand were Henré Louw and Megan Shepherd, who claimed the respective men’s and women’s titles in the 1.2km swim.

Louw powered to victory in a time of 14 minutes and 43 seconds, with Rogan Shepherd well back in second in 17:15 and Ethan Kotze third in 18:12.

Megan Shepherd was second overall but the first woman out the dam in 17:14, with Rachel Smith second in the women’s event in 17:18 and 15-year-old Cassidy Sinclair third in 17:29.

Speaking after the race, Louw said he’s set his sights on victory at the aQuellé Midmar Mile next month.

“Training is going really well. I feel really good. We’ve been putting in some hard mileage in the last few weeks so I’m definitely going to go for the win at Midmar and give it my all and just see how fast I can do it,” he said.

As for the prospect of having more international competition in the mix for this year’s race, the Pretoria swimmer added: “The more competition the better it is, and the more fun the race will be. It’s always nice having some people that can push you to see how fast you can go.”

The battle for women’s honours was a much tighter affair with Shepherd just edging out Smith by four seconds in a sprint finish.

“That was hard work. Hard, hard work,” admitted Shepherd after the race. “I was pushing from the beginning… from the get-go we were all in a line, all of us going round. In that back stretch, I just kept pushing, just kept kicking.

“The water was a bit choppy so I just had to make sure I did long pull strokes to account for the choppiness and then at the last two buoys I just pushed it, I went flat out for as long as I could hold.

“I was hoping to win but my main intention was to better my time.”

Speaking about her ambitions for the aQuellé Midmar Mile, the Johannesburg swimmer added: “I would like to be among the top 20… I’m hoping to get top 10, so we’ll see how it goes.”

Pre-entry for the 50th anniversary aQuellé Midmar Mile closes on Wednesday, 25 January 2023. Those wishing to be part of the event should head to www.midmarmile.co.za for all the details.