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The South African Legion at the Midmar Mile

The Midmar Mile is an endurance swimming event, held annually in February at the Midmar Dam, north of PietermaritzburgSouth Africa. It draws thousands of competitors, annually. The competitors vary from serious international athletes and Olympic medallists to purely recreational swimmers.

During the 2009 event, in which 13 755 competitors finished the race, it was recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's largest open water swimming event.

The name of the event, originates from the location (Midmar Dam) and the distance (roughly one mile, which is about 1.6 km. A unique feature of the race is that while the distance covered is always a mile, depending on rainfall and the water levels in the dam, the distance swum varies from year to year. In years with poor rainfall, competitors are subject to the infamous Midmar sprint start: a bedlam of bodies sprinting across the muddy lake-shore and through the shallows until the water is deep enough to swim.

In order to handle the vast number of competitors, the swimmers swim out in 5 groups at three-minute intervals in 8 separate mile races over two days; the group division the swimmer is assigned to is based on a qualifying time in a previous (qualifying) event, with the fastest group leaving first.

The South African Legion of Military Veterans, decided to get involved with this long standing event, due to the fact that they would like to honour the endurance and tenacity of the swimmers, which is similar to the grit that is displayed by soldiers during various battles over the years. The South African Legion, will be donating two floating trophies to the event organisers, which will be given to the first male and female military swimmer out of the water, during this event.

Poppy Stick On Tattoos will be available on the day, for swimmers and spectators to wear! Help us remember by wearing your poppy, sharing your photo and entering the competition at

Zapper has also provided an easy way to donate funds to the South African Legion in support of military veterans and their families.

Download their app and scan the code below to donate!

South African Legion Logo
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