The 1.2K Lorne Pier to Pub set an official Guinness World Record in the category of "most participants in an open water race" when 3,071 swimmers completed the 1998 Pier to Pub. The event has since gone on to increase its participants, but capped its maximum number at 4,000 starting in 2001.
Today, in western Australia, the inaugural 1K ECU West Coast 1000 World Record Swim will attempt to break that record by getting to the 5,000-participant mark.
Whatever event sets (or keeps) the world record, it will be hard-pressed to keep up with the amazing popularity and growth of the 36th Halfway Telkom Midmar Mile in the picturesque Kwa Zulu Natal Midlands in South Africa in February 2009.
The Midmar Mile has reached unprecedented heights by adding 5K, 10K and 25K races to the traditional 1-mile race in the Midmar Dam.
In addition to South African stars, like Chad Ho, a 2008 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year nominee, a talented group of international stars will head over to the Midmar Mile to win the prestigious event.
Beijing Olympic 10K Marathon Swim bronze medalist and another World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year nominee Thomas Lurz will lead the international charge that will include Beijing Olympic 10K Marathon Swim silver medalist and another World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year nominee David Davies, woman’s Olympic 10K Marathon Swim silver medalist Keri-Anne Payne, Olympic 10K Marathon Swim bronze medalist Cassandra Patten, European 5K champion Spyridon Gianniotis, Hungarian Olympian 10K’er Csaba Gercsak, 2008 FINA World Cup series champion Valerio Cleri, Italian Olympian Martina Grimaldi, Italian pro swimmer Alice Franco, 7th-place finisher in the Olympic 10K Brian Ryckeman, Nika Kozamernik from Slovenia and Darija Pop from Montenegro.
For more information on the Midmar Mile, click here.
Upper photo of Spyridon Gianniotis by Giorgio Scala of Deep Blue Media. Lower photo of Keri-Anne Payne and Olympic 10K Marathon Swim bronze medalist Cassandra Patten.