50-Finish Milestone Beckons for Gail Bristow at aQuellé Midmar Mile

Retired school teacher and Cape Town-based Gail Bristow is aiming to finish the aQuellé Midmar Mile for an incredible 50th time, when the event takes place at the famous KwaZulu-Natal dam in February. Photo: Action Photo SA

Gail Bristow is aiming to finish the aQuellé Midmar Mile for an incredible 50th time when the event takes place at the famous KwaZulu-Natal dam next month.

“It is a fantastic event and with a bit of preparation, it’s something most people can achieve. Do it, you will love it and come back for more!”

Cape Town’s Gail Bristow Swims for Her Half-Century of Midmar Finishes

Bristow has completed the world’s largest open water event 49 times, and is on track to reach her half-centuries this year, and Cape Town-based Bristow admits that just getting to the start line each year has been something of a challenge.

“I love swimming, so that part is easy, but the logistics of getting there from Cape Town each year and managing to juggle all that life throws at us in between is always the challenge. Not always so easy.

“1984 was Cyclone Domoina which caused severe flooding and roads washed away, so that was a challenge just to get to the dam,” she explained. “In 2017 and 2019  I had knee replacement surgery,  so ‘limped’ my way through those two swims unsure that it would be possible.

“When I think back, it really is remarkable that for 50 years, on the second Sunday in February, I have been on the start line at Midmar regardless.

“It is a scary thought to think of 50 years of Midmar. It is a huge milestone and I never imagined it possible. I feel very grateful to be able to keep swimming for all these years.”

As for what’s brought Bristow back each year, the retired school teacher explained: “Midmar has become a fixture on my calendar each year and I look forward to seeing good friends as I grew up in KZN and did most of my competitive swimming there. I also challenge myself to keep as close to my previous year’s time as possible.”

Those still keen to take on the aQuellé Midmar Mile, which takes place from 8-11 February, have until 31 January to get their pre-entries in online. 

Entries to certain events will be possible at Midmar Dam on race day, but at a higher fee. Pre-entry is highly recommended to avoid any delays at the dam. For more information, head to www.midmarmile.co.za


Original Copy: Karien Jonckheere

Photo Caption: Retired school teacher and Cape Town-based Gail Bristow is aiming to finish the aQuellé Midmar Mile for an incredible 50th time, when the event takes place at the famous KwaZulu-Natal dam in February. Photo: Action Photo SA

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