The 91st edition of the Spar River Mile will offer a full weekend of water-based action and family entertainment when it launches on the Sundays River just outside Port Elizabeth on February 14 and 15.
The festival attracted more than 6 000 visitors last year, with more than 7 500 expected this year’s event, which takes place at Cannonville.
This year, former Idols winner Heinz Winckler will anchor the entertainment aspect with a riverside concert at 3pm on the Saturday. He will be supported by Port Elizabeth-based band The Brothers.
Continuing the celebrity trend, Mr PE Andre Fourie will join the EP Kings rugby team for a celebrity splash across the river before the serious swimmers take to the water for Sunday’s feature races – the Ladies’ Mile and the Men’s Mile.
According to event organiser Michael Zoetmulder, the festival attracted 1 600 participants last year.
He said there would once again be a full lineup of races for swimmers of all ages and abilities, starting with the family half-mile, Speedo wetsuit double mile and disabled mile on day one of the festival.
“New to this year’s programme and a first in the Eastern Cape is a super-sprint distance triathlon relay.
“It also encourages families to get involved as it’s mixed teams of three.”
On day two, the Wakaberry kids’ races for children 12 years and younger will precede the feature events.
Spar Eastern Cape marketing manager Abri Swart said the retailer had been involved with the oldest open-water swimming event for the past 16 years and had helped it to grow.
“Our affiliation with the River Mile is synonymous with the Spar culture of family, fun, fitness and a healthy lifestyle.”
Early bird entrants will receive a River Mile T-shirt and goodie bag and enjoy free entry to the festival on race day.
Festival gates open at 8am. Entry costs R20 per person, while children under 10 are free.
Enter at www.rivermile.co.za or find Spar EC in Action on Facebook for more information.
-The Herald Reporter