Summer Festival gears up for bumper entry

Next weekend’s SPAR Summer Festival is set for another bumper entry as action enthusiasts gear up for an assortment of outdoor disciplines in the resort town of Cannonville just outside Port Elizabeth.

Entries are flowing in for the various events at the SPAR Summer Festival at Cannonville near Port Elizabeth on February 25 and 26. Entries close at 3pm next Friday. Photo: Morné Condon

Event organiser Michael Zoetmulder said those interested in competing in the various events – including the featured River Mile swims – on February 25 and 26 had until 3pm on the day before the festival to enter.

“We encourage everyone to enter online because it is so quick and easy, but we will take late entries at the festival. However, there is a late entry fee of R50 attached to that.”

He added that those who entered online would receive a goodie bag if they collected their race numbers from the Nelson Mandela Bay Aquatics boardroom at the Newton Park pool on the Wednesday (noon to 6pm).

The two-day programme, which includes swimming races, mountain biking, a fun run and the new Anything That Floats option, will culminate with the traditional men’s and women’s River Mile races on the Sunday afternoon.

Zoetmulder said the chance of cashing in was proving to be a good incentive for competitors as entries were coming in nicely.

“I don’t know of many local events that offer lucky draw prizes of this nature,” he said, referring to the main prize of R10 000 that will be awarded to one lucky mile finisher at the post-race prize-giving.

There will also be two R3 000 lucky draw prizes, of which one will go to a finisher from the combined entry of the triathlon and various swimming events (double mile, family half-mile and disabled mile).

The second is destined for a lucky competitor from the mountain bike and fun run fields.

Zoetmulder said families of four should take advantage of the discounted entry option for the half-mile swim.

He added that the fun Anything That Floats category was attracting much interest.

“A lot of people are talking about this event and it’s great in that it doesn’t require any special skills. Just bring an inflatable and float down the river on the tide for half an hour,” he said.

While there is an array of fun sporting activities to choose from, the emphasis is also on celebrating the heritage of the SPAR River Mile, which celebrates its 93rd anniversary this year.

Established at Redhouse on the Swartkops River in 1924, the event has a proud history as Africa’s longest-running open water swimming competition.

To enter or for more information, go to

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