Taking on the 8 miles challenge

Bid to raise funds for rhino conservation

Midlands businesswoman Candice Strydom has set herself a challenge. She will swim eight miles as part of the annual Midmar Mile event on February 9 and 10, and she is doing it to raise funds for Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife.

The owner of Nottingham Road Spar says she was inspired to take part in the event by another Midlands local, Pauline Bowman Edgar.

“Pauline is turning 69 this year and has been swimming the eight-miler for years. There are other women of similar ages to her taking part. I just thought to myself, come on, Candice, it’s time for you to step up to the plate.

Personal challenge

“I always promised that I would set myself a personal challenge and this is it, although I have been having a few panic attacks lately, thinking, oh, gosh, there are only four weeks of training left,” says the Howick mother of two.

Candice, who last swam the Midmar Mile seven years ago, said she took up swimming again in June, joining Pauline and a swimming teacher friend, Tori Karg de Almeida.

She hadn’t intended to swim the eight miles, but when Tori and Pauline suggested it, she jumped at the chance and was fortunate there was a place in the charity event.

Candice Strydom.

Since October, Candice and her fellow swimmers have been doing two-mile dam swims every Saturday, come rain or shine.

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“Doing the dam swims gets you used to the weather conditions, because one day it may be beautiful, the next raining, windy and choppy.

“We have had a couple of swims recently where the wind has picked up, which is quite a thing because you have to make sure you are not facing the waves when you breathe. You also have to stretch your arms over the waves or you won’t make any progress.

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“When you get out of the water you think, that wasn’t so bad, but while you are swimming it’s far. There is a tree at the halfway mark. When you look up and find you haven’t reached it yet, it’s hectic.”

Candice is hoping to raise R24 000 for Ezemvelo’s Save the Rhino fund, double the amount stipulated by the organisers.

**If you would like to help her to reach her goal and contribute to this worthy cause, you can make a donation via the link https://kydrin.co.za/goals/624

**For those who are a little technologically challenged or don’t want to use their bank details online to sponsor Candice, head to Spar in Nottingham Road, where you can take a R20 raffle ticket and stand the chance to win a bottle of craft gin valued at R500.

In the picture: Candice Strydom, Tori Karg de Almeida and Pauline Bowman Edgar at Midmar Dam.