Now in its 97th year, this classic race of the modern era has a very nearly continuous history, dating back to the first time it was held 1922. The race has several idiosyncrasies. It starts at the Et Alia (formerly the Red House pub) and the distance is actually a mile and a quarter. You swim downstream around the Crook of the Dee to finish at the suspension bridge. Being all downstream, the course times vary considerably depending on the seasonal flow with the winning men’s time varying from 19 minutes 48 seconds to 33 minutes 25 seconds.
Water temperatures are typically 14 to 16 deg.C. The swim is with the current. In 2010, the temperature was 20 deg.C.
The race retains its ancient “Dee Mile Champion” title for the fastest swimmer, who must also live within five miles of “The Cross” in the centre of Chester and swim without a wetsuit.
Recognition is also made for:
The fastest all-comer (i.e. the rest who don’t wear a wetsuit).
The fastest wetsuit wearer.
Today, both men and women are eligible to race: a “concession” which was only made for the full distance in 1993!
Since the Deva Triathlons started using the River Dee in 2001, the Dee Mile has become a favourite for triathletes wanting to get a taste for open water.