Frequently asked questions

Marathon Swims - The Basics

When is Marathon Swims?

Marathon Swims; London is Saturday 07 and Sunday 8 November 2020. Many participants on Saturday 7 Nov are swimming for our charity partners Level Water.

What are the distances involved in Marathon Swims?

- A Marathon Swim is 10k. We also have a Half Marathon Swim (5k) and a 1k Challenge Swim are available for individual swimmers. You can also compete as a team of two in the 10k Team Marathon Swim. Marathon 10k is 200 lengths of the 50m pool, Half Marathon 5k is 100 lengths and the 1k Challenge is 20 lengths.

How big is the London Aquatics Centre?

- The main competition pool is 50m. For the Marathon Swims event the pool will be 50m and 3m deep throughout.

Where can I take part in Marathon Swims?

- The Marathon Swims events take place in the biggest and best swimming arenas in the UK. We hope to expand the number of events we deliver in the UK. The London event is held at the venue of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the London Aquatic Centre, on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 November 2020.

Which strokes are permitted?

- Front crawl and breaststroke are the only strokes permitted. Butterfly and backstroke are not permitted.

How are swimmers of different speeds catered for?

- The start waves are decided based on swim speed (your estimated completion time). The slower swimmers are given earlier start times, faster swimmers later start times. This is to ensure a good event experience for all and to avoid too much overtaking/being overtaken. The faster swimmers starting later (on Sunday) means that the podium positions can be awarded directly to the fastest swimmers.

Please answer your estimated completion time acurately and honestly in the registration. Please also account for the transitions (likley to be 30 seconds to 1 minute per km)

When will I know my start time?

- Start times will be announced around 1 October 2020. The waves you are allocated will depend on your estimated completion time that you stated in registration. Participants can buy the Wave Selection in additional purchases which enables you to select the broad start time of your swim. However, these are limited in number and only should be used by our participants who are travelling long distances.

Can I take part in Marathon Swims as a team?

- Yes, you can enter the 10k Marathon Swim as part of a team of two. Only one member of the team is allowed in the water at any one time. Each swimmer can swim any number of sets (1k sets) as long as the total distance swum by the team is 10k and that each swimmer has swum a minimum of 1k. There is no team option for the Half Marathon (5k) or 1k Challenge Swim events.