Frequently asked questions

Marathon Swims 2020 FAQ

Is Marathon Swims 2020 going ahead?

Unfortunately not. We made the decision not to stage Marathon Swims in 2020 on 22 September 2020 and we have communicated this to our participants. There are a number of options for participants to choose from, please see the questions below.

Marathon Swims will return in 2021. Make sure you hear first about Marathon Swims 2021 register your interest here.

We are hosting the Marathon Swims Virtual Challenge - swim a Marathon 10k or Ultra Marathon 25k throughout November 2020 and claim your marathon swimming super-cool medal. LImited places, so enter today.

Are entries still open for Marathon Swims 2020?

No, entries for Marathon Swims 2020 are now closed. Please register your interest for Marathon Swims 2021 Entries to the Marathon Swims Virtual Challenge 2020 are open. The challenge is throughout November and it's FREE.

With Marathon Swims 2020 not going ahead this year, what options are available to me?

You can DONATE the entry cost of your place to our charities: Level Water and the Swimathon Foundation, DEFER your place to Marathon Swims 2021 or claim a refund. DONATE - gives the value of your entry to charity, but you also receive a priority entry window and discount code for Marathon Swims 2021 DEFER - you will receive a time-limited code to enter Marathon Swims 2021 when it is launched REFUND - you will receive your refund payment in November 2020 Please log into your Active account to select your choice before midnight on 31 October 2020. Please be aware that the Active Registration Fee and any Active Refund payments are non-refundable. In the case of teams, the Captain of the team needs to request a refund. We cannot accept any submission of choice or change of choice beyond midnight 31 October 2020. Please do NOT activate your Active Refund, if you purchased this, as it is invalid if the event is cancelled. Whatever you decide, please do enter the Marathon Swims Virtual Challenge - it's FREE

How do I log in to my Active account to select my preferred option?

You can select your preferred option by simply clicking on this link - enter your password or create a new one. Select 'Edit Registration' to go back into your original registration. We have added a new question for you to answer, which is after the main name and address questions. This extra question must be answered before midnight 31 October 2020. If you're having trouble logging in - please see this guide. You can also email us your choice before midnight 31 Oct 2020 -

What happens if I do not select an option or fail to log in to my Active account and answer the question?

All non-responses will forfeit their place in Marathon Swims and no deferral, donation or refund will be available after midnight on 31 October 2020 in any circumstances. Please check your inboxes and junk folders for our emails reminding you to make your choice. You also cannot change your choice after midnight 31 October 2020.

If I DONATE my place to charity, what happens next?

Firstly, we’ll send you a massive THANK YOU! You will also receive a priority entry window and a special discount code for Marathon Swims 2021. The priority entry window and discount code will be time-limited. We will also post any merchandise (Swim caps and t shirts) to you free of charge upon your DONATION request. We will also provide you with a special discount code to enter the Marathon Swims Virtual Challenge and receive a medal - free of charge.

If I DEFER my place, how do I claim it?

When registration opens for Marathon Swims 2021, you will have 28 days from the launch of Marathon Swims 2021 to confirm your place in the event. You will receive a code providing the value of your entry paid for in 2020 and including any other fees paid eg wave selection fee, spectators etc. ITab fees will not be included, but we're working with them to find out what is possible. Any merchandise you purchased from Marathon Swims 2020 (Swim caps and t shirts) will be sent to you free of charge this year. Please also join us for the Marathon Swims Virtual Challenge in November - It's FREE.

If I want a refund, how much will be paid?

If you choose to request a refund, then your entry fee will be re-paid. The Active Registration Fee and any Active Refund payments are non-refundable. If you purchased merchandise (t-shirts and swim caps), these items will be posted to you – a £4.50 post and packaging charge will apply. Please do consider deferring or donating your entry if you are able, as it will help us support the event for future years. Purchases of wave selection and spectators will also be refunded. Purchases of iTabs cannot be refunded. Refund payments will be made in November 2020. Please do join us for the Marathon Swims Virtual Challenge in November - it's FREE.

What happens to any Marathon Swims merchandise I bought?

If you donated your place or deferred, we will post the merchandise (Swim caps and t shirts) to you free of charge. These items should arrive with you by end of November 2020. For deferrals, any purchases of wave selection or spectators will be included in your deferred place for Marathon Swims 2021. If you claimed a refund you can choose to either not to receive the merchandise purchased or receive your merchandise in the post minus a £4.50 post and packaging fee. If you selected for the merchandise to be sent to you, this will be delivered to you around the end of November 2020.

I purchased Active Refund, can I claim a refund from Active Networks?

If you purchased Active Refund DO NOT activate this insurance. The Active Refund insurance is invalid of the event is cancelled or postponed. If you wish to get a refund (whether you paid for Active Refund or not) please request it to us via the additional question in your registration before midnight 31 October 2020. Please see Active’s terms and conditions. Active Refund payments are non-refundable. If you have any questions regarding Active Refund, please direct them to Active.

I have paid to transfer my place to someone else or to another challenge distance

Any transfer fees paid are not refundable

I have applied for a REFUND, when will I receive my refund?

The deadline for completing the question (to select Donate, Defer or Refund) on your Active registration is midnight 31 October. We will then be actioning all of the refunds requested. This process should be completed by end of November 2020, but if we are able to refund earlier we will do so. We will update you with more information closer to the time. Any purchases of iTabs will not be included in the refund, as your iTab payment was paid directly to them. We are currently in discussions with them.

IMPORTANT - Should I claim on my Active Refund?

NO! If you took out Active Refund - DO NOT claim on it. The Active Refund terms and conditions state that if an event is cancelled, the Active Refund is no longer valid. If you wish for a refund, please follow our instructions so we can refund you. Once you have cancelled your place through Active Refund, your registration disappears and we are not able to refund you! If you have any questions about Active Refund, please check with us first -

I ordered an iTab - can I get a refund for this?

Unfortunately we are not able to issue any refunds for iTabs as this money is not paid to us. The fees for iTabs are paid directly to iTabs (My Sporting Times). We are discussions with them and have requested that refunds for iTabs are made directly to you.

I deferred my entry in 2020 to 2021 - what are my options?

Thank you for your deferral last year. Unfortunately, the 2021 live event will not be taking place due to the complications of lockdowns and restrictions earlier in the year. We are really disappointed, but we’ve taken this decision after careful consideration of all the options. Unfortunately the 2021 London Aquatics Centre event is not going ahead. However, we do have the Marathon Swims Virtual Challenge 2021 event and it's FREE! In terms of your deferred place, we have emailed all deferrals. Your options are either to:


You can donate the cost of your entry to be shared equally between our fantastic charity partners. As a thank you for doing so you’ll benefit from a priority entry window and a special discount for the live Marathon Swims event in 2022.

Here is some more information about the charities:

The Swimathon Foundation (charity reg no. 1123870) promotes the benefits to health and wellbeing of swimming through its events and activities, including the Swimathon, the world’s biggest pool based fund-raising swim, the Open Water Swimathon and Marathon Swims, as well as supporting local swimming projects, clubs and schools through its Community Grants Scheme, the School Swimathon and its two COVID Relief Funds.

Over the last year Level Water have continued to provide much-needed swimming opportunities for children with physical and sensory disabilities, enabling them to join group swimming lessons or their local club (charity reg no. 1151510).


You can defer your place to Marathon Swims in 2022 which is planned to take place in the autumn at the London Aquatics Centre. Marathon Swims 2022 will launch soon. By deferring, you are guaranteeing your place in the event next year.


You can request a refund of your Entry Fee. This does not include the Active Registration Fee or the Active Refund Fee. Refund payments will be received in November.

To choose your preferred option - email us at stating your full name and your preference: DONATE, DEFER or REFUND. Make sure you send your email by midnight 31 ALL FAQ's below are the FAQ's from 2020: