FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Event Mechanics:

Is the event chip timed?

- Yes, each Marathon Swimmer has a chip which provides accurate and instant results.  You will also have 1k split times so you can see your progress over the course of the challenge and you will also see the length of time spent out of the pool in transition (between each kilometre). The event operates like a triathlon, so your transition times are included in your overall event time.

How does the event work?

- The pool is divided into 10 lanes.  Marathon Swimmers start in Lane 1 and swim up and back the lane.  On returning to the starting end, Marathon Swimmers move up to Lane 2 to swim up and back, repeating this until reaching the end of Lane 10 and completing a set (1km). Having swum up and down each of the 10 lanes, exit the pool, travel along the side to start your next kilometre. 

Can I overtake?

- Yes, overtaking is very much part of the event.  There is two-way lane traffic in each of the lanes, so the overtaking swimmer needs to ensure it is safe to proceed with the manoeuvre and overtake on the left hand side.  There is no overtaking in the final 5m of the lane when approaching the changeover end. Lane swimming etiquette also applies, as if you have your feet touched by the swimmer behind, it is kind to allow them past you on the next turn (unless you are held up yourself or think that you can swim faster on the next lap)

Are tumble turns allowed?

- Yes tumble turns are permitted.  It is the responsibility of each swimmer to ensure turning and overtaking manoeuvres are appropriate and safe depending on the swimmer load in the lane at the time

Are Tempo Trainers allowed?

Yes, but they must be securely positioned under your swim cap (not supplied)

What happens if I cannot complete the full distance of the challenge?

- You will need to speak to one of the Marshals, who will inform the Race Director of your intention to retire from the race.  For any early retirement, a DNF (Did Not Finish) will be recorded.

Can I have a rest/break out of the water?

- Yes, a Marathon Swim is a very long distance and breaks are encouraged.  You will have access to your fuel and fluids on the poolside and even your mobile phone if you wish, so you can keep your supporters, sponsors and friends updated on your progress mid-swim.  You can rest out of the water as long as you want, however the time will be included in your overall completion time.

Can I rest in the water?

- We recommend you only rest out of the water.  You may wait at the end to allow a faster swimmer behind you to pass easily.


Is there a time limit for completion of the challenge?

- Yes, there is a time limit for completion, as with most endurance events but these only apply to the later (faster) waves in the event day.  All swimmers must be finished by 8pm. If you think that this is not possible based on your start time, please contact us. For the later waves - Marathon Swim (10k) time limit is 5 hours, Half Marathon Swim (5k) time limit is 2 hours 30 minutes and the time limit for the Challenge Swim (1k) is 1 hour. The times may be challenging, so be sure to enter the right challenge for you. On entry, you are asked about your estimated completion time, please be honest and realistic with this time.  Your estimated completion time will determine which wave you are placed in. 

Are wetsuits or buoyancy shorts permitted?

- No 😊 our event is pool-based, so we expect water temperature to be at levels not requiring wetsuits

Can I swim with a pull-buoy?

- No, floatation devises are not allowed in Marathon Swims and that includes pull-buoys

Please email us if you have any other questions about the event and we’ll update this section accordingly


© 2020 Marathon Swims


Operated by Participation Sport Ltd.