Frequently asked questions

Marathon Swims - 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. Checkout our explainer video

Is overtaking allowed?

- 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 in the end where you change lanes. Checkout our Marathon Swims rules and etiquette

Are dives and tumble turns allowed?

- Yes, diving and tumble turns are permitted. It is the responsibility of each swimmer to ensure it is safe to enter the water in lane 1 (dive, use steps, jump or slip in) and safe when turning and overtaking

What types of equipment are allowed / not allowed?

Tempo Trainers are allowed, but they must be securely positioned under your swim cap (not supplied).

Pull buoys, any form of floatation device (including bouyancy shorts) or propulsion equipment (eg fins, paddles etc) are not allowed

What happens if I cannot complete the full distance of my 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 during the event?

- 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.

If you need to rest in the water, that is fine but we encourage you to rest at the end of a lap and position yourself away from swimmers turning

Is there a time limit for completion?

- 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 (faster) 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 an appropriate estimated completion time in registration. Your estimated completion time will determine which wave you are placed in.