Frequently asked questions

FAQ - Race Day

Can I change my start time?

No, unfortunately not at this late stage - NO changes can be made after 30 September 2020. The start times for Marathon Swims are arranged based on your estimated completion time (entered at time of registration). It is important, for the enjoyment of all, to ensure that swimmers of similar speeds are placed in the same wave, as we know it can be frustrating if participants are continually overtaken or need to overtake.

The start times of waves are set to enable a consistent flow of participants throughout the event. Start times on both event days vary between 8.30am and 6pm. The faster swimmers have later starts. There was an option for a limited number of people to select a start wave in registration, however this may not have been available to those entering later.

Whilst you have a start time, not all swimmers can start at the same time, so swimmers are started individually when clear to do so. Participants for each start wave line up in race number order (lowest first) and begin their challenge when instructed to do so by the Race Team.

What time do I need to be at the venue on Race Day?

- We recommend getting to the venue at least an hour before your specified Race Start. This is so you can register, collect your chip, warm up and prepare yourself for an amazing challenge. Please be aware that even though the session starts at a particular time, different participants will have different start times within that wave.

Can I park at the venue?

- There is limited car parking space at London Aquatics Centre and will be on a first come first served basis. Parking charges vary from £2 to £20 depending on length of stay. Buy your parking tickets inside the venue, as they will be cheaper. There is additional parking available at Westfield Stratford nearby. We recommend taking public transport.

What is in my race pack?

- Your Race Pack includes a wristband, race tattoos and any Marathon Swims merchandise you have purchased with your entry. You will also collect a timing chip specifically for you.

Can I warm up (or swim down) on race day?

- Yes you can but not in the Competition Pool or the diving pool. If you wish to warm up or swim down by swimming, please go to the main centre reception, where you will be able to purchase a session swim in the training pool. Please be aware that the Training pool is likely to be very busy between 11am and 3pm. There will be a charge payable to the centre for this. The Training pool closes at 7pm on a Saturday.

Which strokes are permitted?

- Front crawl and breaststroke are the only strokes permitted. You will be asked which stroke you are likely to use on registration. The waves you are allocated in may depend on the stroke that you select. Breaststrokers will not be placed in the fast waves. Backstroke and butterfly not permitted.

Can I bring fluid and fuel on poolside?

- Yes, participants have their own fuel station in the Transition area enabling you to take on your vital fluids and fuel as needed between each kilometre swum. We recommend you bring your own (distinctive - so they're easy for you to identify) water bottles with water/energy drinks that you usually use. Water to top up your water bottles will be available

- No energy bars or gels are provided. If participants wish to bring their own they are welcome to. It is recommended to attach any bars/gels to your water bottle. No boxes or items other than a water bottle and a few gels/bars are allowed on poolside.

Are swimming aids permitted?

- No, swimming aids (such as pull buoys, paddles, fins etc.) are not permitted

You are allowed to wear underwater earphones, but the music needs to be set to a level where you can hear instructions of the marshals

Can I wear my own swim cap?

- Yes, of course. Swimcaps are not provided as part of the event, so you are welcome to wear your own cap or none at all. Marathon Swims swim caps are available to buy online (via the registration system) or at our merchandise stand

Is there a finsiher's medal?

- Yes, a fantatsic medal - but only for those that successfully complete their challenge.

Are there age-group results?

- The awards for the Marathon Swims Hall of Fame will not be age-group based, however results will be published showing overall positions

Can my friends join me on poolside for my swim?

- Yes, there are a limited number of Exclusive Poolside Access passes available to purchase on the registration system. These are allocated on a first come, first served basis. There is Exclusive) Poolside Access passes for £8.50 (£7.50 if the participant purchases the place at time of registration).

It is also free to spectate in the seats - please see our Spectators page

Photography and filming of the event is permitted. Filming/photography in the changing village is not permitted .

What are the rules for overtaking?

Checkout our rules and etiquette here