So, could Marathon Swimming be the next big thing in participation sport? And why choose long distance swimming?
Open Water v Pool-based
A key point of difference is that Marathon Swims is pool-based 10k event, not open water. There are some fantastic marathon swimming events around the country and many in stunning locations such as Dart 10k and Thames Marathon (14k). Even London’s Dock to Dock swim (10k) is beautiful, albeit with an old industrial surrounding. We were keen not to compete with these existing marathon swimming events, we were looking to create something of similar distance and challenge for the millions of pool swimmers in the UK.
Why distance swimming?
Many open water events are now adding longer challenge distances. Events which started out as a 1 mile (or 1.5k) are adding 2 mile, 5k and 10k Marathon options. These are becoming more and more popular and often the longer distances sell out first.
Can swimming 10k indoors be appealing?
We believe it can. We wanted to make marathon swimming more accessible and bring the event to the very heart of major cities in the UK. We also wanted to make the event engaging, interactive and interesting whilst also delivering chip-timed reliable results and race stats/data.
The success of the London Marathon and Great North Run in the early 1980’s sparked a boom in running, as people (often those who would not define themselves as runners) had a goal to achieve, a challenge to enter and distance to train for. Marathon Swims hopes to positively impact the sport of swimming by providing similar motivation through an aspirational distance, iconic locations and a reason to get into (or back into) the pool to train for an authentic sporting challenge.
So, could Marathon Swimming be the next big thing? The answer is probably a few years down the line, but the early signs are very positive.
The world’s first Marathon Swims event is Saturday 11 November 2017 at the London Aquatics Centre, on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.