Wow! What a day. Saturday 11 November 2017 will be remembered by the Marathon Swims team as a very special day. The day months of planning and preparation came together with 1,000 participants and spectators creating some amazing performances, an unbelievable atmosphere and some very special memories.
We asked the team to come up with their highlights of the day, so here's our Top Ten, but we'd also love to hear yours...
1. The Pool of Champions:
It is not often you get to compete in the same arena as the world's best, but Marathon Swims at the London Aquatics Centre, on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is one of those occasions. It was a privilege to be in such an arena.
2. Tom Daley:
Later arrivals may have missed Tom, but he stopped to say hi, before giving us a bit of a display of his talents from the diving boards.
They came in their droves to support their loved ones. The noise, encouragement and support these guys gave was second to none - thank you
The determination and resilience of all participants was incredible. We saw so many beaming smiles as you exited the water for the final time, to cross the finish line - that makes it all worthwhile. Hearing of your tales, especially from the epic Marathon 10k was inspiring. "Tougher than expected" was a phrase heard quite a lot - well done all!
It was fantastic to see swimming as such a social sport. The Marathon 10k team relay delivered on a social level. Friendships were born on the poolside as you waited for your partner to complete their leg.
Marathon Swims is one of very few sports events that actually has more women taking part than men, 55% to 45% in fact. It was also fantastic to see the women perform so well. Our Marathon 10k Champion, Hayley Moore not only won gold but also beat all of the men in the entire competition. Also all of the top three women in the 1k Challenge (Heather Shannon, Catruna Sorina Carmen and Todorova Bogomila) beat all of the men in that challenge. See all results here.
We were privileged to also welcome a World Champion to our event. Jane Asher is an age group world champ, and it showed. Competing in the 1k Challenge, Jane came 10th (21st overall including the men). Jane is 86 years young!
Former elite swimmer Helen Bull was another inspiration. Affected by cancer and in a wheelchair completed the Marathon 10k in an amazing time.
8. Penalty Box:
We don't want to see people in the Penalty Box - but it was good to be able to re-inforce the rules/etiquette. Beware, as next year we'll be even hotter! Thank you to everyone for taking these penalties in good grace. Sam Gunn (10th in the Marathon 10k) had the "honour" of being our very first penalty box resident - and was very apologetic. He was also first across the line!
We loved the pride people had in their tattoos
10. Finally, we're in awe of all the fundraisers. Thank you all to everyone who raised money for charity in the event - you were amazing.