Frequently asked questions

Marathon Swims Virtual Challenge

What is the Marathon Swims Virtual Challenge?

The Marathon Swims Virtual Challenge is a challenge to swim a marathon distance at a venue of your choice and in your own time. Your challenge is to complete the Marathon 10k, Ultra Marathon 25k or Ultra Marathon 50k over 30 days before midnight 30 November 2021. You can complete your challenge whenever and in as many swims as you like.

Enter, record your swims and submit your final result to become a marathon swimmer. The challenge is FREE and the purchase of medals, swim caps and t shirts is optional.

How do I record my swims/results for the Virtual Challenge?

Record your swims in anyway you wish. Whether you record your results on a device, app or simply by recording each swim manually – you can then take a screenshot or photo of your results and upload it.

Record your distance and time.

Details on how to submit your results are in a question above.

How much is it to enter the Virtual Challenge?

The challenge is FREE, however if you'd like a medal sent to you, swim cap or t shirt, these can all be purchased when you enter (subject to availability). Entry to Marathon Swims Virtual Challenge does not include the cost of attending the swimming venue – this cost is covered by the participant. You can purchase a Marathon Swims medal (£12.50), Marathon Swims Swim Cap (£8.95), Marathon Swims t-shirt (£17.50) or a Medal and Swim Cap combo (£18.95). All prices includes postage and packaging. International participants will need to cover additional costs of postage

When is the Marathon Swims Virtual Challenge?

Marathon Swims Virtual Challenge ends 30 November 2021. You can start whenever you like (after 1 Nov), but you must swim the complete distance of 10k, 25k or 50k within a maximum of 30 days, finishing before midnight 30 Nov 2021 to earn yourself a medal.

How do I enter the Virtual Challenge?

Simply enter the event, choose whether you want any merchandise or medals and start swimming and recording your swims. You can enter at anytime before midnight 30 November 2021, but make sure you have enough time to complete your challenge. Record each of your swims and be ready to upload your evidence of completion before midnight 30 November 2021. Please see details below of how to evidence your results.

How will people know that I am taking on the Marathon Swims Virtual Challenge?

The Virtual Challenge is not a single-venue event, it is a challenge that you take on in your own time at your chosen venue. We suggest you tell as many people as possible that you’re doing the challenge; share on social media, ask for fundraising if you can and buy a medal and Marathon Swims Swim Cap to show that you’ve completed the challenge.

Can I fundraise for charity in the Marathon Swims Virtual Challenge?

Yes of course, we’d love for you to raise money for charity – especially our amazing partner charity Level Water.

You can fundraise for any charity, so please let us know on your entry form who you will be raising money for and how much you’d like to raise (don’t worry you’re not committing to raise this much, we’d just like an idea of how much you think you could raise)

What distances challenges are available?

You can choose to take on the Marathon 10k, Ultra Marathon 25k or Ultra Marathon 50k in the Marathon Swims Virtual Challenge.

Once entered, can I change my Marathon Swims Virtual Challenge?

Changes of distance are possible. But transferring to another person is not. Entries and changes are only possible until midnight 30 November 2021. After this time no further distance changes are possible

Where can I swim my Marathon Swims Virtual Challenge?

You can swim in a pool or any swimming venue you wish. And you can mix it up.

It may help your to book your swims in advance, as the venue requires and that you follow all of their social distancing and safety measures. You will need to pay for each swim - our challenge is FREE but your will need to pay for your swims in the normal way.

You could swim your virtual challenge in open water, however we do not recommend this unless you are a very experienced cold water swimmer and swimming at a managed location with the necessary safety provisions in place. Each open water swim would also need to be very shorter than a typical pool swim due to the temperature of the water.

When do I receive my Marathon Swims merchandise?

Thank you for your Marathon Swims merchandise purchases. All purchases include the cost of postage. All merchandise, including medals will be sent to you following your submission of your results for your challenge. International participants will need to cover some additional costs of postage by paying the additional fee in additional purchases. Please note - Medals cannot be sent until your results have been submitted and other merchandise purchsed will only be sent when we know the outcome of your swim challenge. Results can be submitted anytime between 1 November and 30 November 2021. After the closing date - all participants (who purchased a medal) but did not submit their result will be sent a generic Marathon Swims medal (not including the distance) if they email us to request a medal.

When do I upload my results?

Results can be uploaded any time between 1 November and midnight 30 November 2021. You will need your registration number (starting with 'R') and one image/screengrab of your results to submit. Only submit your results when you have completed your challenge in full. Please see the 'How do I upload my results?' question above. Note - you can resubmit your result. So if you complete more than one attempt at your challenge distance, you can resubmit but this must be before midnight 30 Nov 2021

When are the results published?

We will publish results (distances completed and name) regularly throughout the challenge. Results can be found here - Please let us know if you do not want to be included in the results by emailing us

I don't want my results to be publicly available

No problem at all. Please submit your time in the normal way as 59:59:59 and we will not publish it.

I have paid for a medal, but I can't complete my challenge?

If you bought a medal but do not complete your challenge - you will be sent a 'generic' medal (without the distance of Marathon 10k or Ultra Marathon 25k or Ultra Marathon 50k) on it. However, you will need to email us to let us know that you have not completed your challenge for us to know to send it to you. You can email us up to 14 days after the official end of the challenge to qualify for a 'generic' medal.

What happens if I am not able to complete my challenge?

If you are not able to complete your challenge, please drop us a line (, so we can post to you any merchandise you have paid for. If you ordered a medal and did not comlete your challenge or submit your result before the closing date (date tbc), we will send you a generic Marathon Swims medal (without the distance stated on the ribbon) when you have emailed us (must be by 31 December 2021).

How do I purchase more merchandise?

Click this link to take you to your Active Account: Click on Purchase Merchandise

I ordered a medal, but I cannot complete my challenge in time

If you ordered a medal but are unable to complete your challenge distance and submit your results before the closing date (date tbc), we will send you a generic medal (without the distance on the ribbon), if you email us before 31 December 2021.

Where can I find my R-number?

Your R-number is on your confirmation email from when you registered. You'll need your R-number to submit your results. We can re-send you your confirmation email, so please email us if you want us to resend it.

When is the deadline for completing the challenge and submitting results?

The deadline for completion of the challenge and submitting your resuts is midnight 30 November 2021. Submissions after this time willnot be included in the results.

Can I still purchase merchandise afer entering?

You can purchase merchandise until 31 December 2021. Please follow the steps below: Log in to your Active account here. Select 'Purchase merchandise' and you can then add Marathon Swims swim caps or Marathon Swims t shirts to your order. This is subject to availability. If a size or type of merchandie is not available, that range will be sold out. Furture Marathon Swims events will have other merchandise for sale on entry. If you're having trouble logging in - please see this guide. When you have purchased additional merchanide, please also email us at to state that you have done this, just in case your order has already been processed.

Are there capacity limits in any of the challenge distances?

We do have capacity limits in each of the 3 distances on offer. The capacity in the Ultra Marathon 50k is just 50 places. If you want to secure your place in the event - enter now.

How do I upload my results?

Results for the Marathon Swims Virtual Challenge can only be uploaded between 1-30 November 2021. Please ONLY upload your results when you have completed your challenge. To upload your results: -Visit the results page - -Enter your registration (R) number (which you'll find on your conformation email) -Enter the time that it took you in total to complete the challenge (enter 59:59:59 if you don't wish to be included in the results) -Upload an image of your results (screengrab or photo) -Submit/Go The provisional results will show online as soon as we have checked your entry. This may take upto 48 hours. The final results will be published online on Wednesday 1 December 2021

How do I login to my Active account? (to change address, contact numbers etc or buy more merchandise)

Log in to your Active account here. You'll need your email address and password for Active

Can I get a refund or defer my entry?

Unfortunately not. No deferrals or refunds are permitted. However, you can transfer your place to someone else or transfer your place to a different distance (subject to availability)