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 in November 2020 at a venue of your choice and in your own time. Your challenge is to complete the Marathon 10k or Ultra Marathon 25k over the course of November 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.

Enter today to secure your place in the first Marathon Swims Virtual Challenge. You can enter at any time in November, just make sure you have enough time to swim your challenge.

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.

You can record your times if you wish, but the important thing is the distance. The Marathon swims Virtual Challenge is not a competition, so we are less concerned about your swim times for the challenge, and more interested in you completing the distance.

More details will follow on how and where to do this from 1 November 2020.

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 (£10.50), Marathon Swims Swim Cap (£7.95), Marathon Swims t-shirt (£16.50) or a Medal and Swim Cap combo (£15.50). All prices includes postage and packaging.

How do I upload my Marathon Swims Virtual Challenge results?

You can upload your results by logging back into your active account. Enter your password. You will then be able to upload results from 1 November until midnight 30 November 2020. Record your swims in any way you wish. You can upload one image. This could be a screengrab or photo from an app, device or website, or a photo of your paper records of your November swims. The most important element is showing that you have complete dthe distance. The times that you completed the swim in are not essential, as this is a distance shallenge, rather than a competition. If you're having trouble logging in to your Active account - please see this guide.

When is the Marathon Swims Virtual Challenge?

Marathon Swims Virtual Challenge is throughout November 2020. You can start whenever you like (after 1 Nov), but you must swim the complete distance of 10k or 25k before the end of 30 Nov to earn yourself a medal. Your challenge must be completed and your results must be uploaded before midnight on 30 November 2020.

How do I enter the Virtual Challenge?

Simply enter the event, choose whether you want any merchandise or medals and start swimming (in November) Record each of your swims and be ready to upload your evidence of completion before midnight 30 November 2020. 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 an 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 or Ultra Marathon 25k in the Marathon Swims Virtual Challenge.

We do have an Ultra Marathon 50k challenge but this has been suspended for this year due to current swimming pool restrictions. We hope to launch this challenge distance in future, possibly next year.

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

You can change challenge distances if you wish. This can be done by logging back into your Active account and choosing a transfer. The transfer will cost £5.

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.

Please make sure you 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. Results can be submitted anytime between 1-30 November 2020.

What happens if I can't start or continue my Marathon Swims Virtual Challenge due to local restrictions?

The Marathon Swims Virtual Challenge is from 1-30 Nov 2020. However, we understand that some participants around the country may be affected by local lockdowns. Don't worry, we can extend or change your timeframe for your virtual challenge swims - all you need to ensure is that your swim period covers a maximum of 30 days and finishes before 31 December 2020. For example, this could mean that your challenge is recorded over a 30 consecutive day period in November and December. Please email us ( to request a change to your swim period. To submit your results outside of 1-30 Nov 2020, please email us.

When do I upload my results?

Results can be uploaded any time between 1 November and midnight 30 November 2020. No results uploads are possible outside of these time without prior agreement. We acknowledge that many participants may be in local lockdown areas and may need to extend the time of their challenge. If this applies to you, please contact us -

Can I opt out of the free prize draw?

Our partners have kindly given us some of their products and services to give to lucky participants in the Marathon Swims Virtual Challenge. All particiants who have submitted their result before midnight 30 Nov 2020 will be entered into the free prize draw. To opt out of the prize draw, please email us -

How does the free prize draw work?

Our partners KitBrix, Outdoor Swimmer, Swim for Tri, Swm Quest and Soul Cap have all kindly donated some amazing prizes for the Marathon Swims Virtual Challenge. All participants in the Marathon Swims Virtual Challenge who submit their result successfully before midnight 30 November 2020 will be entered into the free prize draw for each of the prizes. The winners will be notified by email and their postal address will be shared with some partners to enable them to send the prize directly to the winners. The draw will take place on or around the 1st December 2020. Participants can opt out of participating in the free prize draw - see below

When are the results published?

We will publish results (distances completed and name) regularly throughout the month of November and provide a full alphabetical list at the end of the challenge. The distances completed will be shown. Swim times will not be shown. Please let us know if you do not want to be included in the results by emailing us

© 2020 Marathon Swims

Operated by Participation Sport Ltd.