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Marathon Swims London

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Marathon Swims is the ultimate swimming challenge. Swimming now has its own marathon.

Dive into the Pool of Champions. The Marathon Swims: London event is hosted at the iconic London Aquatics Centre, on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford, London .

Take on the iconic Marathon 10k, the Half Marathon 5k or the 1k Challenge. Marathon Swims; London SOLD OUT in 2017 and 2018, so claim your place in the ultimate swimming challenge today.

How to enter the Marathon Swims London

  1. Marathon 10km Saturday

    Swim 10km
    Event passed
  2. Marathon 10km Sunday

    Swim 10km
    Event passed
  3. Half Marathon 5km

    Swim 5km
  4. 1km Challenge

    Swim 1km
    Event passed

Marathon Swims London routes

A Marathon Swim is a 10k challenge. The distance debuted at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, as an open water event. Marathon Swims redefines the challenge with an indoor, pool-based 10k Marathon Swim, 5k Half Marathon and a 1k Challenge distance swims.

Event Details

What’s Included
  • Finisher's Medal
  • Chip Timed event
Raceday Logistics
Times of the sessions and individual official start times will be published closer to the event.

Please make sure you arrive at least 60 minutes before your official start time to ensure you have enough time to collect elements and prepare yourself.
Kit List
All participants will need appropriate swimwear, goggles, swim cap, water bottles (filled) and any nutrition/energy required for the event

What are the distances involved in Marathon Swims?
A Marathon Swim is 10k. We also have a Half Marathon Swim (5k) and a 1k Challenge Swim are available for individual swimmers.

How big is the pool?
The main competition pool is 50m. It has the ability to split into smaller pools with its movable bulk heads but for the Marathon Swims event the pool will be 50m and 3m deep throughout.

How many lengths of the pool will I need to swim?
If you’ve entered the Marathon Swim 10k event – you will swim 200 lengths of a 50m pool. But don't worry, you won't need to count and the format of the event means the distance is arranged in an interesting and manageable format with the ability to take a rest. The Half Marathon Swim (5k) is 100 lengths and the Challenge Swim (1k) is 20 lengths.

Which strokes are permitted?
Front crawl and breaststroke are the only strokes permitted. The waves you are allocated will depend on your estimated completion time that you stated in registration. Backstroke is not permitted.

Can I change the details on my entry?
Yes, the final date for any changes to your entry is midnight 10 October 2019. No changes in challenge or person will be possible after this date.

Is the event chip timed?
Yes, each Marathon Swimmer has a chip which provides accurate and instant results. You will also have 1k split times so you can see your progress over the course of the challenge and you will also see the length of time spent out of the pool in transition (between each kilometre)

How does the event work?
The pool is divided into 10 lanes. Marathon Swimmers start in Lane 1 and swim up and back the lane. On returning to the starting end, Marathon Swimmers move up to Lane 2 to swim up and back, repeating this until reaching the end of Lane 10 and completing a set (1km). Having swum up and down each of the 10 lanes, exit the pool, travel along the side to start your next kilometre.

Can I overtake?
Yes, overtaking is very much part of the event. There is two-way lane traffic in each of the lanes, so the overtaking swimmer needs to ensure it is safe to proceed with the manoeuvre and overtake on the left hand side. Lane swimming etiquette also applies, as if you have your feet touched by the swimmer behind, it is kind to allow them past you on the next turn (unless you are held up yourself or think that you can swim faster on the next lap)

Are tumble turns allowed?
Yes tumble turns are permitted. It is the responsibility of each swimmer to ensure turning and overtaking manoeuvres are appropriate and safe depending on the swimmer load in the lane at the time

Are Tempo Trainers allowed?
Yes, but they must be securely positioned under your swim cap (not supplied)

​What happens if I cannot complete the full distance of the challenge?
You will need to speak to one of the Marshals, who will inform the Race Director of your intention to retire from the race. For any early retirement, a DNF (Did Not Finish) will be recorded.

​Can I have a rest/break out of the water?
Yes, a Marathon Swim is a very long distance and breaks are encouraged. You will have access to your fuel and fluids on the poolside and even your mobile phone if you wish, so you can keep your supporters, sponsors and friends updated on your progress mid-swim. You can rest out of the water as long as you want, however the time will be included in your overall completion time.

​Can I rest in the water?
We recommend you only rest out of the water. You may wait at the end to allow a faster swimmer behind you to pass easily.

Is there a time limit for completion of the challenge?
Yes, there is a time limit for completion, as with most endurance events but these only apply to the later (faster) waves in the event day. Marathon Swim (10k) time limit is 5 hours, Half Marathon Swim (5k) time limit is 2 hours 30 minutes and the time limit for the Challenge Swim (1k) is 1 hour. The times may be challenging, so be sure to enter the right challenge for you. On entry, you are asked about your estimated completion time, please be honest and realistic with this time. Your estimated completion time will determine which wave you are placed in.

Are wetsuits or buoyancy shorts permitted?
No 😊 our event is pool-based, so we expect water temperature to be at levels not requiring wetsuits.

Can I swim with a pull-buoy?
No, floatation devises are not allowed in Marathon Swims and that includes pull-buoys.

Questions & answers

  • M

    Monica S
    Do you have a sports therapist attending these events


    Steph E
    Hi there. Thanks for getting in touch. I would just like to inform that Let's Do This does not organise the event. There will be marshals and race organisers at this event who will provide full support for all swimmers. If you need to take a break then you can do this out of the water - you will have access to fuel, fluid and your mobile phone!

Marathon Swims London weather forecast

Rain starting in the afternoon.

Predicted highs
Predicted lows
IconHigh chance of rain
IconLight breeze possible, up to 7mph

Meet the organizer

We create, promote and deliver sporting experiences. Inspirational human-powered challenges. We challenge everyday athletes to achieve extraordinary things. Whether it's swimming, cycling, running or multi-sport there is one common element - human power! Following over a decade of experience in mass participation sport, the founders of Participation Sport Ltd. are dedicated to delivering only the most creative, innovative and authentic sport challenges. Motivating you to test the boundaries of your own human movement. We promise to give you the inspiration to try, opportunity to perform and encouragement to achieve the very pinnacle of your sporting careers. Your bucket-list has just got bigger.

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