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The Big Bala Swim

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Try this fantastic open water swimming event in the stunning lakes of Snowdonia National Park. With multiple distances to choose from, finisher's medals and prizes on offer, there's something for every swimmer.
4.5k, 1.5k, and 9k
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Sat 18th Sep 2021
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Bala, United Kingdom
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Where and when
Bala Rugby Club, 1 Tegid St, Bala LL23 7DZ, UK
Start times
10:10am |
10:00am |
Races summary
Here's what races are available for The Big Bala Swim
£32.50 - £48.50
Route information
This fantastic swimming event takes place in beautiful Llyn Tegid, Bala in Snowdonia National Park.
There are 3 distances to choose from: 9k, 4.5k & 1.5k. Those participating in the 4.5k swim will get to ride the historic Bala Lake Railway to Llangower station where the start will be for this distance. Entries are open for wetsuit and non-wetsuit participants and children from age 8 can take part in the 1.5km swim.
Water Temperature
The water temperature of Lake Llyn Tegid is expected to be between 14 and 18 degrees Celcius. This temperature can vary depending on rainfall and sunshine leading up to the event. You will be updated in the run up to the event.
What's included
  • Big Bala Swim Medal
  • Full water safety cover
  • Event swim hat
  • Electronic timing
  • Race souvenir
  • Free event photos
  • Prizes for winners in each distance category
  • Toilets and shower facilities
How to get there
Bala Rugby Club, 1 Tegid St, Bala LL23 7DZ, UK
Get full directionsExternalLink
Parking will be available at Bala Rugby Club at £3 for the day. There are other car parks close by at approximately £5 for the day.
By Car
Please follow directions to Bala Rugby Club with post code LL23 7DZ.
By Public Transport
Public transport connections are limited so please research your route well ahead of time. The closest mainline train station is Blaenau Ffestiniog but take into consideration onward transport is not simple. Alternatively from Wrexham there is a bus service running to Bala (though it takes 90 minutes).
Event day logistics
Times will be confirmed in the event handbook, released one month before event day.
07:30 Registration opens
09:15 Registration closes
09.30 Route and safety brief
10:00 Train for 4.5k swimmers departs
10:10 9k swim starts
10:15 1.5k swim starts
13:30 Prize giving
Registration will be at Bala Rugby Club where you'll collect your event hat, race number and timing chip. Please arrive with plenty of time.
The briefing will take place at Bala Rugby Club (time TBC). All participants must attend the briefing or they will not be allowed to swim.
Cut-off Time
There is a feed station for the 9k swimmers at the half way point. Food is available at the end of the swim for all distances plus your free TRIBE bar!
There will be a cut-off time of 4.5 hours for all distances. The race organisers and appointed staff can retire a participant at any time if they judge them not capable of finishing due to fatigue or poor physical condition.
Travel to Start Line
Those in the 1.5k and 9k swims will make a 10 minute walk from Bala Rugby Club to their start line. There will be no train journey for these distances.
There will be a train to take participants competing in the 4.5k swim from the briefing to their start line. If you miss the train, you will have to make your own way to the start line.
Bag Drop
There will be a bag drop at the start lines for the events. This will only be for shoes and 1 small bag. Those doing the 4.5k swim, you can take your small bag on the train and leave it at your start line. Bags will be transported to the finish for you. Please only leave essential items in your bag as they are left at your own risk.
Toilet and Shower Facilities
Toilets, changing rooms and showers are available in the rugby club. There will also be public toilets, changing rooms and showers at the finish line as well as toilets at the 4.5k start line.
Kit List
Mandatory equipment for wetsuit competitors
  • Swim hats supplied by event organisers must be worn at all times when in the water
  • Neoprene Wetsuit (unless registered as a non-wetsuit participant)
  • Goggles (you swim without goggles at your own risk)
  • Tow floats may be used but are not mandatory for wetsuit wearing participants
Mandatory equipment for non-wetsuit competitors
  • Suitable swimwear (shorts style suits and rash vests are acceptable. No neoprene other than that listed below)
  • Swim hats supplied by event organisers must be worn at all times when in the water
  • Goggles (you swim without goggles at your own risk)
  • Tow float (must be a dedicated swimming tow float)
Additional equipment that may be used: Neoprene socks and non-webbed neoprene gloves, neoprene hat (worn under event swim cap), ear plugs
Additional equipment that may NOT be used
Snorkles, flippers, hand paddles, webbed gloves, headphones, pull buoy or any other floatation aids, any power assisted aids.
Event Handbook
The handbook with further information about race day will be emailed to you a few weeks before the event. Please read through it thoroughly.
Age Requirements
You must be 16 years or over to swim in the 4.5k and 9k distances. Children 8 and over can participate in the 1.5k swim providing they are accompanied on the swim by a fee paying adult.
Spectator Info
Spectators awe welcome come out and support your effort at The Big Bala Swim.
Spectators may not travel on the participants swim train from Llanuwchllyn. They can travel on the first public train at 11:00 or drive down to Llangower station to watch the start of the 4.5km swim.
Can my child participate at the The Big Bala Swim?
Yes they can swim in the 1.5k distance providing that they are accompanied on the swim by a fee paying adult.
When will I receive my race hat and number for The Big Bala Swim?
You can pick up your hat and number from registration on the the day of the event from 07:30.
Will there be a bag drop at The Big Bala Swim?
Yes there will be at the start line for shoes and small bags. For those in the 4.5k swim your bags will be transported for you from the start to the finish line.
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