Marathon Swims FAQ’s

The Event:

What are the distances involved in Marathon Swims?

A Marathon Swim is 10k. You can also compete as a team of two in the 10k Team Marathon Swim

How big is the London Aquatics Centre 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?

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.

Where can I take part in Marathon Swims?

Marathon Swims events take place in the biggest and best swimming arenas in the UK (and possibly wider). We hope to expand the number of events we deliver in the UK.

The London event is held at the venue of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the London Aquatic Centre, on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Is there a minimum age to the part in Marathon Swims?

Yes, you need to be a minimum of 18 years by the event date. If you are currently 17, but 18 by the time of the event, you can enter, but you will need your parent/guardian to enter on your behalf. There is a selection at the start of the registration process enabling you to "register for someone else under 18

Which strokes are permitted?

Front crawl and breaststroke are the only strokes permitted. You will be asked which stroke you are likely to use on registration. The waves you are allocated in may depend on the stroke that you select. Backstroke is not permitted due to safety reasons.

When is the event?

Marathon Swims; London is Saturday 09 and Sunday 10 November 2019. Start times will be communicated on or around 10 October 2019.

When is the closing date for entries?

Marathon Swims is allocating places on a first come, first served basis. We recommend you enter as soon as possible to secure your place in the event.

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.

When do I find out my start time?

Start times will be communicated to participants on or around 10 October 2019. The start times may vary between 8am and 7pm and depend on the schedule of the event.

Can I choose my start time?

All start times are allocated (between 8am and 7pm) according to your estimated completion time that you submit on entering the event. You will be allocated a wave according to your swimming speed. It is only possible to choose your start time by paying the Wave Selection Fee in additional purchases. You can log in to your account and pay this, if you have not already done it and wish to select your wave. Please be aware that by electing a different wave, you are likely to be competing with swimmers of different abilities.


If you purchase the Wave Selection - this means you are able to choose the broad time of your wave start (i.e. before 10am, between 10.01am and 1.30pm and between 1.31pm and 6.30pm). The idea of this is to enable participants who are travelling long distances to be able to plan their travel ahead of time. There are a limited number of Wave Selections available, the reason for this is that the event does need to ensure the majority of swimmers in each wave are at the appropriate speed/standard for that wave. The Wave Selection option is one a first come, first served basis.

If I have purchased the Wave Selection - does that mean I can swim in any wave?

If you have purchased the Wave Selection - you can select the broad time that you will start. You will be placed in a wave that is for your distance. There are typically three waves throughout the day for each distance challenge.

What are the cut off times?

If you are in a faster (most likely later) wave the cut off times are:

Marathon 10k (team and individual) - 5 hours

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, flotation devices are allowed in Marathon Swims and that includes pull-buoys