Marathon Swims, billed as ‘the London Marathon of swimming’, is gearing up for its second event on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th November 2018. Marathon Swims is hosted at the iconic London Aquatics Centre, home of swimming during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Marathon Swims sold out in its first year, and due to demand the organisers have added a second event day. To date the blue-ribband event; the Marathon 10k, the Half Marathon 5k and the Marathon 10k Team event are all sold out.
Marathon Swims Founder, Diccon Loy’s vision was to ‘create an iconic swimming challenge, in iconic venues and to make distance swimming accessible and exciting.’
Loy said, “Every city in the world has its own running marathon, half marathon and triathlon. We wanted to create a stand-out swimming event that cities could be proud of. With Marathon Swims, swimming now has its own marathon.”
The swimming marathon distance first came to prominence as a 10k open water race at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008. The marathon swim has been a key element in the Olympic schedule ever since with races in the Serpentine (London 2012) and at Copacabana Beach (Rio 2016).
Marathon Swims has redefined the challenge as an indoor, pool-based Marathon 10k, Half Marathon 5k and a 1k Challenge distance event.
Diccon Loy continued, “The success of the London Marathon is arguably not so much with the elites or the club runners at the front of the field. The success lies with the long tail of everyday athletes, many of whom would not call themselves runners. These participants are out on the streets in mid-winter doing the hard yards of training to enjoy their moment of sporting glory come April.
“That’s exactly what we’re doing with Marathon Swims. Engage the elites and strong club swimmers but also inspire everyday swimmers, giving them an iconic challenge and reason to get back in the pool.”
The Marathon Swims format includes elements such as a blue-carpet transition, race tattoos and even a penalty box. The event team add that it is more aligned with triathlon than the traditional sport of swimming and this also is demonstrated by a roster of event partners incuding; Swim for Tri, Outdoor Swimmer magazine, Swim Quest, GLL/Better and Cancer Research UK.
Loy concluded, “We have been delighted at the response and interest in Marathon Swims. We set out to create the ‘London Marathon’ of swimming. We know we are never going to get 40,000 swimmers in a pool in a single day, but that does not mean we cannot create an iconic, bucket-list challenge for the UK’s 4.5 million regular swimmers.”