Open Water Swimathon FAQS

What are the rules?

Click here to view the rules for Open Water Swimathon 2018

Can I get any training advice?

It is very important to train before your Open Water swim. Why don't you check out our awesome 6 week training plans, which have been written by Tom Bromley from Swim Open. Not only will these training plans help you prepare for your swim, but they will provide some tips on the top Open Water skills to master and the common mistakes to avoid.

Where is Open Water Swimathon held?

Open Water Swimathon is held at a number of venues across the UK.

If you are unable to get to any of the host venues, or cannot make any of the listed session times, you can still take part through MySwimathon! Click here to find out more. We plan to have many more venues taking part in 2018. If you swim at a different venue and would like for them to be part of Open Water Swimathon 2018, please ask them to get in touch with us!

What challenges are available?

Open Water Swimathon is designed to suit all levels of fitness, ability and age…

Individual distances

400m
This is the perfect distance if you haven't had much swimming experience and are new to the open water. It's the equivalent of 16 lengths in a 25m pool so it's definitely manageable!  

1.5k 
A great challenge for those new to open water swimming, or for those who prefer to push their speed over shorter distances. If you fancy getting in to open water swimming, whilst raising some serious fundraising cash, then this is for you! 
 
2.5k 
If you’re looking to go further to earn your sponsorship, then 2.5k could be the distance for you. The perfect challenge for the intermediate swimmer who trains regularly, comfortable on the open water, this is a distance to push your boundaries and give yourself a goal to commit to training for. Jump in and make some waves for a good cause! 
 
5k 
This is the ultimate Open Water Swimathon challenge. To complete the 5k distance takes great dedication, commitment and a good training programme. Your efforts will be rewarded though; 5k of open water swimming certainly deserves a high amount of sponsorship!  
 
Team distances: 

1.5k 
Take on this relay challenge with your friends, your family or your colleagues (2-5 swimmers per team). Split the distance however you like, this shorter distance is ideal for those new to open water swimming, or for getting the kids involved. Join forces in the open water and take your fundraising to a whole new level! 
 
5k 
Round up your open water-loving friends and take on this longer challenge together. Make up a team of 2 to 5 swimmers to tackle the ultimate Open Water Swimathon distance. Split it evenly between you or break down the distances according to your abilities and get everyone involved! As a team, you’ll reach your sponsorship goal and the glory!

How do I know what speed to register myself/team under?

Here's a rough guide to help when entering your Open Water Swimathon speed...

Distance       Slow         Medium         Fast
   1.5k          1.5hrs+        1hr           sub 30mins
   2.5k           2hrs+         1.5hrs         sub 1hr
    5k            2.5hrs+        2hrs            1.5hrs

How long will I have to complete my swim?

Individual swimmers and teams will have 3 hours to complete their Open Water Swimathon challenge no matter which distance they have signed up for. If you have any queries around completing your swim in under 3 hours please liaise with the venue directly.

Will I receive a medal?

All swimmers will receive a medal for completing their challenge. Those taking part in an organised Swimathon session will receive their medal immediately after their swim. 

Those taking part in MySwimathon will be sent a medal via post after uploading their challenge time online. Please note, 5k medals will only be given to those who complete the individual 5k challenge.

Will I receive a certificate?

All swimmers will be able to download their personal certificates from their Swimmer Login area after the event.

How do I register?

Click here to register for Open Water Swimathon 2018

When does registration close?

Swimmer registration for Open Water Swimathon 2018 closes at 11:59pm on Wednesday 5th September.

How much does it cost to register?

Entry Type*   Standard EntryConcession**
Individual 400m, 1.5k, 2.5k & 5k £15.00£12.00
Team 1.5k & 5k£30.00£24.00

* Applies to Distance Challenges and MySwimathon
** Denotes concessionary price for unemployed, under 16s, disabled, full-time students and senior citizens aged 60 years and above. For team concessions, the majority (over half) must fall into one of these categories to qualify for the concessionary price. Teams are not separated into age specific categories.

I can't attend any of the sessions at the venues listed?

Don’t forget, if you are unable to get to any of the host venues, or cannot make any of the listed session times, you can still take part through MySwimathon! Click here to find out more.

We plan to have many more venues taking part in 2018. If you swim at a different venue and would like for them to be part of Open Water Swimathon 2018, please ask them to get in touch with us!

Can I swim more than once over different days?

You are more than welcome to swim in as many organised Open Water Swimathon sessions as you wish over the event weekend. For each place that you require, you will need to create a new registration, paying the entry fee for each place. We then suggest that you only use one of your fundraising pages when sending your link out for sponsorship. You can mention in your 'personal message' that you are taking on more than one challenge.

I can no longer take part in the event. Will I get my money back?

The entry fee for Open Water Swimathon 2018 is non-refundable and non-transferable.

Can I change from an individual to a team registration and vice versa?

As stated in the T&Cs, if you have registered as an individual entry, it is not possible to change this to a team entry. You will need to re-register as a team and contact Open Water Swimathon to cancel your individual entry. If you have registered as a team entry, it is not possible to change this to an individual entry. You will need to re-register as an individual and contact the Open Water Swimathon team to cancel your team entry. A refund will not be given for your first entry.

How can I check if I have set up my Swimathon JustGiving page?

You can check if your JustGiving page has been set up through your swimmer profile area. Follow the below steps to check yours.

  1. Log in to your profile.
  2. Click on 'Manage My Challenge' in your Open Water Swimathon profile area at www.openwaterswimathon.org
  3. Select 'Fundraising' on the menu on the left-hand side.
  4. If you have set up a JustGiving page you will be given the option to ‘View Fundraising Page’. . If you have not, select ‘Create Fundraising Page’ and follow the steps.

I didn’t set up my Swimathon JustGiving page when I registered, how can I set one up?

If you didn’t set up your JustGiving page when you registered it is not too late. You can set up yours now by firstly logging in to your swimmer profile area. Follow the steps below to set up your JustGiving page.

  1. Click on 'Manage My Challenge' in your Open Water Swimathon profile area
  2. Select 'Fundraising' on the menu on the left-hand side
  3. Enter your giving page name and URL (the bit that will follow www.JustGiving.com/OpenWaterSwimathon-2018-...), do not use any spaces or punctuation when creating your URL
  4. If you receive an error message stating the ‘URL is unavailable’ this means it has already been taken, please try again with a more unique name
  5. You will then automatically be sent to the JustGiving website to either login to your account (if you already have one) or create a JustGiving account
  6. Once authorised, you will head back to the Open Water Swimathon website to complete your registration
  7. Then you're done and ready to start sharing your JustGiving page!

How do I share my JustGiving page with my friends, family and colleagues?

To find your Open Water Swimathon JustGiving page go to the fundraising section of your swimmer login area. You can find this on the left-hand menu once you’ve clicked ‘Manage my challenge’. Click ‘View Fundraising Page’ at the bottom of the page to go to your JustGiving page. Share the URL with your friends and family by simply copying and pasting the URL to email and social media to get donations and raise money for Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie.

Where does the money go?

Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie will receive an equal share of at least 70% of the total funds raised by Open Water Swimathon. The Swimathon Foundation will receive the balance of the funds raised by the Open Water Swimathon participants which it uses to fund its operating expenses as the owner of the Open Water Swimathon Event and to offer Swimathon Foundation Community Grants to promote swimming participation in communities.

Is my donation for Marie Curie and Cancer Research UK when I register added to my JustGiving page?

The donation for Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie you can make before the payment page of your registration will not be added to your JustGiving page when you have set it up. If you wish for the donation to count towards your fundraising rewards, please set up your JustGiving page first and donate the amount directly on that.

How can we link our team’s JustGiving pages together?

To create a team page, your team captain should login to their swimmer profile area here. Within the ‘Fundraising’ menu they can select to create a team JustGiving page by linking all team members pages. Please note donations must still be made on each team members JustGiving page and not on the team’s page.

Can I fundraise for any charity?

The official charity partners of Open Water Swimathon 2018 are Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie. Participants of the event should fundraise for Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie only.

Where can I find the offline fundraising sponsorship form?

If you are taking part in Open Water Swimathon and want to collect money in person, click here to download a sponsorship form.

Don’t forget that you can pay in any cash you have collected into your JustGiving Page when they are up and running using a credit or debit card.

* Please note that only online fundraising through a Open Water Swimathon JustGiving page is counted towards your qualification for a fundraising reward.

Where shall I send my offline fundraising?

Please make all cheques payable to Open Water Swimathon and send any offline fundraising to the below address along with your sponsorship form:

Open Water Swimathon 2018
PO BOX 4500
London
W1A 7LF

Are there any fundraising rewards?

Yes! Fundraise £100+ through your JustGiving page for an exclusive Open Water Swimathon 2018 t-shirt.*

Team fundraising is based on raising an average of £100+ per team member for t-shirts Terms and conditions apply.

* Fundraising must be with the Open Water Swimathon by September 30th. Please note that only online fundraising is counted towards your qualification for a fundraising reward. Offline fundraising sent to our PO BOX will not be considered for incentive rewards.

If I qualify for a reward, when will I receive it?

Participants that have raised £100+ on their JustGiving page by 30 September will receive their Open Water Swimathon 2018 t-shirt before the event weekend.

If you qualify for a reward after 30 September you will receive it in October.

Please see terms and conditions for full details of fundraising rewards.

Is there an age limit?

Each venue has their own minimum age requirements, which are highlighted in the registration process.

Can I take part in Open Water Swimathon if I have epilepsy?

It is recommended that swimmers with a history of epilepsy should ‘buddy’ up so that there is another swimmer alongside them. If a swimmer has been seizure free for a year they can compete as normal. 

The venue I am swimming at says I need to have a NOWCA wristband, how can I get one?

Some of our venues are affiliated with NOWCA, which is an open water safety and management system. If you are swimming at a NOWCA venue, you will be required to order a wristband prior to the event. The wristbands are re-usable any time you swim at a NOWCA venue and will provide you with a record of your time every time you swim. You need to purchase your NOWCA wristband in advance of the event at https://www.nowca.org/Account/... for a one-off fee of £12. Make sure to specify the venue you will be swimming at and the wristband will be there when you arrive.

We will contact all those that this applies to in due course.

Your NOWCA wristband tracks your swim performance, it's exactly the same as wearing a chip at a triathlon. Everything is recorded online for you and from here you'll be able to manage your leisure swimming and racing profile. You receive a personal email with your swim stats every time you swim.

How many people can make up a team

Teams can be made up of 2-5 people.

Can I fundraise for any charity?

The official charity partners for Open Water Swimathon 2018 are Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie. Participants of the event should fundraise for Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie only.