Great Swim FAQ's

Here you will find the common questions relating to our Great Swim events.

Withdrawal/Cancellation Policy

Great Swim’s aim is to motivate people of all swimming abilities to get active and enjoy the experience of outdoor swimming in a safe environment.

You should take time to train and prepare properly for the event.

You MUST be able to complete a mile confidently before taking part in this event.

However, if you get into difficulty during your swim, help will be at hand (full instructions of what to do will be given at the safety briefing on the day).
The full Great Run Withdrawal & Refund Policy can be found here.

If your entry is accepted, and past the immediate entry cancellation offer, your fee is not refundable unless supported by a doctor’s note. Refunds will not be possible for any other eventuality.

Refunds will be accepted at least six weeks prior to the event. Otherwise we will be unable to stop your swim pack being sent. After this time no refund will be offered.

To request a refund please get in touch by contacting us here. You will need to confirm your full name, date of birth/post code and also include proof of your medical issue. We can accept a copy of a medical note, copy of appointment letter, physio notes etc.

All refunds are subject to a £5.00 administration charge.
If the ongoing national restrictions prevent us from staging the event as planned, all entries will be automatically transferred into the next staging of the event.
If circumstances dictate that we are required to cancel any event, entrants will be entitled to a refund (minus a £5 administrative fee). We will transfer the refund (and iTab fee if purchased at the point of entry) back to the card that was used for payment. All refunds are subject to a £5 administrative fee which covers some of, but not all, of the costs we have already been committed, such as fees charged to us to process the original booking, staff time and supplier costs, and third party payment providers.

This is very much in line with other event and ticket providers across the industry. This is the case for all Great Run Company events and is outlined in our event terms and conditions at the time of booking. If you have entered via a charity, please contact the charity directly and they will be able to assist further.
The dates of the Great Swim events have been chosen to avoid any peak periods in blue-green algae and we will be monitoring the water quality in the lead up to the event.

Blue-green algae is naturally occurring in lakes, ponds, reservoirs, rivers and the sea. These commonly occur during periods of prolonged hot weather in calm waters - such as near to the water’s edge or shoreline.

At most levels this algae poses no threat to swimmers. It is only on the rare occasions when the algae reaches extremely high levels that it can form a scum and produce toxic substances. Great Swim monitors the water quality and we would carry out our contingency plans if there are any scums on the water.

Back to the top

Entry Questions

The Great Swim Series is for swimmers of all abilities.

Most people taking part will not have swum in the outdoors before, so you won’t be alone!

There was a time when running a marathon or a half marathon was just for serious club runners, now anyone can take part who is willing to put in the time to train. The same goes for the Swim.

You must be 8 years or over on the day to enter the 250m. Every child aged 11 and under must be accompanied by one adult (per child)

The age limit depends on what distance you are due to swim:

You must be 12 years or over on the day of the event to enter a ½ mile swim

You must be 16 years or over on the day of the event to enter a 1 mile, 2 mile, 5K

You must be 18 years or over on the day of the event to enter a 10K swim

We shall have waves of swimmers taking part in the event throughout the weekend.

When swimmers complete the entry form they are asked to choose the day they would like to swim and a time block from the list of options on the entry form.

For example: Saturday 09:30am – 12:30pm

Approx. 4 weeks prior to the event weekend we will contact all entrants to confirm their exact allocated start time in their chosen time block and will give them an option to change it if required.

On the day of the event, the check-in for each wave time will open half an hour before each start time. This is when we ask swimmers to be at the start area in your wetsuit and ready to swim. Swimmers do not need to register at the Information Point, they can just go straight to the start.

Swimmers will have the chance to get into the water to get used to the temperature before being brought out for a safety briefing 5 minutes before.
You can train for the event in the swimming pool by continually increasing your distance to swim a mile.
For safety reasons the Great Swim features dry-land sections at the start and finish of the course so may not be suitable for all swimmers.

If you would like to take part but have concerns over the suitability of the course for you, please contact us here
Equipment or costumes that restrict the swimmer or potentially cause any injury to other swimmers in a confined swimming environment will NOT be allowed. If you would like to wear fancy dress please send a photo of the costume/equipment to the event manager at info@greatswim.org and we will let you know whether we think it will be suitable.

The final decision is down to the start safety team on the day and they will not allow anything that they think to be unsafe.

You should practice swimming with anything you intend to wear on the day.

Back to the top

Wetsuits

Wetsuit use is optional at all Great Swim events for water temperatures of 15°C or above. Swimmers choosing not to wear a wetsuit MUST use an approved high visibility tow float. This only applies to swimmers aged over 16 years old. Swimmers aged under 16 will be required to wear a wetsuit.

If you wish to hire a tow float then visit our store.

You should use a well-fitting specific wetsuit, such as those designed for triathlons.

These are usually made from a flexible neoprene that allows you to swim normally whilst helping to insulate the body against the cold water.

Wetsuits should be a minimum of 3mm thick (5mm for those who suffer more from the cold)
The most important thing is that whatever wetsuit you decide to wear – surfing, shortie, short arms and legs – it fits well.

It should be snug when you put in on, so the water is trapped next to your body to warm you up. It should not be loose fitting, so the water flows through it, as this will not warm you up and could restrict your swimming.

We recommend that you try the wetsuit out before event day, even if this is in the swimming pool.

Back to the top

Swim Packs

The Great Swim packs are sent out approximately two weeks prior to the event.

Your pack should contain your swim hat, timing chip and baggage label

Please note, we are unable to post the swim packs outside of the UK as we cannot guarantee their safe delivery. They are made ready for collection from the information point on the weekend of the event.

We will produce an Event Guide for the more detailed event information, that you can download from the event page approx. 2 weeks before the event. This will also be sent in a pre-event email.

Your pack should contain your swim hat and timing chip. If you are missing any of these items please email info@greatswim.org. Your pack will also confirm at what time you are due to swim.

The check-in for your wave time will open half an hour before your start time. This is when you will need to be at the start area in your wetsuit and ready to swim. You will have the chance to get into the water to get used to the temperature before being brought out for a safety briefing 5 minutes before.

Once you have received your swim pack the most important thing to do now is read all the information provided. This is important race preparation and will ensure your day is more enjoyable.

If your swim pack has not arrived by the Monday of the event week, please contact us here. Please include your full name, date of birth/post code so we can verify your entry and provide details as to how you can collect a replacement swim hat and timing chip from the information point on the event weekend, should you need to.

Please note:
If you secured your place after the advertised cut-off date for postage, as detailed on the event page, you will need to collect your pack from our information point.

We are unable to send run packs outside of the UK as we cannot guarantee their safe delivery, they are made up ready for collection from our information point at the event.

We will produce an Event Guide for the more detailed event information, including the location and opening hours for the information point, that you can download from the event page approx. 2 weeks before the event. This will also be sent in a pre-event email.

Back to the top

Editing My Personal Details

Please contact us here and we will update our records for you. Please state your full name, the event you have entered together with your old and new address.

Please ensure you notify us at least six weeks prior to the event otherwise we will be unable to prevent your swim pack from being posted to your old address.

Any undelivered race packs are returned to us so we can forward them on, but should you need to you can collect a replacement race pack from the information point on the weekend of the event.

Please contact us here for more details.

If you would like to check/change your chosen swim date/time block, please contact us here and the team can sort this for you. Please include your name, date of birth and/or post code so we can find your entry easily.
In most cases we are able to accommodate such requests, please contact us here with your full name and details of the distance you have entered together with the distance you would prefer.

Back to the top

Finishers' Packs

All finishers will receive a finisher's pack as soon as they cross the finish line.

Back to the top

Results

To view your race results please visit www.greatswim.org and click on the results tab.

Select the correct event from the drop down list and enter either your swim number or surname, then press submit.
To view your race results please visit www.greatswim.org and click on the results tab.
Select the correct event from the drop down list and enter either your swim number or surname, then press submit.

Please ensure you key the correct information supplied on your application form. (i.e. searching by Stephen when you entered as Steve will not bring up a result).

You can search by your race number only. Simply enter your race number a select ‘Search’

If still no result is displayed please contact us here with your full name, race number and the event in which you took part. We will then arrange for our results team to investigate.

Back to the top

Photographs and Certificates

To see photos of you please visit http://www.greatswim.org/Photos

Click on the link for the correct event and enter either your swim number or surname, then press submit.

Please note that unfortunately we cannot guarantee all swimmers will have a photo of themselves.

Pictures are tagged when your swim number is clearly shown. If your swim number was obscured in anyway it will not be picked up.

If no photos are shown, please try using the ‘find more photos’ link to enter a description of what you were wearing on the day.

If you were stood next to a friend when your photo was took, please try entering their surname or race number.
To see photos of you and to download your free certificate please visit www.greatswim.org and click on the ‘Photos’ tab

Click on the link for the correct event and enter either your swim number or surname, then press submit.

You should see photos of you displayed along with a link to download your free certificate

Any problems please contact us here

Back to the top