Long Distance Swimming Event
The Thames Marathon, now in its 8th year, is a 14km long-distance challenge swim from Henley-on-Thames to Marlow. It covers a beautiful stretch of the Thames and has become one of open water swimming’s most prestigious marathon swims. The swim is split into 4 sections. Swimmers will be required to exit the water at the 3 locks – Hambledon at 4k, Hurley at 10k and Temple at 11.8k – where food and drink will be available.
Where does the swim start and finish?
In 2018 the Thames Marathon 14km swim will start at The Leander club, Henley and finish at Higginson Park, Marlow.
Where should I park for the event?
The official car parking will be in Henley, at Wargrave Meadows, Wargrave Rd. From here you will take the short walk to the start venue at Leander club. After you have finished your swim and had some food and collected your finisher medal, we will transport you back to Henley. Supporters will be able to pay on the day to use the coach service.
Is there other parking in Henley?
Yes, there are plenty of public car parks in Henley and they are free on Sundays. The return coach will only drop off at the official car park.
How will my bag get to the end?
We will transport one small bag (3-4kg) for each swimmer. We will tag your bag for identification purposes, and have it waiting for you at the finish area. We try and be careful but accidents do happen -please don’t use your best bag as we can’t be held responsible for any damage suffered in transit.
Can I swim in a team with a group of friends?
Absolutely, in fact we encourage it. The more people who swim together and look out for each other, the safer the event is. If you wish to swim with friends, please make sure that you all enter the same wave.
Will I be able to wear a tow float?
In 2018 all swimmers will be required to use a tow float and are advised to get used to swimming with one before the event. Selkie Swim Co have some available.
How will you ensure that those who want to do solo swims are able to do so safely?
We have a fully approved safety plan that ensures coverage across the full course throughout the event. In addition ALL swimmers will be required to use a tow-float at the 2018 event.
Can I swim non – wetsuit?
We do have a small number of non-wetsuit places available. . This is to minimise the risk to our safety plan. Wetsuits are important for retaining heat and providing buoyancy. If you would like a non-wetsuit place your application will be assessed by the events team for approval. Our decision is final on wetsuits and no discussion can be entered into. We advise swimmers to be prepared to wear a wetsuit if asked, on the day.
Non-wetsuit places have now been allocated for 2018 and a waiting list is in operation
How many feed stops will there be ?
There will be 3 feed stops in 2018 – one at each lock: Hambleden (4km), Hurley (10km) and Temple (11.8km)
What food will be available at the feed stops?
We will provide a bit of everything, including bananas, energy bars, energy drinks, water, some chocolate, sweets, and some salty snacks. A couple of the stops will also have hot drinks.
How will the start work?
The pink wave, for faster swimmers that wish to race against the clock, will go off first. The remaining waves will go off at 20 minute intervals (timetable subject to change).
How should I choose which wave to enter?
Faster swimmers that wish to swim against the clock, and have a 1500m pool time of 25 minutes or less should select the pink wave.
Other swimmers should select either the blue or the green wave. In 2018 both of these waves will be of mixed ability. If you wish to swim with a group, make sure you all select the same wave. The BLUE WAVE is now SOLD OUT. If you are not a pink wave swimmer, please select the green wave.
The first (pink) wave will set off at 7am, with approximately 20 minutes in between the waves. These timings are provisional and are subject to change.
We would recommend that if you are not presently able to complete a 1500m swim in under 45mins it might be as well to target a shorter event and then build for the 2019 Thames Marathon.
Are there toilets on the course?
There are toilets at the start at Leander club, and at the finish at Higginson Park. We are aiming to have a toilet stop at one of the food stations as well.
Can supporters walk the route?
The route is walkable, by following The Thames Path. Download the route here – Thames Marathon Walking Route.
It is also possible to cycle the route, although there are a large number of kissing style gates where you may have to lift your bikes to get through.
Can I talk to fellow swimmers in advance of the event?
Definitely, we have set up Henley Swim Chatter as a facebook forum, where you are able to discuss anything with fellow swimmers from nutrition and training tips to transport to the event on the day. There is also a facebook event page with all the latest information.