Event Info

Swimmer Info

FAQs here.

Wearing a wetsuit or using a tow-float

Everyone who takes part in the Swim Serpentine events must either wear a wetsuit or use a tow-float for safety reasons.

If the temperature of the water in the Serpentine is 15°C or above, wetsuits are optional at Swim Serpentine. If you choose not to wear a wetsuit, you must use a tow-float.

If the water temperature is under 15°C, wetsuits are compulsory.

As an official partner of Swim Serpentine, HUUB will provide wetsuits, swimwear and swim accessories to all swimmers looking to hire or purchase equipment for the event. Visit the HUUB Swim Serpentine page for more details.

Tow-floats are available to hire or buy from Swim Secure.

Provisional Timetable

From early August you will be able to choose the wave you want to swim in. Places in each wave will be first-come, first-served, so if you want to swim with friends, or really want to swim earlier or later in the day, be sure to pick your wave as soon as this option is available. We will notify all entrants when the choose-your-wave system is open.

Half Mile Swim 09:15  
Half Mile Swim 09:45  
Elite Para Athlete Men's Race  10:15 By Invitation
Elite Para Athlete Women's Race 10:30 By Invitation
One Mile Swim 11:10 Super Six Start
One Mile Swim 11:40  
One Mile Swim 12:10  
One Mile Swim 12:40  
One Mile Swim 13:15 Women-only wave
One Mile Swim 13:45 Faster than 40 min per mile pace
Elite Men's Race 14:15 By Invitation
Elite Women's Race 14:25 By Invitation
Two Mile Race 14:25  
Two Mile Race 15:15  
One Mile Race 16:05  
One Mile Race 16:35  
One Mile Race 17:05  
One Mile Race 17:35 Faster than 45 min per mile pace

Final Instructions

A Final Instructions booklet will be mailed out to all participants in Swim Serpentine. A condensed version of these instructions will also be available to download.

Medical Information

We are happy for people even with serious medical conditions to swim, but only with their GP’s and/or specialist’s agreement. If this applies to you, please send us details of your condition and the treatment with your name and swimming number. Address the envelope to Medical Director, mark it ‘confidential’ and send it to:

Swim Serpentine
London Marathon Events Ltd
P O Box 1234
London SE1 8RZ

We cannot give individual swimmers advice but are happy to advise your GP.

Swimmer Safety

The Swim Serpentine course will be clearly marked by large buoys, and a water safety team is on hand to assist any swimmers on the day if needed. All swimmers should complete their chosen distance in full while training in a pool.

Swimmers should also practise swimming in the open water before the event.

Water temperature guidelines

The weather in the weeks leading up to the swim will determine the water temperature.

Below is some important information on the water temperature and how it could affect the one-mile swim.

15-24.5°C Optional Optional 1 mile 1hr 40 mins
14.0-14.9°C Compulsory N/A 1 mile 1hr 10 mins
13.9-14.0°C Compulsory N/A 800m 45 mins

Keep an eye on the Swim Serpentine Facebook page for up-to-date water temp in the build up to the event.

Your swim hat

We will send you a silicone swim hat for the event. You MUST wear this hat as it displays your start wave colour. If you have a favourite swim hat that you usually swim in, you can wear this underneath your Swim Serpentine swim hat – but please take care not to overheat if it is warm on the day of the race.

Your time

Finish times for the 2016 event are available here.


If you have a specific question or issue, check out the FAQs here.