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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).
If your entry is accepted, your fee is not refundable unless supported by a doctor's note.

Please send a doctor's note and covering letter stating that you would like to be withdrawn from the event to:

Great Swim Customer Services
PO Box 1RY
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE99 1RY

Or you can scan this and email it to us at info@greatswim.org

Requests for refunds will be accepted if made at least six weeks prior to the event. After this time no refunds will be given.

All refunds are subject to a £5.00 administration charge. All entries are non-transferable either to a different participant or to subsequent Great Swim events in future years.
Due to the nature of outdoor swimming, the Great Swim may be cancelled/postponed prior to or on the day of the event due to unforeseen circumstances including bad weather or in the unlikely event of unsuitable water quality.

If the event cannot be postponed then your full entry fee will be refunded – this does not include wetsuit, travel or accommodation costs incurred.

Announcements of any cancellation/postponement will be via text on the mobile number provided on the application form, email, on the website, local radio stations and social media via our Facebook and Twitter pages. Please ensure your enter a valid mobile and email address on your application.
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.

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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.

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

Unless there is a specific start time indicated (most likely for ½ mile, 2 mile or 5K swim events) we shall have waves of swimmers taking part in the event throughout the day and swimmers get to choose at what time you would like to swim from the list of options on the entry form.

Once the waves are at capacity, the time slots will be removed from the list of options available.

The check-in for each wave time will open half an hour before each start time. This is when you shall need to be at the start area in your wetsuit and ready to swim. You do not need to register at the Information Point, just go straight to the start.

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.
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 email info@greatswim.org
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.

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Wetsuits

Wetsuits are compulsory for the whole Great Swim series. A wetsuit provides extra buoyancy, warmth and will make you slightly faster.

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.

We have teamed up with The tristore and Aquasphere to provide a wetsuit hire service, found out more here.

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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 a competitor’s information guide with more detailed event information.

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 does not arrive please email info@greatswim.org where we will verify your entry and give you details as to where you can collect a replacement pack from the information point on the weekend of the event.

The competitor's information guides will be available to download from the Great Swim event's webpage in the week leading up to the event.

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Editing My Personal Details

Please email us at info@greatswim.org 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 email info@greatswim.org for more details.

You can use the wave change/check facility on the website to do so. Please visit http://www.greatrun.org/great-swim/wave-check

In most cases we are able to accommodate such requests, please email info@greatswim.org with your full name and details of the distance you have entered together with the distance you would prefer.

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Finishers' Packs

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

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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 email info@greatswim.org with your full name, race number and the event in which you took part. We will then arrange for our results team to investigate.

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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 email info@greatswim.org

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