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Saturday 18 June 2016
Alton Water, Suffolk
Set in the beautiful Alton Water reservoir, this peaceful part of the world is enjoyed all year round by walkers, cyclists and wildlife spotters. Enjoy the unspoilt outdoors and discover award winning beaches as well as a group of swimmers raring to dive into their open water challenge. Not only can you choose from multiple distances, we have a brand new Great East SwimRun for those who'd like to enjoy both land and water.
Please note that your safety in the open water is our number one priority. All of our swimming events have expert kayakers overseeing your progress with safety boats ready for the unlikely event of an emergency.
If you, or anyone you know, might like the chance to volunteer at this event then just visit Sport and Event Volunteering for more information.
The Great East Swim course map is shown to the left including 1/2 mile, 1 mile, 2 mile and 5k distances.
In addition, this year's Great East Swim will also feature a brand new 10k marathon swim, which has now reached capacity.
Read more about the 10k swim in the section below.
The 10k course will consist of 6 laps of the Great Swim course. You will be constantly monitored by our safety team and have the opportunity to finish at the end of any lap should you need to on the day. Your time will stop when you go over the timing mat at the finish.
Yes – lap counting is an honesty system and down to each individual swimmer. Regardless of when you come through the finish system you are still entitled to your finisher's pack.
There will be a small pontoon reserved for 10k swimmers that you will pass at the end of each lap. You can stop on any or all of your laps to have a drink of Aqua Pura or take on some Jelly Babies. We recommend you practice taking these on board in your training. To avoid polluting the lake we ask that people replace any bottles back on the pontoon.
The feed station will be in deep water. You won’t be able to stand up but you will be able to hold on and take a minute to get your breath and receive a few words of encouragement from our Great Swim team. There will not be space for you to exit the water unless you are withdrawing from the swim.
The feed station is small and adjacent to deep water so only Great Swim staff will be able to access it.
We will try and allow everyone to safely finish their swim. Due to the safety systems in place should people take longer than 4 hours we may have to ask them to finish a lap early, or have our safety teams bring them in. In addition to this we will be monitoring all swimmers and should our medical and safety team feel it is unsafe for any swimmer to continue at any point we may ask you to come in early. We will work with all swimmers to try and ensure they are able to finish the full 10k if it is safe to do so. Our priority is the well-being of swimmers.
Subject to availability you can swap to a different distance, just email the customer services team at email@example.com.
Unfortunately we can’t cater for individual requirements as we have limited space on the feed station. Bottles of water and Jelly Babies will be made available for all swimmers.
The Great Swim Series is delighted to announce a brand new challenge for those who enjoy long distance open water swimming. At the 2016 Great East Swim we will be introducing a newer, longer, bigger swim in Alton Water, which will give swimmers the chance to take on a 10k marathon swim. Yes, that's right.....a 10k!
Taking place on Saturday 18 June 2016 the 10k will take swimmers on six laps of the existing one mile course and will have a 'pit-stop' after each lap to allow swimmers to top up on drinking water and, if necessary, take a 5 minute breather before heading back in the water again.
The entry fee includes entry into the event, a 2016 Great Swim towel and event badge, as well as a finisher's pack and medal.
This swim is a challenging distance and should be considered carefully before entering. Please read the following:
Suffolk has an extraordinary amount to offer visitors and a wide range of experiences to enjoy. It’s the first place in the country to see the sun as it rises over 50 miles of gorgeous coastline, and highlights the unspoilt countryside that inspired Constable and Gainsborough.
With some of the most picturesque villages in Britain, practically unchanged since Tudor times, the county is also home to numerous lush river valleys that extend to its western extremity where the sun sets over the world-famous Newmarket racecourse.
Within these borders, you’ll find a rich heritage, a thriving cultural and arts scene, countless gems both hidden and famous, excellent accommodation, and food and drink providers so skillful that their offering is practically an art form in its own right.
Suffolk is a unique county, one that’s full of charm. It is a place that often feels wild and remote yet has swift transport links to and from London which make it perfect for weekend breaks as well as longer holidays for visitors of all ages.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION
The Great East Swim takes place at the picturesque Alton Water reservoir near Ipswich, Suffolk. The reservoir provides the main source of drinking water for Ipswich and the southern part of Suffolk.
Alton Water offers the opportunity to do far more than swim – it’s the perfect location for walks, cycle rides, wildlife spotting and family picnics. With miles of unspoilt countryside, numerous award winning beaches and scores of enchanting towns and villages within reach of Alton Water, Suffolk makes an ideal choice for a short break. Only an hour’s train journey away from London Liverpool Street station.
The Great East Swim is staged at Alton Water Sports Centre near Ipswich. Suffolk IP9 2RY. How to get there:
The Great East Swim can be reached by following the postcode IP9 2RY.
There will be plenty of car parking available at Alton Water so there is no need to park along the roads. Due to narrow stretches of road around the event venue please can we ask that you drive carefully through the lanes and the village of Stutton.
If you intend to drive to the Great East Swim have you considered car sharing?
London Liverpool Street station is approximately a 60 minute train ride away, with direct trains running every half an hour to Manningtree-the nearest station to Alton Water. From here you can get a taxi to take you to the event site.If arriving at Ipswich main line station you will need to get a connecting train to Manningtree. Trains run every 30 minutes between Ipswich and Manningtree. From here you can get a taxi to take you to Alton Water.
There are cycle routes to Alton Water. A bike park will be available and it will be staffed but we recommend that you bring a suitable bike lock and that you do not leave any valuables with your bike.
With a huge variety of quality self-catering accommodation, luxury hotels, outdoor camping experiences and unique places to stay to suit all ages and tastes, Suffolk is the ideal destination for multi-generational holidays. Go to Visit Suffolk for a round-up of the best places to stay and things to do for those using their holidays for extended family time.
Ipswich - Suffolk’s vibrant and historic County Town – is just a few minutes drive from Alton Water. Ipswich has an excellent choice of accommodation – from small family run guest houses, through the well known brands, to a 4 Star boutique hotel with beautiful quayside views. For local information in Ipswich visit All About Ipswich or call 01473-258070.
It’s not all about swimming!
Throughout the day a variety of cultural and sporting attractions, along with an opportunity to taste some of the county’s finest produce in the farmers market, will be available alongside the swim for the whole family to enjoy. A full programme and timetable of activities and attractions will be added over the coming months, so keep visiting to find out more.
Suffolk Market Events
Suffolk Market Events deliver award winning farmers’ markets across Suffolk and we are delighted to once again be a part of the Great East Swim.
Every year our fabulous Farmers’ Market lines the grass area at Alton Water providing hungry swimmers, and their spectators, the chance to enjoy some of the region’s very best, locally produced food......and it’s all organised personally, by Justine Paul, founder of Suffolk Market Events and the current title holder of Suffolk’s Food & Drink Hero.
Here at Suffolk Market Events we really do care about the provenance of our food. Everything that is sold in our markets has been produced by the person who is selling, and nothing will have travelled further than fifty miles to be at the event. We don’t do mass produced junk food. We showcase the highest quality, locally sourced food and we make it available all day so that the last swimmer out of the water gets the same choice as the first swimmer out.
In 2016 we will have at least twenty of the region’s best, small-scale producers ready to serve you at the Great East Swim, including award winning beef burgers made in Bury St Edmunds (using Suffolk beef); spit-roasted duck wraps - cooked on site using locally produced Gressingham ducks; Suffolk sausages served in a freshly baked bread roll; delicious vegetarian salads and vegan snacks all handmade near Bury St Edmunds; a fantastic range of Suffolk jams, preserves and pickles; delicious slabs of home baked cakes and biscuits from Diss; freshly made juices using organic, local fruit and vegetables; and award winning ice creams and shakes from Essex.
For further information about all our Farmers’ Markets please contact Justine Paul on 07704 627973 or email Justine@suffolkmarketevents.co.uk.
Take a look at the website - http://www.suffolkmarketevents.co.uk/
Find Suffolk Market Events on Facebook and Twitter
This year’s Great East Swim elite race will form part of the European Championships senior and junior selection criteria.
The race will be held over 5KM (3 laps of the course) and feature the best of British swimmers.
Entries are based on the following selection criteria:
Top 15 finish at any OW FINA event within the 2014/2015 season
Top 10 at any OW LEN event within the 2014/2015 season
Consideration only will be given to:
Top 8 at any governing body sanctioned OW swimming international open race within the 2014/2015 season
Those who were/are invited or took part in the 2015 or 2016 National OW training camp
If you meet the above criteria please contact Elite Race Coordinator, Andy Nixon with provding your name, age group, club and time/location of your qualifying performance.
It’s important to be aware of the Great East Swim 2016 event timetable prior to the big day. Familiarise yourself with the information below and ensure you leave plenty of time to drop off any baggage, travel to the start line and get warmed up. You must check-in 30 minutes before your start time. If you miss it we may not be able to move you to another wave, so please don't be late.
Please see below for the 2016 event day timetable:
*NB. All times are subject to change in the lead up to the event
£28 per entry
£34 per entry
£38 per entry
£40 per entry
£65 per entry