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Entries for the 2018 Great East Swim are now open!

Whether you're looking to try an open water swim for the first time, or you're searching for the ultimate challenge, the Great East Swim offers you a selection of distances to suit your ability.

The event takes place on Saturday 23 June in Alton Water and is a great day out for swimmers, families and spectators. With farmers' markets, plenty of musical entertainment and swim distances ranging from 250 metres* right up to a 10k, there really is something for everyone!

We hope to see you at one of our open water swims in Suffolk next summer!

* Entries for the Great East Swim250 will be opening soon.

 

If you'd like to check the timetable then just click here >

 

 

Event location

About Suffolk

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

 

About Suffolk

Alton Water

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. 

Alton Water

Travel

The Great East Swim is staged at Alton Water Sports Centre near Ipswich. Suffolk IP9 2RY. How to get there:

By car:

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?

By train:

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.

By bike:

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.

 

Travel

Accommodation

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.

Accommodation

Swim for Macmillan

Great Swim is proud to have Macmillan on board as the Official Charity for our Great Swim Series. If you're looking for ways to raise money for charity and you'd like to choose to swim for Macmillan all you need to do is click below:

 

Swim for Macmillan  

Swim for Macmillan

Great East Swim 10k

What will the course be?

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. 

If I don’t complete the 10k will I still get my finisher's pack?

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.

Will there be a feed station?

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.  

Can I get out or have a rest at any point?

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.

Can friends / family access the feed station?

The feed station is small and adjacent to deep water so only Great Swim staff will be able to access it.

Do I have to finish the Swim inside the 4 hour cut off time?

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.

If I’m not confident of completing the 10k distance can I drop down a distance? 

Subject to availability you can swap to a different distance, just email the customer services team at info@greatswim.org.

Can I bring my own hydration and nutrition products for the event? 

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. 

FAQs

GREAT EAST SWIM 10K

The Great Swim Series is delighted to confirm that the Great East Swim 10k challenge will return to Alton Water on Saturday 23 June.

Taking place on Saturday 23 June 2018 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 2018 Great Swim towel and event badge, as well as a finisher's pack and medal.

ARE YOU READY?

This swim is a challenging distance and should be considered carefully before entering.  Please read the following:

  1. You must be able to swim 10k, at least, in one session without stopping.
  2. You must be prepared to be in the water for a prolonged period of time.
  3. All swimmers taking on the 10k challenge must be able to complete the 10k swim continuously and unaided within four hours.
  4. If swimmers have not reached halfway (5k) within two hours they will not be allowed to continue.
  5. Swimmers should be aware that the safety team have the right to extract them from the water at any point around the course on safety and/or medical grounds.

 

Great East Swim 10k