This event is aimed at swimmers who would like to include a serious long distance challenge in their summer open water swimming season. It’s not a race, but an opportunity for you to challenge yourself and take in the stunning scenery at the same time. The swim is organised into a group format, with teamwork making this an exciting and satisfying event.

There are a limited number of non-wetsuit places available for this swim. If you wish to be considered for a non-wetsuit place, there are only a few places left. Contact for more information and to register your interest.


        • Date: Sunday 7th August 2016
        • Location: Henley-on-Thames
        • Distance: 14km river downstream
        • Minimum age: 18
        • Entry Fee: £93
        • 2016 Thames Marathon Walking Route
        • Thames Marathon entries 2016
        • 2016 TM infopack
        • Tow floats will be compulsory for this event
        • Make your swim count. Get your discounted charity place with official charity FRANK Water for £45 and agree to raise a minimum sponsorship of £350 and you will save lives by helping to provide clean water. Contact to join our team[/vc_column_text]

Where does the swim start and finish?

In 2016 the newly named THAMES MARATHON Bridge to Bridge 14k 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 service.

Is there other parking in Henley?

Yes, there are plenty of public car parks in Henley town centre 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 would encourage: it the more people who swim together and look out for each other, the safer the event is.

Pod v Solo swimmer?

We know that some people love the pod structure and some don’t, so we are again allowing people to swim solo outside of the pod structure if they’d like to. For those who prefer the pod structure, we will allocate swimmers into their pod at the first feed station, at Hambleden.

Will I be able to wear a tow float?

In 2016 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 here.

Will I be able to swim with a pacer and how would I choose the right one for me?

We will have a few pace swimmers and will put together some training programmes and test swims that mean you will be able to work out your correct pacing swim time ie: if you can do a 1500m pool swim in time (A) you would be best suited for pace (B)

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 2016 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 wish to swim without a wetsuit please email Your request will be assessed by the events team for approval. This email should detail your previous long distance non-wetsuit experience, and your current training. 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. THIS CATEGORY IS NOW FULL however there are a few charity places available via FRANK Water ( Contact for more information and details for qualification

How many feed stops will there be ?

There will be 3 feed stops in 2016 – one at each lock: Hambleden (4k), Hurley (10k) and Temple (11.8k)

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?

We will have 3 waves the Pink (fast), Blue (medium) and Green (steady) waves that will be set off with short gaps. They will go off in speed order to avoid faster swimmers needing to overtake the more steady swimmers i.e. (Pink followed by Blue, followed by Green). Timings to be confirmed.

How should I choose which wave to enter?

– We would recommend that you chose the wave appropriate to your pool 1500m speed
1. Below 25mins you should swim in the Pink wave.
2. Between 25mins and 35mins you should swim in the Blue wave
3. Between 35mins and 45mins you should swim in the Green wave

– 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 2017 Thames Marathon Bridge to Bridge

– We will have a few training programmes and test swims (you can do in your local pool) that will detail how fast you are likely to swim on the day

– If you are new to open water swimming, but an experienced pool swimmer, we would recommend that you select 1 wave below your capability

What is the “facilities” situation like?

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 (just incase you’re caught short)

Can supporters walk the route?

The route is walkable, by following The Thames Path. Download the route here – 2016 Thames Marathon Walking Route

I hear a few people got sick in the 2014 Bridge to Bridge, what happened?

Although an occasional illness can be an occupational hazard when swimming in the Thames, there were a few more than we would expect. We always test the water to ensure it falls within acceptable European bathing standards and have never had a failed test. Indeed Henley Open Water swimming club (and others) swim a number of times a week (throughout the year) on and around the same stretch and stomach upsets are extremely rare. It was particularly puzzling in that we had no recorded illnesses from the night before on the same stretch, at the Club to Pub swim. Upon further investigation it seems very likely that a combination of events contributed to the water contamination. Firstly there were some issues with old sewer pipes that are known for getting blocked, and secondly the very heavy rain fall (flash flood) on Saturday night created some flooding into the Thames. Although this is of little consolation to the individuals who suffered, it is useful for us to understand how it happened. The good news is that Thames water have replaced the old “problem” pipes, and no instances of illness have been recorded since from swimmers.

Can I talk to fellow swimmers in advance of the event?

Definitely, we have set up Henley Swim Chatter as a public facebook group, 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