We have had a number of requests to swim without a wetsuit at the Thames Marathon if the weather is too hot because of concerns about over-heating.
As organisers of one of the largest mass participation marathon swims in the UK, our absolute priority is your safety. The use of wetsuits for buoyancy and tow floats for visibility are two key elements that support our safety team to ensure that you enjoy the challenge and reach Marlow as safely as possible.
As experienced open water swimmers we recognise that a non-wetsuit swim is a very different swim particularly for longer swims where reduced buoyancy and thermal protection can speed up fatigue. Fatigued swimmers are more susceptible to the cold.
We do allow a small number of approved non-wetsuit spaces in the event. These spaces are given out carefully based on evidence of prior experience of long distance open water swims. All the non-wetsuit spaces have now been allocated. We will be carefully checking to ensure that only these swimmers enter the water without a wetsuit, so if you have a wetsuit place please do not attempt to swim without it at the Thames Marathon.
We will however continue to monitor the water temperature and weather forecast in the lead up to the event and take any necessary steps to help with your comfort.
We would also like to take this opportunity to remind you of practical things you can do to help with your comfort:
- Arrive at the start well hydrated
- Keep your wetsuit rolled down until just before you enter the water if it is hot
- Take time at each feed station to drink and eat, and finally
- Remember that it is not a race. Set off steadily and swim at a pace that feels comfortable