Swimming Events Guide 2024
Swimmers with tow floats in London Royal Dock swimming away from the camera. Cityscape in the background.
CHALLENGE,  Event reviews

Event Review: Dock2Dock – London Royal Docks

Readers Pim Kalisvaart and Nicky Rough share their experience of swimming Dock2Dock, a London event that offers open water swims from 1.5km to 15km

Dock2Dock offers open water swims from 1.5km to 15km. The latter distance is a rare find in mass participation outdoor swimming events but it attracted 31 participants, of which 29 finished in times ranging from under 4 hours to nearly 6.5 hours. The 10km marathon swim distance had 82 finishers (times from under 2.5 hours to 6 hours), the 5k attracted 241 and was the most popular distance, just ahead of the 3k with 190 and the 1.5k, which had 137. Swimmers’ ages ranged from 12 to over 70.

Pim Kalisvaart did 10k

It was a fabulous event with organisers communicating frequently and clearly in the run-up to the event so everyone knew what to expect in terms of course and conditions. Stewards were friendly and very helpful giving directions and assisting with handing out food at the numerous aid stations. Dock2Dock manages to strike a balance between safety against a laid-back atmosphere. The course is straightforward and can easily be broken up mentally into sections (e.g. from aid station to aid station). There are plenty of friendly kayaks/SUPs along the whole course and the large buoys make sighting easy. The aid stations were well stocked with water, electrolytes, bananas and gels. Water quality was good and we were lucky with glassy conditions. Possibly not the most scenic swim event in the UK but it is great to have a long-distance race in London easily reachable by bike or public transport.

Nicky Rough did 1.5k

It was an incredibly hot day so actually it was really nice to be in the water. The water temperature was 23.3. Had it reached 24 degrees, wetsuits wouldn’t have been allowed. However, I was very comfortable in a wetsuit as I function better in hot weather than cold! I was happy just to do the 1.5k course as it was perfect for a chilled and relaxing swim. The atmosphere was lively and there was a good choice of food and drink afterwards. And it was great to see the planes taking off and landing at City Airport which was close by. I was also pleased to be able to get to the docks by public transport.

Next event: 14 September 2024

Find out more: https://lovesportsevents.co.uk/

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I created Outdoor Swimmer in 2011 (initially as H2Open Magazine) as an outlet for my passion for swimming outdoors. I've been a swimmer and outdoor swimmer for as long as I remember. Swimming has made a huge difference to my life and I want to share its joys and benefits with as many people as possible. I am also the author of Swim Wild & Free: A Practical Guide to Swimming Outdoors 365 a Year and I provide one-to-one support to swimmers through Swim Mentoring.