You had to be up early this morning if you wanted a place on the Dart 10k swim. Entry to the annual swim organised by the Outdoor Swimming Society (OSS) opened at 7am today.
And despite doubling capacity to 1,600, the event on Saturday 5 September sold out in less than half an hour.
“I don’t know what to say. We are so excited. It is just wonderful,” said OSS founder Kate Rew. “I went for a run at 6.59 and by the time I got home at 7.30 the Saturday 10k was sold out. I don’t know yet whether it sold out in ten minutes or half an hour. We are still busy processing all the emails and payments.”
It is yet another example of the growing strength of open water swimming. This year The Henley Swim are increasing capacity of their 14km Bridge to Bridge swim to 900 and the Great Swim series, originally limited to one-mile swims, now offer 5km races. The Bridge to Bridge has already exceeded last year’s number of entries and is also expected to sell out soon. For Rew, the Dart 10k is a great opportunity to encourage new participants into open water: “Lots of people who don’t consider themselves swimmers have signed up. Pool swimmers who don’t swim more than a mile indoors have thought: ’I could do that. I could train myself up for it’. And that is the most exciting thing.”
The weekend also features a 10 mile swim, the first time the event has featured a longer distance, and a second 10k swim on the Sunday. At the time of writing there were a few places left on the 10 mile and Sunday 10k swims.