Swim Oxford 4K Thames Swim

Race report from lasts weekends 2017 Swim Oxford 4Km swim 


Key Facts

  • Date: Sunday 18th June 2017
  • Start: Eynsham, Oxfordshire
  • Finish: Kings Lock, Oxfordshire
  • Distance: 4k downstream river swim

The race began early at 7.30 (6.30 registration) on a beautiful Sunday morning.


The route was set from Eynsham lock to Kings lock, 4km down a tranquil part of the Thames river.

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The water temperature was a cool 19c but because of the high outdoor temperature the river was refeshing and comfortable to swim in.


There were about 200 participants with a range of abilities, the start was a shallow water waist deep start from Eynsham lock. Plenty of support crew and water saftey from the start to the finish of the race.


The Swim Race

The swim start was less agressive than a normal open water race or triathlon, i think because of the distance more people took the start of the race easy rather than a ma dash to get in a good position.

I began the first 1Km of the race i third position, sitting nicley in the slipstream of the lead two swimmers. As expected this made it easy to hold a strong consistent pace at the start. My HR was low and stroke was strong but steady.

Once the river began to meander at about 2Km I struggled to stay in the lead swimmers slipstream and drifted to the side loosing my advantage and dropping back into 5th place.

At around 2.5km the gap between me in 5th and the front 4 swimmers widened to about 100mm and although they remained in sight for the final 1.5km I never reduced to gap and swam in 5th position from 2.5km all the way to the 4km finish line. in a time of 52.35. (results)

The hardest part of the swim was Km 2 to Km 3, the river meandered alot and it became quite hard to keep a swimming in a straight line and not drift off the edge of the river. I had a saftey kayak point me back on course on a number of occasions.

The last 1km of the race flew by and seemed effortless, either it was actually shorter or the rush of adrenaline as the finish neared helped speed the final stretch up.

The finish

Over all the  Oxford 4km was a great event, well organised, safe and alot of fun. The part of the river you swim down is so serine and beautiful you feel like you could be in the wind and the willow’s and during the swim there was not a building or boat in sight.

To top it off the finishers were treated to Tea and cake at the end, how very english.