The Virtual BIG Summer Swim

Take on our Virtual Big Summer Swim challenge in July, earn a sew-on patch
and help raise money for International Otter Survival Fund

About The Virtual BIG Summer Swim

The Virtual BIG Summer Swim is a fun swimming challenge that you can complete where ever you like, any time during July! We have 4 distances to choose from: 1km, 2km, 5km and 10km. Your swim should be completed in one go.

Virtual big summer swim 2020

You do not have to ‘race’, you can complete your swim purely as a personal challenge, but if you want us to we will add your time to our Virtual BIG Summer Swim Leader Board so you can see how you have done compared to other people taking on the challenge! We would love to see photos of you doing your swim too! Please tag us in your pictures on social media @loveswimrun.

You can swim in the sea, a lake or the pool, wetsuit or non-wetsuit. There are no age limits! You can sign yourself up, sign up a friend, your kids or your grannie! Do it alone or complete it as a socially distanced challenge with some friends!

Once you have completed your swim, just email your evidence for approval, send us a photo if you want to and the sew-on patch will be sent out to you by post when the challenge finishes! This is JUST FOR FUN, there are no actual race winners in this challenge so there is no point in cheating – you will only be cheating yourself!


You do not have to send in your time or even tell us you have done the swim! We will still send you your sew-on patch.

International Otter Survival Fund

Virtual swim otter

Otters are Chloe’s favourite wild animal! Probably because she is a kindred spirit with all that running and swimming…no fish eating though! 

The International Otter Survival Fund (IOSF) is one of the world’s leading otter charities and is solely dedicated to the conservation, protection and care of otters based on years of scientific research in the UK and around the world.

Otter numbers in the UK have increased slightly in recent years but the Eurasian otter is still classed as “Near Threatened” in the Red Data List. IOSF works closely with other organisations to protect otters in the wild and in captivity. In particular they are concerned with the high level of wildlife crime involving otters such as trapping, hunting and illegal wildlife trade. Through education, research and working with other wildlife conservation organisations the IOSF is making great progress but there is still much more to be done! 

£1 from your entry will go to IOSF to help them help the otters! You can make an extra donation when you sign up too!


Although there are no prizes for the fastest swim times, we do have some great spot prizes that will be awarded via a draw system at the end of the challenge (31st July). Prizes will be supplied by Puffin Swim and Fenland Runner. Prize winners will be notified by email.

Puffin Swim is based in The Lake District and produce a fantastic range of swimming safety kit. Whether you want to float down rivers, bob along bays, trek to mountain lakes or glide along the coast, a puffin tow float is a must have bit of kit! They have gifted us some great products to give away to you.

Firstly, and one of my favourite bits of swim kit out there, is the Billy Eco15 Dry Bag Tow Float. An eco-friendly PVC free 15l dry bag that doubles up as light weight safety float so you can take valuables with you and be seen when you are swimming! We also have a Bubble Float, a durable, brightly coloured tow float which helps to increase your visibility to other water users, helping to keep you safe. You can also hold into it if you need a rest or want to admire the view! Last but not least we have 3 Waterproof Phone Pouches which are perfect for taking your phone for a swim. 

You can see all the Puffin Swim products at

Puffin Swim

Fenland Runner is a sports retail website specialising in running, swimrun and sports nutrition and body care from Dutch brand Born. Fenland Runner have given us some great products from Born to give away too! 6 lucky winners will each receive a bottle of Born Awake Shower Gel worth £5. It is a revitalising and refreshing wash gel containing essential oils menthol and eucalyptus – like a cold dip in a warm shower! 

Fenland Runner

The Virtual BIG Summer Swim Distances:

There are 4 swim distances for you to choose from – pick the one that best suits your ability. You can choose to make it as easy or as challenging for yourself (or someone else!) as you like! You can enter more than one distance if you want to! 

– The Virtual BIG Summer Swim: 1km

– The Virtual BIG Summer Swim: 2km

– The Virtual BIG Summer Swim: 5km

– The Virtual BIG Summer Swim: 10km

We also have categories that you will be asked to choose when you register including: wetsuit or non-wetsuit and swim location (sea, lake, river, swimming pool, tethered swim) – these are purely for interest!

See our FAQ’s at the bottom of the page for lots more information!

Price: £10.00

International Entry: £11.00

Includes: Your entry, sew-on patch and postage, £1 donation to International Otter Survival Fund.

Entries close on 31st July 2020.

How to sign up

It’s super easy to register! 

  • Please read the terms and conditions at the bottom of this page.
  • Click in the button below to go to the entry system.
  • IMPORTANT: Make sure the address your provide is the same as you’d like the sew-on patch to be posted to. If you supply the wrong address we cannot be held responsible for a lost patch!
  • Complete your swim by 31st July, send us your swim time evidence (only if you want to be included in the leader board) and we will send you your patch in the post when the challenge finishes!
Do I have to swim outdoors?

No! You can swims in a swimming pool. Please select ‘Pool Swim’ as the category when you register.

Where can I do my swim?

You can complete your swim anywhere you want – in the sea, a lake, river, pool or even as a tethered swim. Please select the relevant category when you register.

Can I do my swim tethered in a paddling pool?

Yes you can! How you measure your distance and time is up to you. We can still add your time to the leader board but it will be marked as unverified as we will not be able to see evidence of the actual distance you swam! Please select ‘Tethered Swim’ when you register.

Do I have to wear a wetsuit?

No! Just select the wetsuit or no-wetsuit category when you register!

Have I got to complete the distance all in one go?

Yes, you must complete the swim distance you sign up for in one go.

Who can enter a virtual swim?

Anyone! We would ask that if your child (under 16) wants to enter that they should complete the swim under supervision of a parent/guardian but apart from that there are no restrictions. Just get out there and swim! By entering our Virtual Swim you are agreeing that any injury or damage that is caused by completing your race is your own responsibility. Love SwimRun Limited Ltd will not be held responsible for any accidents or injury that occurs during your swim. 

I’m not in the UK, can I still enter?

Of course! Although we do have to charge a small postage fee to anyone entering from outside of the UK. Just make sure you choose the ‘International Participants’ option when you enter.

How do I send you my evidence?

Once you have completed your distances, please email us at with your name, attaching any evidence as a pdf or jpeg.

Please only send evidence via email. We unfortunately cannot accept evidence that has been sent over social media platform or via text message. Please only send pdf or jpeg files. 

You can only submit your time once, so make it count! 


What do you mean by race evidence?

If you use one of the many fitness apps or GPS watches available, just take a screen grab of your swim session and email it to us at If you don’t have a fancy watch you can get an app such as Strava on your mobile phone that will record your distance and time if you pop it in a tow float.

If you are totally averse to technology, just use a regular watch to record your time and email it to us. We will just make a note that it is not a verified time on the leader board.

When will I get my sew-on patch?

We will send out all patches once the challenge finishes at the end of the July. It may take 3 weeks to receive your patch as we will need to order them and get them posted. Please note that if you have given us an incorrect address or if you move house and fail to notify us of your address change (therefore your patch is sent to the wrong address or is not received at all) then we will be unable to send out a replacement.

How do you know where to send my sew-on patch?

All sew-on patches will be sent to the address that you registered with when signing up for the challenge though PayPal. 

How do you stop people from cheating?

We do realise that no matter what we do or how we structure it people are always going to be able to cheat if that’s what they want to do. As there are no prizes for fastest times so there is really no point in cheating! If someone wants to cheat then they are only really cheating themselves and wasting their money!

When can I register for the challenge?

Registration is open now! You can sign up any time up until 31st July 2020 and from any location!

When do I do my swim?

The Virtual Big Summer Swim officially starts on 1st July and finishes on 31st July 2020. You can do your swim at any time during that month. All challenges must be finished and evidence submitted by 31st July 2020.

What if I do not submit my completion evidence by 31st July?

The deadline for submission is Midnight on 31st July 2020. If we have not received your swim evidence by this date we will still send you your sew-on patch but you will not be added to the leader board. You will not be eligible for a refund.

Can I change my Virtual Swim distance?

Yes, if you find you want to change the swim distance you signed up for that is ok! Just write to us at: and let us know which distance you want to change to and we will make that change for you.

I’m injured/sick and I cannot do the swim.

If you can no longer do the swim just write to at by 31sh July 2020 and we will make sure you still get your sew-on patch if you want it. Unfortunately we cannot offer you a refund.

How do I know if I won a prize?

The spot prizes will be awarded via a draw system at the end of the challenge (31st July). If you have won a prize you will be notified by email. You will need to send us your address within 7 days or we will draw a new winner. Prizes will be sent out within 2 weeks of receiving your address.

How much of my entry fee goes towards chairty?

£1 from your entry fee will be given to charity.

    • Always swim with a buddy or some sort of safety support such as a tow float AND shore watch, etc. Love SwimRun strongly encourages swimmers to use a tow float for both visibility and safety purposes. Carry a waterproofed phone if you can.
    • Swim within your limits. Open water conditions vary widely, make sure you know the area you are swimming in well and swim within your abilities when it comes to depth,  distance, temperature, waves, currents, water conditions.
    • Adhere to whatever local COVID-19 related social distancing rules that may be in place (abiding by beach closures, maximum gathering sizes, etc).
    • Only swim where you are legally allowed to do so and adhere to any restrictions in place.
    • Leave no trace. Please pick up any litter and leave the water and surrounding areas as you found it
    • Only use ‘Reef Safe’ sunscreen and lubricants to protect aquatic life.


    1. For entrants 16 years and over: By completing an entry to The Virtual BIG Summer Swim, I certify I have read and accept the terms and conditions for participation in this event.
    2. For entrants under 16 years:  By completing an entry to The Virtual BIG Summer Swim, I certify I am the parent/ guardian of this entrant who is under 16 years and I give my consent for them to participate in this event. I accept the terms and conditions for participation in this event on behalf of the entrant and declare them as capable of completing the distance they have nominated.
    3. Entrants declare that they are physically fit and capable of participating in this event and are not aware of any medical condition or impairment that will prevent participation in this event or will affect their health by participation.
    4. Entrants acknowledge that this is a virtual swim and that the organisers will not provide volunteers, marshals or medical personnel assistance to any entrant.
    5. Entrants have read and agree to abide by the ‘Swim Safely’ advice provided. 
    6. Entrants acknowledge that organisers cannot completely track or verify results in this virtual event, though they will do their best to ensure they are accurate. Unverified times will be listed as such. The Organisers decision is final.
    7. Entrants acknowledge that there are no winners or prizes for the fastest time. Prizes winners will be drawn at random and winners will be notified by email and announced on social media.  
    8. Entrants consent to royalty-free use of their name, photographs, video and comments in any publications and marketing in relation to this event by event organisers Love SwimRun Ltd. You further consent to receiving information about future LoveSwimRun events and special offers and promotions.
    9. Entry is only valid for the participant listed on the entry system and is not transferable.
    10. By agreeing to these terms and conditions, entrants release event organisers, from all claims connected with participation. Entrants indemnify the event organiser of this event directly or indirectly against all liability for any and all injury, loss or damage connected with the entrant’s participation.
    11. Entrants accept that participation in this event is at their own risk and they accept that participating in this event may involve real risk of injury or death.
    12. Entrants acknowledge they will participate and complete their swim in a manner chosen by them, at locations chosen by them and at their own risk.
    13. Entrants acknowledge that should they withdraw for any reason, the entry fee is non-refundable.
    14. Entrants acknowledge that the entry fee is for entry to the event and not to ‘purchase’ the sew-on patch. The patch is a reward for all completing the swim during July 2020.