Buttermere Swim FAQ's

This is a working document; we may update this list of questions as more arise! 

Utterly Buttermere Swim Event 2013

Where is the Registration / Event HQ?

The event is to be based from the National Trust field at the northwest corner of Buttermere Lake (GR 173 163). This is situated approx. 400m down the bridleway track from the village, on the left of The Fish Hotel heading towards the lake; it’s about a 5 min walk.

Please note: There is NO vehicular access to the Lake from here. Vehicles must NOT drive down the bridleway. 

Where is the start / finish?

The start will be adjacent to the event HQ.

What will the Lake temperature be?

Lake Temp: Averages 15°C for June.

Do I have to wear the swim cap provided?

Yes it is essential that your numbered and colour coded swim cap is to be worn over any other headwear throughout the event. 

I am unsure which distance to enter?

Please take a look at the swimmer requirements below; this will help you decide which distance you should aim for in relation to experience and ability. It is up to you to make a sensible assessment of which distance you can safely complete. 

Remember that the swim course is around the edge of the lake, so you should never be far from the shore should you need a rest or just want to take time out to admire the view!

Swimmer requirements: 

All entrants must be over the age of 18 on the day of the swim.

For the 1500m you should be able to swim one mile in a pool without stopping and have recent open water swimming experience.

For the 5km swim you must have trained for and be able to swim 5000m in a pool or open water and have regular & recent experience of open water swimming with minimum distances of 3000m. You should be able to swim 5km in under 3 hours in open water.  

For the 10km swim you must have trained for and be able to swim 10,000m in a pool or open water and have regular & recent experience of open water swimming. You should be able to swim 5km in open water in under 2.5 hours.

Can I race?

Yes you can, although the ethos of the Utterly Buttermere follows the sportive principle, emphasizing personal achievement and the adventure of swimming the circumference of this beautiful Lake. We are timing the event so you can race yourself and results and times will be published on the results page on this website ASAP after the event. 

Where are the Feed Stations?

There will be two well marked feed stations by the edge of the Lake, one at the far end of the lake at the 5k half way checkpoint (GR191 154) and one at the start/finish area. These will be supplying drinks and Kendal mint cake/energy bar. You are welcome to leave your own drinks and food at the feed station under your own responsibility and care. All rubbish/equipment must be removed by you immediately after the event.

Please note: Don’t litter the lake shore or leave gel/energy bar wrappers in the lake as this WILL compromise future swimming events at Buttermere and contravenes our licence agreement with the National Trust. Thanks.

Will there be bigger buoys this year?

The buoys will be of a different type and of a brighter colour for 2013, but they will remain modest in size. The reason for this is two-fold: We wanted the skill of navigating around the course to be part of the challenge of the Utterly Buttermere. Hopefully swimmers won’t have too much trouble with this, as you just have to follow the edge of the lake during the 5 & 10km event. 

The second reason was that we wanted to minimise the visual impact of the event on Buttermere; this is a stunning location that we share with other outdoor sports people and locals. We’d like to keep it that way even during the swim.

Is there event timing?

Yes the electronic event timing will be much improved this year. Your time will be recorded and your number taken when you have exited the water. Results will be published on our website as soon as possible after the swim.

How many Participants will there be?

Due to the special natural environment the Buttermere swim event has a 300 person limit over all distances.

What happens if I struggle with the distance?

Please feel free to take time out to rest or stop to take on food or drink at any time. Remember it’s meant to be enjoyable as well as challenging! 

The 5 k and 10 k event is designed to follow the circumference of the lake shore which means that you should only ever be approx 30m from the shore. It will be possible to swim to shore to stop for a rest, or exit and walk back along the shore path. Our water and shore safety team will be on hand during the event to offer their support.

How can I prepare for the event?

A good place to start is on one of our open water swimming courses, Introduction to Open Water Swimming in the Lake District and/ or Event Practice for Open Water Swimmers

Introduction to Open Water Swimming in the Lake District which is the perfect course for beginners 

Event Practice for Open Water Swimmers which will suit beginners and intermediate looking to improve event skills & performance

There will be articles on training coming soon on our website, but in the mean time keep clocking the miles in the pool and get into open water as soon as you can. By May 2013, the number of meters you swim in a week should match the event distance you have entered.

What will the weather be like in June? 

By moving the event to June we are more likely to have good weather conditions, however the Lake District is a mountainous region and the weather can be difficult to predict at any time. For UK weather forecast visit www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/weatherline, www.metoffice.gov.uk or for accurate mountain weather forecast visit www.mwis.org.uk.

Will the event go ahead if the weather deteriorates?

The organisers have a risk assessment to follow regarding the effect of weather on the safety of the event. Should the weather forecast deteriorate considerably before the event, we will adjust to a shortened course. The event will be cancelled if any forecasted environmental conditions threaten the safety of participants or staff.

These decisions will be made 24hours in advance of the start.

Please remember that the organisers want this event to go ahead more than anyone, but we will never compromise swimmer safety and the integrity of the event.

Who should I use as my emergency contact?

All participants need to supply the contact detail of someone they wish to be contacted / and is contactable if they are involved in an emergency situation or serious accident. NB: Mobile phone signal in Buttermere valley is unreliable to non-existent.