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River Adur 5k Swim

Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex

Organiser's Description

This will be without doubt the fastest 5k you’ll ever swim! You have the option to swim with fins or not - you decide! We’ll take you to the start by bus and then you can make your way back downstream to the finish at Shoreham. You’ll still have to negotiate the sandbanks for the quickest route.


5 km


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Great course, poor bling!

The 5km course in the wonderful River Adur is superb, with excellent water quality and plenty to look at including the commanding Lancing College on a river-side hill, aircraft flying into and out of Shoreham airfield, and three bridges that the route passes under (one road-bridge, one rail-bridge and a foot-bridge)... although - as my goggles fogged-up after the first 30 seconds - I was only dimly aware that I was in a river!

The tidal flow means that all swimmers will be assisted towards a likely PB for the distance, while the safety marshals (on the river-bank and afloat in kayaks and safety RIBs) made sure that the swimmers are closely accompanied at all times.

The facilities at the start were limited as, while there are open fields opposite the water centre that normally serve as a car-park and offer additional public toilets, these were in use by a large car boot sale event on the same day as the 2019 swim, which made parking challenging and the queue for the toilets longer than normal.

Shoreham is a great location for families and friends to wander around if they do not like playing "Spot the swimmer" among 500 people all wearing similar wet-suit and swim-cap combinations, and access to the site is relatively easy as roads converge from all directions.

While the swim was a worthy event in itself, the end of swim 'bling' was relatively poor, consisting of a cheap plastic beaker (with a sticker that peeled-off in the first wash) and a cloth bag, although the flapjack, coffee and protein balls were much appreciated. The fastest swimmers received a small prize, but - for the rest of us mere mortals - a simple medal would be a nice improvement for future races, especially if the event hopes to encourage swimmers who are relatively new to open-water events, rather than the more dedicated triathletes who made up the bulk of this year's field.

Lack of medals and parking aside, I would definitely look to do this swim again in future, as the River Adur is stunning and the assistance of the tidal stream much appreciated!

John Craig / Sep 14, 2019

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