Tickets are not required for some parts of the 10km Marathon Swimming, so spectators will be able to watch for free. As it's an outdoor event, spectators are advised to come prepared for all types of weather conditions.
London 2012 is encouraging people to walk, cycle or use public transport to make access to the event as easy as possible. Spectators who are travelling from further afield should book early and stay in local accommodation.
Having made its debut at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, 10km Marathon Swimming is the most recent swimming event to have been added to the Olympic programme. But its roots can be traced back to ancient times – open-water swimming is also featured in the first three modern Olympic Games. At London 2012, Marathon Swimming athletes will race over the 10km course in the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park, home to the famous Serpentine Swimming Club.
In both the men’s and women’s events at London 2012, 25 athletes swim six laps of the course marked out by buoys, passing through a timing gate after each lap that records lap times. A feeding pontoon is positioned on the lake where coaches stand and hand athletes drinks on the end of long poles as they swim past during the race. Decide on whether to stop to fuel up or swim on to save time is a key tactical decision. At the finish, swimmers pass through a timing gate and slap the overhead board to record their overall time.
Further information about watching the 10km Marathon Swimming can be found on the travel and visitor information pages.