The 2010 British Gas Great North Swim in Windemere will feature a record-breaking 9,000 athletes after a 50 per cent rise in participation.
The event – which attracted 2,000 swimmers when it was launched two years ago – sold out their allocation for the 500m, one-mile and two-mile swims in just six weeks.
In addition, the fields for the elite races are as strong as ever with Olympic medallists Keri-Anne Payne and Cassie Patten headlining the women’s competition and Olympic bronze medallist Thomas Lurz in the men’s.
And Great Swim project manager Colin Hill admits the surge in participation is a telling sign of the success of the event.
“The British Gas Great North Swim has now turned into an iconic swim in the sporting calendar,” said Hill.
“I’d like to thank all of the event partners who had the vision to support the swim and help make it the biggest and best outdoor swim in the country. Good luck to everyone who is taking part this year!”
The elite races will take place on Saturday with the women’s race starting at noon and men’s at 12:30 pm. Organisers expect around 15,000 spectators over the two days so leave plenty of time to get there!