Marathon Running vs. Marathon Swimming

The Olympic marathon run and the Olympic marathon swim both showcase some of the best and fastest endurance athletes in the world.

While the marathon run has a long history and (the men’s race) is featured on last day of the Olympic Games, the marathon swim was introduced at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in a rowing basin and will be featured in the Serpentine in London.

How do these two marathon extravaganzas compare?

Distance:
Marathon Run: 42.195 kilometers
Marathon Swim: 10 kilometers

Predicted Winning Times:
Marathon Run: 2:05 – 2:10 for men; 2:20 – 2:25 for women
Marathon Swim: 1:50-1:55 for men; 1:58 – 2:05 for women

Course:
Marathon Run: Passes many of London’s most famous landmarks (Mall, Tower of London and Buckingham Palace)
Marathon Swim: Held in the Serpentine in Hyde Park

Sample Rules:
Marathon Run: Water shall be provided at intervals of no more than 5km. Runners who collect refreshment from a place other than a water station is liable to disqualification.
Marathon Swim: Impeding another swimmer is grounds for a warning, a yellow flag or a red flag (immediate disqualification). Two yellow flags equals a red flag. Swimmers can carry refreshment in their swimsuits.

Split Timing:
Marathon Run: Split times are recorded at the midway point and at 5km intervals
Marathon Swim: Split times are recorded after each loop

Course:
Marathon Run: Altitude differential between the start and end of the marathon cannot be greater than 0.1% of 42.195 km
Marathon Swim: 6 loops near the perimeter of the Serpentine

Start:
Marathon Run: Each runner is allowed 1 false start. A second false start leads to a disqualification. Runners must stand and cannot touch the ground at the start.
Marathon Swim: A false start can be yellow carded. Swimmers must stand at the floating pontoon at the start without a running start.

Uniform:
Marathon Run: Runners must be a bid with their country code and race number
Marathon Swim: Swimmers must wear a swim cap with their country code

Equipment:
Marathon Run: Runners can wear a variety of shoes, socks, hats, glasses, watches and running gear
Marathon Swim: Swimmers cannot wear anything beyond their shoulders or that provides them with insulation or buoyancy

Finish:
Marathon Run: Runners finish by crossing the plane of the finish
Marathon Swim: Swimmers finish by touching the finish pads with their hands

Dates:
Marathon Run: August 5th (women) and August 12th (men)
Marathon Swim: August 9th (women) and August 10th (men)

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source. All Rights Reserved.