About the LongSwims Database
LongSwimsDB is a repository of verified marathon swimming results, cross-referened by people and swim routes.
- About Swimmer Profiles
- Adding New Results
- "I want to add a specific swim to my profile..."
- Standards of Evidence
- Correcting Errors
The database includes:
- Organized multi-participant swims or races.
- Association-sanctioned solo swims.
- Documented independent solo swims.
The database does not include:
- Swims using wetsuits or other non-standard swim aids.
- Events where wetsuits are allowed but not listed in a separate results category from unassisted (skin) swimmers.
- Swims shorter than 10 km (with a few exceptions, such as Robben Island).
- Unverified swim claims.
- Unsanctioned swims on routes governed by a recognized local association.
See the list of swim events currently included in the database. If a swim event is not currently included in the database, but meets the above requirements, please let us know!
LSDB is primarily an event results database, not a personal profile service. The number of profiles is limited and determined by a formula that changes occasionally. If you don't have an auto-generated profile and would like one, please join as a MSF member. If you already have a profile and want to make sure it isn't removed due to a change in the formula, please join as a MSF member. Unless you are an MSF member or active contributor, you should not feel entitled to a profile.
Profiles are automatically generated for approximately 3000-4000 swimmers based on a formula that accounts for:
- Total number of swims (more swims --> more likely to have an automatically-created profile).
- The distance of those swims (longer swims weighted more heavily).
- Surface current-assisted swims are weighted according to effective distance (adjusted for currents).
- Solo swims are weighted more heavily than races.
- Solo swims that are part of a significant challenge list such as the Triple Crown or Oceans Seven are weighted more heavily.
- Significant solo course record swims are weighted more heavily.
- Crossover swimmers who have completed both professional races and solo swims.
- Historical swimmers (active primarily before the year 2000) are weighted more heavily.
- Recent swims (completed in the past two years) are weighted slightly more heavily.
- Swimmers who are also race organizers or who have administrative roles in associations are weighted more heavily.
- Confidence in a person's identity, via confirming biographical data (age, gender, nationality, hometown).
Additionally, profiles are automatically generated for the following swimmers, regardless of whether they qualify based on the above formula:
- Current Marathon Swimmers Federation (MSF) annual members.
- Active contributors to MSF projects.
- Swimmers who have completed a ratified MSF Documented Swim.
- Inductees in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame.
Currently there are 3583 profiles out of 29500 total swimmers in the database.
The formula for auto-generated profiles changes occasionally. This means that occasionally, profiles that previously were auto-generated, will no longer be auto-generated. The formula is designed with three objectives:
- Creating an informative and relevant collection of profiles of history's most accomplished marathon swimmers.
- Limiting the number of profiles to a range of 3000-4000, to reduce:
- computing power required to generate the website
- storage costs
- search engine penalties resulting from thousands of minimal-content pages.
- Rewarding volunteer and financial contributors to the MSF project.
Again, for emphasis: If it is important to you that you have a profile, please join as a MSF member or volunteer to contribute to MSF.
Adding New Results
If the event is already in the database (view list) - we will add new results when they are made available by the organizer/association and when we get the chance. Please be patient.
If the event is not in the database, we may not know about it! Please send us a tip. All results should include at least: date, route description, swimmer names, elapsed times, and proper categorization of unassisted swimmers vs. wetsuit swimmers. Also nice to have: gender, age, nationality, hometown.
"I want to add a specific swim to my profile..."
Whenever possible, it is far more efficient to import full event results rather than ad-hoc results for an individual swimmer. So, the best way to get a swim added to your profile is to send the full results or tell us exactly where to find them.
Generally we do not have the bandwidth to accommodate ad-hoc requests from individual swimmers (except error corrections). Please consider there are over 29,000 swimmers in the database! If you need to make an ad-hoc request, please join as a MSF member.
Standards of Evidence
To preserve the historical integrity of the sport, LongSwimsDB has strict standards of evidence for including swims. These standards are determined by the MSF Core Group. The specific requirements depend on whether the swim is part of an organized race, or an association-sanctioned solo swim, or an independent/self-organized solo swim.
Annual Organized Races
Official race results published on the event website, or provided directly from the organizer in a common document format such as PDF, CSV, Word, or Excel.
If wetsuits or other swim aids are allowed, unassisted swimmers must be clearly distinguished. Exception: If tow buoys are mandated by the organizer, this does not disqualify the event from inclusion.
Solo Swims Sanctioned by a Recognized Local Association
Proof of ratification, such as:
- List of successful swims on a recognized local association's website.
- Official certificate of completion from the association.
In addition, the association must confirm the use of standard unassisted rules (equivalent to MSF Rules or English Channel rules) - either by publishing rules on their website, or by providing an original observer report.
- Solo swims using any swim aids including tow floats are not eligible for the database.
- In some cases, swims pending ratification may be added based on initial reports. These will always be checked with the association's list at the end of the season.
Independent / Self-Organized Solo Swims
For recent swims (2013 and later): ratification through MSF Documented Swims. Requirements include observer log, GPS data, photos, video, and a narrative summary.
For historical swims (before 2013): at our discretion we may add swims for which the following critical details are available:
- specific start and finish locations
- date, time, and time zone of start and finish
- rules and equipment used
- summary of conditions
- name and contact info of independent witnesses
Also helpful: logs, photos, newspaper reports, and any other relevant data.
Please contact MSF with your request.
Note: Unsanctioned swims on routes already covered by a recognized association are not eligible for inclusion in the database.
LongSwimsDB utilizes numerous quality-control techniques in importing data. However, occasionally errors slip through. Please contact us if you notice something.
- Different people with identical names, who can't otherwise be distinguished via age, hometown, or nationality.
- People whose name appears with different spellings/variations (e.g., nicknames) in different results.
- Married / unmarried / re-married surnames.