Forum Member Guide & FAQ

Welcome to the Marathon Swimmers Forum, the world’s largest independent online community of open water swimmers!

If you have a question that isn’t covered here, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

All New Members (or any members who wish to introduce themselves) are encouraged to post in the New Member Introduction thread.

Other good threads for new members to post in are listed HERE.

What is the purpose of this Forum?

  • To celebrate and promote the sport of marathon swimming.
  • To foster connections and information sharing among the global community of marathon swimmers.
  • To provide an educational resource for aspiring marathon swimmers.

Who are the moderators?

The Forum is co-moderated by Evan Morrison (San Francisco, California, USA) and Caroline Block (Ithaca, New York, USA).

Do I have to be an actual marathon swimmer to join?

Of course not! Anyone with an interest in open water swimming is welcome to join.

I just joined the Forum, but I can’t figure out how to start a new discussion. What is going on?

Newly-approved Forum members are given an initial status of “New Member”. This status allows you to add comments to existing discussion threads, but not to create new discussions. New Members are promoted to regular Members once they have posted at least one comment to an existing thread.

What are the Forum rules?

  • Search before starting a new discussion thread. Your question may already have been answered.
  • Stay on topic. It is preferable to create a new discussion topic than to make an off-topic comment.
  • If you are asking for advice, be specific. Avoid overly general questions (e.g., “I just signed up for a 10K. How should I train for this?”).
  • Treat others respectfully. No personal attacks, harassment, trolling, or comments that might be construed as defamatory.
  • Please observe the Guidelines on Event Announcements, Promotion, and Advertising (see next section).

Guidelines on Event Announcements, Promotion, and Advertising


  • Announcements of organized swim events.
    • Please refrain from subsequently “bumping” the thread to the top unless there is concrete new information to share.
    • If you require more sustained promotion of your event, please inquire about a “Sponsored Thread” or other paid advertising opportunities.
  • Individual solo swim announcements.
  • Advertising of for-profit products or ventures At our discretion, we may approve a “Sponsored Thread” for a product/venture that is relevant to marathon swimming (see here for an example).
    • Examples: swim tourism, swim vacations, swim camps.

Not Allowed

  • Fundraising solicitations (e.g., GoFundMe).
  • Posting of personal affiliate codes/links.
  • Surreptitious commercial advertising (advertising that pretends not to be).
  • Promotion of bandit solo swims (swims in bodies of water governed by an established local organization, but done without that organization’s sanction).

We acknowledge there is a grey area to some of these issues. Please note: Members who make consistent, positive contributions to the Forum have more leeway on any “grey area issues.” A borderline post is more likely to be tolerated from a contributing Forum member, than from someone who posts infrequently or never.

Why should I register as a member, instead of just lurking?

  • Member profiles - members can view them; non-members cannot.
  • Private messaging system - members can communicate with other members; non-members cannot.
  • Easier browsing - when logged in as a member, new threads & comments are highlighted.
  • Annual Global Marathon Swimming Awards - members can vote; non-members cannot.
  • Personal contacts and support - Joining the forum will give you direct connections to marathon swimmers from around the globe, including some of the most accomplished marathon swimmers in the world.

What is the process for applying for membership?

Every new member application is reviewed by the Admins.

Please provide enough information for us to determine that you are not a spammer or robot (i.e., that you have a legitimate interest in marathon swimming). Genuine applications for membership may (and have) been rejected for insufficient detail.

Forum members are free to choose a username that reflects their real-life identity - or not.

New members are required to confirm their email address. Please provide a valid email, or your application will not be processed. When your application is approved, you will receive a notification email.

We will never share your email address with anyone, for any reason, unless compelled by court subpoena.

Can I get updates on new Forum posts via email or RSS feed?

Yes, you can!

Email (courtesy of MailChimp)

RSS Feed

Paste this link into your RSS reader.

Can I edit a post I have already submitted?

Yes - you can edit a post for up to 24 hours after you submitted it. Click the ‘gear’ icon in the upper-right corner of the post, then click ‘Edit’.

How do I embed an image/photo in a Forum post?

  • If the image is already hosted (located) on the web:
    • Find the URL of the image you want to attach
    • Click the “image” icon directly above the comment box (3rd from right)
    • Insert the URL of your image between the quotation marks in the HTML code
    • Move the HTML code to wherever you want the image to appear in your comment
    • Post your comment
  • If the image is on your computer, please upload it to the web using an image-sharing service such as imgur or Dropbox. Then follow the same instructions as above.

How do I embed a YouTube or Vimeo video in a post?

Simply cut and paste the link into the comment box. The embedding will happen automatically.