Documentation Requirements

MSF Documented Swim submissions should include a diverse portfolio of data and documentation, which provides a complete story and compelling evidence for the swim. See for numerous examples of well-documented swims.

The following items are required for documentation submissions (unless specifically noted as “optional”).

Swimmer Biographical Data

  • full name
  • age on date of swim
  • nationality
  • city & country of residence
  • previous marathon swims completed

Support Personnel

  • Names of everyone involved in the swim, and each of their roles.


  • List of any swimwear and equipment not specified as “standard equipment” under the MSF Rules of Marathon Swimming.
  • If the swimmer plans to use any equipment not listed under standard equipment, please contact us to clarify whether the equipment is allowed.

Swim Report completed by independent observer

Click here to download the MSF standard observer report.

Please note: The Observer should not be the only witness to the swim, and should not be serving simultaneously as the swimmer’s support crew.

Route Specification

  • Start location: coordinates (latitude, longitude) and name/description (if applicable).
  • Finish location: coordinates (latitude, longitude) and name/description (if applicable).
  • Distance of minimum repeatable route connecting the start and finish.
    • Please note: this is not the sum of the GPS track distance.
    • Questions about route distance measurement? Please ask.

Please note: Swim routes governed by established local sanctioning organizations are not eligible for MSF Documented Swims, unless there is consent from the relevant organization.

Basic Swim Facts

  • Start date and time.
  • Finish date and time.
  • Local time zone.
  • Elapsed time of swim (hours, minutes, seconds)
  • Log of regular timestamped observations of:
    • GPS location - satisfied by complete GPS tracking data
    • Stroke rate (strokes per minute)
    • Water temperature
    • Air temperature
    • Wind speed or force
    • Wave height
    • Notes on conditions, feeds, and any notable events.
Log Guidelines
  • The specific format of the Swim Log is left up to the observer/documenter, as long as the above information requirements are fulfilled.
  • If the log is handwritten, please submit scanned images (PDF or PNG). We do not accept paper logs.
  • If the log is handwritten, we may request a typed/transcribed version of the notes, depending on legibility.


Narrative account of swim planning and execution. Can be completed by either observer or swimmer.

Alternatively, please answer the following question prompts:

  • What inspired you to do this swim?
  • Please describe how you planned for the swim.
  • How did the swim go, generally? Did you face any unanticipated challenges?

GPS Tracking Data

Original/raw data from GPS tracking device such as a SPOT Tracker, Garmin watch, or smartphone app. Accepted data formats: GPX, TCX, CSV, KML. We recommend using at least two tracking devices simultaneously in case one fails.

Photos and Video

A representative collection of images and video footage, taken at various stages of the swim.

Photo/Video guidelines

  • At least one photo per hour of the swim.
  • At least 30 seconds of video mid-swim, showing the swimmer’s stroke.

Other Supporting Data (as available)

  • Marine buoy readings during the timeframe of the swim (e.g., NOAA National Data Buoy Center).
  • Local tide and current predictions for the timeframe of the swim.
  • Media coverage of swim (newspaper articles, TV segments, etc.).

How to Submit Documentation

  1. Pay the ratification fee.
  2. We will contact you with further instructions.