Updated: Jul 3
A reﬂection on the incredible 4K Wild Swims
Over the years, the Lock to Lock 4K wild swim series has witnessed remarkable achievements from the competitors. Both wet-suited and skin swimmers, male and female, have showcased the indomitable human spirit and its potential.
The Swim Oxford Team is dedicated to supporting open water wild swimmers, we have volunteers with unwavering compassion for the swimmers. Competitors consistently express their gratitude for the dedicated support they receive throughout their journey, from start to ﬁnish.
Reﬂecting on past swimmers, we now look forward to the upcoming challenge and ponder who will etch their name in the history of swimming in the River Thames at oxford in the Lock to Lock 4K swim.
In 2022, the 4K downstream swim witnessed an astonishing wet-suited champion completing the race in a blistering time of 53 minutes and 13 seconds.
The fastest non-wetsuit female swimmer ﬁnished in 1 hour, 10 minutes, and 7 seconds. These remarkable times were achieved in open water with temperatures ranging from 14 to 18 degrees Celsius.
In 2021, the champions set the pace even higher, with the ﬁrst female wet-suited swimmer ﬁnishing in 50 minutes and 52 seconds, and the ﬁrst male in 45 minutes and 33 seconds.
In 2019, the champions recorded impressive times of 51 minutes and 2 seconds for the ﬁrst female, and 45 minutes and 13 seconds for the ﬁrst male. Notably, the ﬁrst non-wetsuit male swimmer (skins) completed the race in an astonishing 45 minutes and 14 seconds.
The Lock to Lock Champions event in 2018 saw a local Oxford polo club swimmer deliver a stunning performance, securing ﬁrst place among males with a time of 47 minutes and 14 seconds. Similarly, a local Oxford athlete took the crown for females, ﬁnishing in 51 minutes and 55 seconds.
In 2017, a male champion set a blistering time of 50 minutes and 50 seconds, while the ﬁrst female ( junior ) completed the race in 55 minutes and 1 second. Remarkably, she triumphed over a Team GB adult female athlete by a slim margin.
The year 2016 marked a milestone, with the fastest times ever recorded in the Lock to Lock 4K series. The ﬁrst male wet-suited swimmer completed the race in a remarkable 42 minutes and 38 seconds, while the ﬁrst female non-wetsuit (skins) swimmer ﬁnished in 49 minutes and 15 seconds.
In 2015, the inaugural year of this challenging 4K swim, the ﬁrst female ﬁnished in 59 minutes and 7 seconds, while the ﬁrst male completed the course in 49 minutes and 47 seconds.
Challenges and Varied Conditions
Looking back on these epic swim challenges along the natural setting of the River Thames, swimmers had to contend with navigation, water temperature, and the distance. The varying flow rates and water levels of the river influence the recorded times – hence the record times in the 2016 event. However, this goes towards making each race unique. Regardless of the conditions on any given day, swimmers compete to secure their place in the history of wild swimming in the upper River Thames.
Anticipation for 2023
As we eagerly await the Lock to Lock 2023 events, the question lingers: Who will claim the crown this year and join the esteemed list of champions? The Lock to Lock 4k is a celebration of human resilience and determination, and we eagerly anticipate the new chapter in the history of swimming in the Thames in the lock to lock 4K swim. Past and present, we wish all the swimmers the very best and assure them of our unwavering support from start to finish.
Since its inception, the Lock to Lock 4K swim series has witnessed remarkable records:
1st place Male wet-suited champion: 53:13
1st place Female non-wetsuit: 1:10:07
1st place female wet-suited: 50:52
1st place male wet-suited: 45:33
1st place female: 51:02
1st place male: 45:13
1st place male non-wetsuit (skins): 45:14
1st place male: 47:14
1st place female: 51:55
1st place male: 50:50
1st place female: 55:01
2016: Fastest recorded times
1st place male wet-suited: 42:38
1st place female non-wetsuit (skins): 49:15
2015 Inaugural year:
1st place female: 59:07
1st place male: 49:47
Looking forward to meeting you all for an epic 4k swim on Sunday 18th June.