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The Big Bala Swim 2021

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Saturday 18th September 2021

Entries Open
Saturday 27th February 2021
Entries Close
Monday 13th September 2021
1.5km; 4.5km; 9km
Entry Fees
1.5km - Age 16 Plus   £48.50   
1.5km - Age 15 and Under   £32.50   
4.5km   £64.50   
9km    £75.00   
Event Organiser - Chloe Rafferty


The BIG Bala Swim

 Sponsored by Zone3 & Wildtrail 

All aboard the swim train!

Catch the historic stream train along the shores of Llyn Tegid, Wales’ largest natural lake, to start your swim! Surrounded by the beautiful Aran, Arenig and Berwyn mountain ranges, the lake has suberb views and plenty of wildlife to spot along the way. There are 3 distance options to choose from so there is a swim to suit everyone.

The BIG Bala Swim (Not to be confused with our other event, The Big Welsh Swim) is the second in our ‘Swim Train’ series will take place in Llyn Tegid, Bala, Snowdonia National Park, North Wales. The main open water swim route is 4.5km. To reach the start you will catch the historic Bala Lake Railway to Llangower station where you’ll begin your swim from the beach. For those that want a bigger challenge we also have a two way swim of 9km that starts from the lake shore west of Bala town from where you’ll swim to Llangower station and back! To make sure there is something for everyone we also have a shorter swim option of 1.5km as well. Wetsuit and non-wetsuit places are available!

Location: Llyn Tegid, Snowdonia National Park, North Wales.
Registration: Clwb Rygbi Y Bala, Maes Gwyniad, Tegid Street, Bala, LL23 7BX

Swim Distances:

  • 1.5km (you will not catch the train for this swim)
  • 4.5km (Start with a train ride!)
  • 9km (you will not catch the train for this swim)

Feed stations: There will be a feed station at Llangower beach for the 9km swimmers and food will be available at the finish line for all finishers. We will not be handing out bottles of water at the finish line in a bid to reduce plastic waste and help care for the environment. Water will of course be available at feed stations and the finish line but you will need to have your own bottle or cup. With this in mind please make sure you have a bottle/water in your bag waiting for you at the bag drop.

Cut off time: There is a cut off time of 4.5 hours for all distances. The race organisers and appointed staff can retire a participant at any time if they judge them not capable of finishing due to fatigue or poor physical condition.

Entry fee includes: 

  • Full water safety cover
  • Train ticket (for 4.5km swim)
  • Event swim hat
  • Electronic timing
  • Food and hydration for 9km swimmers and food at finish line for all
  • Race souvenir
  • Free event photos
  • Prize for winners in each distance category

Online entry closes: 11th September 2021. (No entry changes/transfers can be made after this time)

You must be over 18 years of age on the day of the race to enter the event. 16+ participants will need parental consent to take part in full length swims. Under 16’s can complete the 1.5km swim if accompanied in the water by an fee paying adult who will take complete responsibility for them.

There will be a maximum number of entries available for each distance. When that number is reached entries for that distance will close and a waiting list will open.

There will be NO waiting list. 
We have a no refunds policy and you can only defer your entry up to 6 weeks before the event - please only enter this event if you are happy with these terms. Refunds will be offered if the event is cancelled due to Coronavirus.


  • Swim hats supplied by event organisers must be worn at all times when in the water
  • Wetsuit
  • Goggles
  • Tow floats may be used but are not mandatory for wetsuit wearing participants

Additional mandatory equipment for non-wetsuit competitors

  • Tow float (any type)

Additional equipment that may be used: Neoprene socks and non webbed neoprene gloves, neoprene hat (worn under event swim cap), ear plugs

Additional equipment that may NOT be used: Snorkles, flippers, hand paddles, webbed gloves, headphones, pull buoy or other floation aids, any power assisted aids.


Registration will take place: Bala Rugby Club/Clwb Rygbi Y Bala, Maes Gwyniad, Tegid Street, Bala, LL23 7BX, on: Saturday 18th September 7.30am  -  Closes 9.00am

You will be issued with your event hat and timing chip. Please arrive as early as possible! If you do not arrive to register by 9.00am your place will be forfeited.


The compulsory briefing will be held at 9.00am on Saturday 18th September 2021 at Bala Rugby Club. Anyone who does not attend the briefing will not be allowed to swim. 4.5km swimmers will then make a 5 minute walk to board the train which will leave promptly at 10.00am so will need to be ready to leave straight after the briefing. If you miss the train you will need to make your own way to the swim start. 1.5km and 9km swimmers will make a 10 minute walk to their swim start.  Participants doing a 1.5km or 9km swim do not need to catch the train.


Parking is availabe at Bala Rugby Club/Clwb Rygbi Y Bala, Maes Gwyniad, Tegid Street, Bala, LL23 7BX - £3 for the day. Other carparks close by are pay and display (approx £5 for the day). Disabled parking is available but cannot be reserved. Please do not park on the roads or cause any obstructions to access or gate ways.

Bag drop

There will be a place for 1.5km and 9km swimmers to leave shoes/1 SMALL bag close to the swim start. 4.1km swimmers may take shoes/1 SMALL bag with them on the train and this will be transported by van to the finish line to be picked up at the end of your swim. Please only leave essential items and do not place fragile or valuable items in the bag drop as we will not take repsonsibility for them.

Race rules & entry terms & conditions

Please read the race rules and terms and conditions of entry throughly before signing up. You can read them in full here.  Please be aware that we offer a no refunds policy and limited entry deferral options. We recommend you take out individual sports event insurance to cover any losses due to unexpected circumstances that prevent you from taking part.

Covered by Refund Protect

This event offers the option to purchase upgraded refundable terms, so that participants may be able to get a refund if they are unable to attend due to unforeseen circumstances.

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