It’s going to be a busy day in the water at Colwick Park on Saturday 12 August as hundreds of swimmers are expected to take a dip.

There are several different events happening this Saturday, including the British Triathlon – GO TRI Aquathlon. The event consists of an open water swim followed by a run. Two events will be held: GO TRI Aquathlon (200m swim, 1.4km run) and GO TRI challenger aquathlon (750m swim, 4.2km run). The event is aimed at a range of ages and abilities, and especially suited to beginners. There will be the junior (under 16) event at 12pm and the adults event will run from 2pm.

If the competitive edge isn’t for you, then Parklives are holding an open water swimming taster session on the same day. The beginners sessions will be led by a qualified coach. This will be a great way to learn about open water safety and how to swim in open water.

There is also an Open Swim Session which is open to people of all ages. Nottingham City Council have been running these event for two years and they are always popular, with numbers doubling since last year. This event is open from 2pm to 5pm.

As well as the Aquathlon event, the British Triathlon Federation will be holding Triathlon Open Water Activator Training. This course is aimed at informing and educating those wanting to oversee the safe running of swim sessions across the country. It’s all about the procedures and safety around the open water and participants will learn everything from spotting, safety briefings, wetsuit fitting, and supporting novice swimmers.

These events all lead up to The British Triathlon Mixed Relay Cup, which will see 20 British and international quartets, including the famous Olympic medallist Jonathan Brownlee, compete along Nottingham’s Victoria Embankment, swimming through the River Trent and travelling across Trent Bridge, before crossing the finish line in front of the iconic War Memorial.

Teams will comprise two men and two women, each completing a mini triathlon before tagging their teammate to do the same. Thousands are expected to attend the event on Saturday 2 September, with tickets selling fast for the best seats in the house – the grandstand. This overlooks the swim start, action-packed athlete changeover zone and finish line. Tickets start at £10 (plus booking fee) at the See Tickets website.

Councillor Dave Trimble, Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture, said: “This Saturday is going to be a busy and exciting one at Colwick Park. Whether you are coming to take part or spectate there is plenty on offer for everyone. Our open water swimming sessions are very popular over the summer, with hundreds of experienced and novice open water swimmers enjoying the freedom of swimming in open water.

“It’s great for us to host and support British Triathlon events in Nottingham, people in the city have really embraced the sport. The aquathlon this Saturday will be a great warm up event for triathlon fans ahead of the big British Triathlon Mixed Relay Cup in September.

“Colwick Park is a great place to host events like these and our Open Water Swimming Centre has highly qualified staff – making it the perfect place to try open water swimming. Despite it being summer, open water is always chilly so people should take note of our tips for safe cold water swimming.”


  • You’ll need to acclimatise so that your body can adapt to the cold temperatures.
  • Be aware that open water can be dangerous. Familiarise yourself with the condition before entering the water and make sure you can exit the water easily and quickly.
  • Do not dive in unless you are used to cold water swimming. This can lead to cold shock and may be dangerous.
  • Wear a swimming cap, it helps preserve your body heat. The thicker silicone caps are best, but if you do not have one, use two standard caps.
  • Start with a quick dip but do not swim. Cold water can cause gasping of breath. Once your body has adjusted to the cold, you can gradually increase the time you spend in the water.
  • Know your own limits for the length of time you can spend in very cold water – if you are not sure, err on the side of caution.
  • Make sure you have plenty of warm clothes to put on afterwards, and a warm drink.
  • Shivering is the body’s natural mechanism to maintain heat. If you shiver for more than a few minutes or continue to feel cold, you have stayed in too long.
  • Do not swim in cold water after drinking alcohol or when ill.