MK1K (Milton Keynes OWS Carnival)




MK1K - Saturday 22nd August, 2020 

Love Open Water, in conjunction with Love Sports Events is excited to bring you a new event to Milton Keynes, a European City of Sport in 2020!

The MK1K will be held on Saturday 22nd August at Willen Lake, Milton Keynes and will comprise of three 1km swims held across the morning. Participants can choose to join 1, 2 or all 3 swims.  There will be prizes for fastest male & female swimmer who complete the 3 swim series, determined by the fastest cumulative time.


Registration: 0630am - 0730am

Race Briefing: 0745am (full race briefing will be provided online prior to the event & only changes, if any will be communicated on the day)

Wave 1: 0800am

Wave 2: 0900am

Wave 3: 1000am

Each race will have a 50 minute cut-off time and all swimmers must be out of the water before the next race begins.

Swimmers choosing to do one race will start in Wave 1 at 0800am

Swimmers choosing to do two races will start in Wave 1 at 0800am and Wave 2 at 0900am

Swimmers choosing to do three races will start in Wave 1 at 0800am, Wave 2 at 0900am and Wave 3 at 1000am

Entry Fees

1 x Race: £25.00 + booking fee 

2 x Races: £35.00 + booking fee

3 x races: £45.00 + booking fee

* Entry fee does not include the cost of NOWCA safety wristband which must be purchased separately for participants who aren't already NOWCA band holders

What’s Included

Fee includes race entry, swim cap, race timing, hydration supplied by our partner Precision Hydration, finish line snacks and finishers memento


1 lap 1km course (please note, changes may be made due to venue restrictions)

Age Restrictions

Participants must be aged 16 years and over on the day of event


This event is suitable for all swimmers, even those with little open water swimming experience.

Whilst the more experienced swimmers may choose the 3 race option, and swim for the chance of being MK1K Carnival Champion, this is also a race suitable for the novice swimmer, stepping out of the pool for the first time. 


Train for the MK1K at the very lake where the event will take place! Love Open Water Milton Keynes is now operating under strict Covid-19 procedures.  You can check session times HERE.  

NOWCA Safety Wristband

All Love Open Water venues run under NOWCA safety guidelines and therefore participants in the MK1K must have a valid NOWCA safety wristband and wear this on the day.  This device will also be used for your race timing.

If you are already a NOWCA swimmer, you will just need to check that your band is valid on the event day (ie. you've paid your yearly fee of £12)

If you need to register with NOWCA and purchase a band, you can do so by creating an account HERE.  Upon registering, you will be asked to select a NOWCA venue to collect your band.  If you wish to collect on the day, please choose Milton Keynes as your location.  You may also choose to collect your band from any NOWCA venue near you, prior to race day, and start using it to swim at any of the partner venues around the UK.

** Please ensure you use the same email address to purchase your NOWCA band as you do to enter the MK1K.  This will make collection much simpler on the day of the event 


Wetsuits are optional for this event.  There will be no separate categories for wetsuits vs skins.  It is the swimmers choice.


Love Open Water began operating swim sessions at Wilen Lake in summer, 2019 and the swimming community has been steadily increasing.  Willen Lake South is Milton Keynes' most popular park and offers a picturesque location with great facilities for open water swimming lovers.  The event will be run from the front of the watersports centre, with plenty of space for swimmers to rest between races and spectators to cheer on the participants from the banks of the lake.


There will be some facilities available on the day of the event but you will have access to only limited number of toilets. It is likely that no indoor changerooms will be available so swimmers should come prepared, in their swimwear or be prepared to change in the open.

The Lakeside Pub is also next to event HQ and opens from 1000am

Food & Drink

There are a number of options for spectators and swimmers, right on the lake.  Visit the Willen Lake website for further information


Why do I need a NOWCA wristband?

Love Open Water Milton Keynes operates under NOWCA safety guidelines which means all participants in the MK1K must wear a NOWCA wristband during the event.  The annual fee for the band is £12 and you can use this to swim at any Love Open Water Venue & NOWCA partner venues around the UK as well as other LOW hosted events.  The band is yours ‘for life’ and if you want to continue using after the first year, just renew your registration.

If you don’t have a wristband, follow these steps:

  1. Create a NOWCA account HERE
  2. Please make sure you use the same email in your NOWCA registration as the one you have used when entering the MK1K
  3. Choose where to pick up your band.  You can choose a NOWCA venue close to you if you will pick up your band prior to race day.  If you will collect on race day, please choose MILTON KEYNES as your pick-up location.

Wristbands are not posted.  They must be collected from a NOWCA venue.

Can I transfer my entry?

Race entries for the MK1K are non-transferrable

Waiting List

Entries are strictly limited for this event.  You may register on the waitlist should you wish to be notified if more entries are released.

* This event will be hosted by Love Open Water who operate under Covid-Safe procedures.



Willen Lake
V10 Brickhill Street
Milton Keynes
MK15 0DS

There is ample paid parking at Willen Lake South and charging points for electric cars.  It is best to head the South Bay car park (off Lakeside roundabout, V10 Brickhill Streel) and head to the front of Freedom Fitness.

Public Transport

By Bus

Catch the number 8 bus from Milton Keynes town centre to 'Woolstone Roundabout West'.

Walking down from the bus stop, take the first right at the redway junction under the main road, then take your first left into Willen Lake.

By Train

Direct trains to Milton Keynes Central run from London Euston and Birmingham. From Milton Keynes Central, it's approximately 50 minutes walk or 12 minutes cycle. Alternatively, you can catch a bus or take a taxi.