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Welcome to the Swim Across America - Denver Open Water Swim. Swimmers of all ages and skill levels are invited to take part in our inaugural event hosted at Chatfield Reservoir.


Welcome to the Swim Across America - Denver Open Water Swim. Swimmers of all ages and skill levels are invited to take part in our inaugural event hosted at Chatfield Reservoir. Whether you are a veteran swimmer or you're looking to do your first open water swim, we welcome you to help us "Make Waves to Fight Cancer."

This event is limited to a maximum of 300 participants. Be sure and register early!

If you have any questions about SAA - Denver, please contact Nicole Vanderpoel.


General Fundraising Requirement:

All swimmers are required to raise at least $400 by event day. Swimmers under 18 are required to raise $200 by event day.

WaveMaker Swimmer: $1,000 minimum:

WaveMakers are elite SAA fundraisers and go above and beyond the call of duty by pledging to raise at least $1,000 regardless of your age. You can sign up for any of the four distances. WaveMakers get an exclusive WM gift and access to the WM tent on event day where they will have access to other perks and swag.

Swim as an Individual, or on a Team

A person may elect to swim alone, or be part of a team. Many colleges, high schools, and college alumni will form teams, or teams may be formed in honor or memory of a loved one. All teams are inspirational and rewarding for all of us involved with Swim Across America.

Distance Options:

  • 0.5-Mile
  • 1.0-Mile
  • 5K
  • Balloon Splash (a short distance swim for less experienced swimmers)

Balloon Splash:

The Balloon Splash is a fun opportunity for children and less experienced swimmers ages 5 and above who still want to swim, be a part of a team, and participate in the fun. Both online registration and day of registration is $50. There is no fundraising minimum but we hope all participants are inspired to make waves with us and fundraise.

Registration Fees:

There is a registration fee that will be credited towards each swimmer's fundraising minimum. The registration fee will change as follows:

  • Register before June 23rd with a registration fee of $50
  • Register between June 24th and July 25th with a registration fee of $75
  • Register between July 26th and August 23rd with a registration fee of $100

Online registration will close 48 hours prior to the swim! Event day registration may still be available if space permits.

Packet Pick-up

Voluntary race packet pick-up will be held at SwimLabs in Highlands Ranch. If you pick up your packet at the any of the following pre-race packet pick-up times, you will be given a parking pass for race day along with your cap & t-shirt:

  • Thursday, August 23rd: 3:00pm-7:00pm
  • Friday, August 24th: 8:00am-6:00pm
  • Saturday, August 25th: 8:00am-2:00pm

**Please note race day timing chip pick-up will still be mandatory**

SwimLabs is located at:
5640 E. County Line Place, Suite B100
Highlands Ranch, CO 80126

The facility is tucked behind the VCA Emergency Animal Hospital facing C470.
Take I25 to the County Line Rd exit
Head West on County Line Rd
Turn left on Holly
At the fork in the road, make a left (Davidson Liquors is on your right)
Make your immediate right into the VCA Emergency Animal Hospital
Drive around the right side of the building down to the SwimLabs parking lot (facing C470)

Age Requirements:

Participants ages 12 and under who would like to sign up for the 1 mile or 5K swims are required to obtain a letter from their personal accredited coach (USA Swimming, ASCA, etc) verifying the swimmer is capable of swimming the chosen distance in open water. There's also the option to attend a Swim Across America qualifying swim that will be held in July and August. Please email Jessica to sign up or for more information.


All swimmers and volunteers must complete the waiver found here. Please bring it with you to the event and provide at check in.

Swim Caps:

Every swimmer must wear the SAA colored cap given to them at the registration for their designated event. You may not switch caps for a different color, for safety purposes.

Wetsuit Rentals and Purchases:

Online Rental: is offering $15 off with code SAA15 on adult and youth wetsuit rentals. You can find more info here.

Online Purchase: Orca is offering a 10% discount on all Orca wetsuits with code SAA10.

Orca Contest: In support of Swim Across America - Denver, Orca is giving away two wetsuits. The winners will be chosen by this criteria:

  • Highest fundraiser 1 month out from the swim (July 26)
  • Highest fundraiser at the swim (August 26)


Angel Swimmers:

For those people who are nervous about swimming in the open water, we have "swim angels" who are willing to swim alongside you for encouragement. These people are experienced open water swimmers who are more than happy to encourage you, keep an eye on you and support during your swim. If you would like to be an angel swimmer, or would like to have one assigned to you, please contact Kelly.


Tentative schedule subject to change

6:00 am: Volunteers Arrive/Register

7:00 - 8:45 am: Swimmer Registration

7:30 - 8:30 am: Olympian Autographs

8:30 - 8:45 am: Grand Welcome

9:00 am: 5K Swim Begins

9:30 am: Balloon Splash Begins

10:00 am: 1 Mile Swim Begins

10:15 am: 1/2 Mile Swim Begins

11:00 am: Ceremony

Noon: Event Concludes


Chatfield Reservoir

SAA - Denver is held at Chatfield Reservoir on the South Platte River south of Littleton, Colorado. The reservoir is surrounded by Chatfield State Park, a recreation area with boating, horseback riding and camping.

Course Map:

2016 Atlanta Map

Site Map:

Coming Soon!


GPS: The entrance near C-470 and Wadsworth has an approximate address of 9700 S. Wadsworth Blvd., Littleton, 80128. The address for the south entrance is 11500 N. Roxborough Park Rd., Littleton 80125.

General: The main entrance to Chatfield State Park is located one mile south of C-470 on Wadsworth. Make a left into the park from the traffic light (there will be a brown sign for Chatfield State Park). Please do not enter at Deer Creek Canyon Road. That is the entrance to the Army Corps of Engineers.

From south of the Denver metro area: Santa Fe (Highway 85) to Titan Parkway (approximately 14.6 miles north of Castle Rock). West on Titan to Roxborough Park Road. Take a right on Roxborough Park Road which leads directly into Chatfield State Park.


Coming Soon!

Places to Stay:

Coming Soon!


Greenwood Athletic Club Swim to Fight Cancer - May 19th

You may choose to participate in an Olympian swim clinic, organized workout or both. All ages are welcome. More details on the clinic page.

Denver Open Water Swim Clinic to Fight Cancer - June 25th - 4:30-6:00 PM

Join us for an open water swim clinic to raise money for cancer research hosted by Olympic Bronze Medalist in Triathlon in Athens Olympics, Susan Williams! All ages are welcome, but participants must be open water friendly. More details on the clinic page.


Accomplished open water and pool Swimmer Judy Nelson designed an amazing 6 week training program to swim a mile in open water for SAA-Denver leading up to our swim. Download and get ready to make waves!


If this is your first time participating in Swim Across America or if you just need some tips to be a better fundraiser, click here. It will walk you through the participant center and teach you how to email donors, share on social media sites and download the fundraising app.

You may support the swimmer of your choice by making an online donation. Or you may send a check, payable to Swim Across America, to the address below:

Swim Across America - Denver
PO Box 370076
Denver, CO 80237

Make sure to include a note with the name of the swimmer you are donating to.


The Swim Across America - Denver Junior Advisory Board is a volunteer group of select high school students chosen by their coaches to lead their school’s swim teams in participation, team-building and fundraising. To support their fundraising efforts and teams, or for interest in the 2018-19 Junior Board, email Nicole.


SAA — Denver is fortunate to have a wonderful team of Olympians who will be in attendance!

George DiCarlo 1984

Susan Bartholomew-Williams 2004

Susan von der Lippe 1980, 1984, 1988

Lindsay Benko Mintenko 2000, 2004

Mike Mintenko 2000, 2004

Elizabeth Beisel 2008, 2012, 2016

Andrew Gemmell 2012

Missy Franklin 2012, 2016

Heather Petri 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012

Kara Lynn Joyce 2004, 2008, 2012

Brickelle Bro 2012, 2016

Mara Abbott 2016

Klete Keller 2000, 2004, 2008

Ashley Whitney 1996

Doug Gjertsen 1988, 1992