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Welcome to the Swim Across America - Denver Open Water Swim.
Swimmers of all ages are invited to take part in this annual charity event at scenic Chatfield Reservoir in Littleton on August 17. Proceeds support cancer research projects at Children's Hospital Colorado.
NEW: Not a swimmer? You can participate virtually this year with an activity of your choice!
Learn about SAA My Way


Collectively, throughout the 2024 season, we have raised blank through our local pool swims and our open water swim.

6:30 - 7:30 AM: Registration
8:10 AM: Rolling Start
Chatfield Reservoir
Littleton, CO 80230
Swim Options
.5 mile, 1 mile, 2 mile
SAA My Way (Virtual)
18+: $500
Under 18: $250

Welcome to the Swim Across America - Denver Open Water Swim! Established in 2018, SAA-Denver has raised over $1 Million for our beneficiary Children's Hospital Colorado. Thank you for making an impact in the fight against pediatric cancer in Colorado.

Each year, we are proud to host over 300 Swimmers, volunteers, spectators and supporters, as well as Olympians near and far at our charity swim. We are so excited to have you join us for our 7th annual swim on August 17th at Chatfield Reservoir!

Whether you are a veteran swimmer, you're looking to do your first open water swim, or if you want to participate virtually to help the cause, we welcome you to help us "Make Waves to Fight Cancer." Together we are making a real difference!


Fundraising Requirement by Event Day:

  • All swimmers are required to raise at least $500 by event day.
  • Swimmers under 18 or in college are required to raise $250 by event day.

WaveMaker Status: $1,000 minimum:

WaveMakers go above and beyond the call of duty by raising at least $1,000 regardless of your age. Anyone can achieve WaveMaker status - swimmers, volunteers or SAA My Way participants. WaveMakers get special recognition and an exclusive WM gift on event day. You can learn more about WaveMaker Status here.

Swim as an Individual, or on a Team

A person may elect to swim alone, or be part of a team. Many colleagues 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. All team members are still required to meet the individual fundraising minimum of $500 ($250 if under 18 or in college).

Distance Options:

  • 0.5-Mile
  • 1.0-Mile
  • 2.0-Mile

Registration Self-Donation:

Swimmers will be asked to kickstart your fundraising and let your supporters know you are personally committed to the mission of SAA. The registration self-donation is a 100% tax deductible donation that will be will be credited towards each swimmer's fundraising minimum. The minimum self-donation amount will change as follows:

  • Register before May 20 with a registration fee of $50
  • Register between May 20 and July 21 with a registration fee of $75
  • Register between July 22 and event day with a registration fee of $100

Online registration will close on August 14. Day of registration will be available and will be $500 - the full fundraising minimum for SAA-Denver.

Age Requirements:

Participants ages 12 and under who would like to sign up for the 1 mile or 2 mile 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.

New for 2024! Kids' Balloon Splash:

Now even the youngest kids can make a big splash. Children up to age 11 can participate by splashing a short distance along the beach. Parents are welcome to join in and must accompany non-swimmers or those under age 6. It’s a fun way for the whole family to make waves to fight against cancer!

Registration is $25 and each registered participant receives a shirt, towel and swim cap. There is no fundraising minimum for Kids’ Balloon Splash swimmers. However, they are encouraged to fundraise if they would like! Please follow the steps at the top of the page and click 'in-person swimmer' to get kids registered. Same-day registration will also be available. Join the Balloon Splash where kids support kids in the fight against pediatric cancer!


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 Policy, Rentals and Purchases:

Water temperatures can vary. Please read our full wetsuit policy and tips on our Policies Page.

Online Wetsuit Purchase: Orca is an SAA wetsuit partner offering a 20% discount on all Orca purchases with code SAA20.

Online Wetsuit Rental: Kit Lender is offering a 10% discount off any Wetsuit or Kit rental. Wetsuit rentals start at just $42/event. Orders placed at least 7 days in advance include free roundtrip shipping. Orders can typically be placed up to 2 days before the event. Get started HERE.

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 Jessica Reinhardt Vitcenda.

2024 Swimmer Packet:

The 2024 Swimmer Packet will be distributed the week of the event via email. The 2023 Swimmer and Volunteer packet can be found here for reference.


SAA-Denver funds benefit three research projects at the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children's Hospital Colorado. Please see our 2024 SAA-Denver Impact Report here. The cancer predisposition program led by Dr. Michael Edwards will develop best practices in research and treatment for children with cancer predisposition syndromes and work in concert with our adult oncology partners to continue life-span care for families affected by genetic predisposition syndromes. The cancer rehabilitation program development project, led by Dr. Allison L’Hotta, is studying ways to help pediatric cancer patients recover from their treatment and the negative physical consequences of intensive therapies that may include surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy across months and years of treatment. The rare tumors and retinoblastoma project, led by Dr. Sandra Luna-Fineman, will develop a more comprehensive program in retinoblastoma. She will participate in and lead clinical trials for children with retinoblastoma, provide more support to the families in education/learning, build adaptive programs for children who suffer blindness as a result of their cancer treatment, and better establish long-term follow-up programs.

Cancer Predisposition Program

Through advancements in genetic and genomic technology and personalized medicine, we now know that at least 10% of cancers are due to inherited or familial gene mutations. As technology grows, so, too, does our ability to identify and predict new gene mutations. Because of this, it is estimated that up to 25% of cancers will be due to new gene mutations identified in the next 20-25 years. Being able to provide comprehensive genetic detection and counseling is paramount to providing the best care for children with cancer and their families. The identification of a genetic or familial predisposition to cancer has both immediate and long-term implications for the patient and that patient’s blood relatives. For example, if a child is diagnosed with a new cancer and that cancer is shown to be driven by a genetic predisposition, it informs the treatment team of the proper medications to use for treatment, as well as what treatments to avoid, which could help prevent the development of a second cancer or further risk of other disease later in life. It also informs if genetic testing of other family members should be pursued, with a focus on full siblings, to be able to undergo early detection and surveillance testing. It is well known that cancers that are detected early are more likely to be cured, and surveillance programs are known to be effective in helping patients seek diagnosis and treatment at the early stages, when treatment is frequently much more successful. Dr. Michael Edwards is dedicated to building a Cancer Predisposition Program for pediatrics and will be developing a strong collaborative relationship with other pediatric cancer centers around the country to share and develop best practices in research and treatment for children with cancer predisposition syndromes. He will also work in concert with our adult oncology partners to continue life-span care for families affected by genetic predisposition syndromes.


Cancer Rehabilitation Program Development

Dr. Allison L’Hotta is studying ways to help pediatric cancer patients recover from their treatment and the negative physical consequences of intensive therapies that may include surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy across months and years of treatment. She employs a mixed methods approach to studying and developing interventions to help children, adolescents, and young adults make more comprehensive and complete recovery after cancer therapy. Her primary patient focus is on children with brain tumors, those who have hearing loss caused by chemotherapy, and those with musculoskeletal and neurologic damage due to tumor location and/or surgical consequences of surgery to remove tumors from critical structures around the brain and spinal cord. Dr. L’Hotta has contributed significantly to the cancer rehabilitation literature in presentations, peer-reviewed articles, and in conducting grant-funded work. Dr. L’Hotta will be a transformational addition to the support and care of our pediatric cancer patients by developing a Cancer Rehabilitation Program at Children’s Colorado, including multidisciplinary research and treatment infrastructure, which will be a unique program west of the Mississippi.


Rare Tumors and Retinoblastoma Project

At Children’s Colorado, Dr. Sandra Luna-Fineman leads our rare tumors and retinoblastoma expertise. Retinoblastoma is the most common tumor of the eye and affects fewer than 1 in 20,000 children. It is most commonly diagnosed under the age of 5 and may affect one or both eyes. Children who are diagnosed at less than a year of age have a high chance of having a familial cancer predisposition syndrome that requires detailed assessments, genetic counseling, and close follow-up. Surgery is a mainstay of treatment however chemotherapy is necessary in a high proportion of patients to spare vision as much as possible. Comprehensive care with pediatric ophthalmologists, pediatric oncologists, genetic counselors, and teachers/educators is necessary to ensure the best outcomes for children as they grow and learn to adapt to the impact of their treatment. Children’s Colorado has a growing population of patients from the surrounding eight states that we care for due to our specific expertise in caring for patients with retinoblastoma. This program is co-led by Dr. Luna-Fineman and Dr. Scott Oliver (Department of Ophthalmology). With support from SAA, Dr. Luna-Fineman will develop a more comprehensive program in retinoblastoma. She will participate in and lead clinical trials for children with retinoblastoma, serve more patients and provide more support to these families. She will create more services in education/learning, build adaptive programs for children who suffer blindness as a result of their cancer treatment, and better establish long-term follow-up programs. Her goal is to develop research projects with the outstanding capacity for regenerative medicine on the Anschutz Medical Campus to ensure that we can help save as much vision as possible for these patients and be at the forefront of developing new treatments for all patients to survive and thrive.


Colorado Community Makes Waves to Benefit Children’s Hospital Colorado

"Picture a sunny and warm mid-August morning in Colorado. Retired Olympians such as Missy Franklin, Susan von der Lippe, and Susan Williams are smiling with water enthusiasts of all ages and abilities. They enter the water of Chatfield Reservoir in Littleton to “Make Waves to Fight Cancer” with the Swim Across America-Denver charity swim. There’s a sense of community as supporters and family cheer for them. Not because they’ll be racing for first place, rather because they’re all there to raise money that will provide grants for pediatric cancer at Children’s Hospital Colorado." Learn more about SAA-Denver, the projects we're funding and the impact you are making when you participate, volunteer and donate here.


Standardizing Care for Pediatric Myelodysplastic Syndrome

Dr. Winters' research is focused on acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a devastating blood disorder that inevitably leads to a resistant form of AML in children if left untreated. Even with bone marrow or stem cell transplantation (BMT), optimistic outcomes yield only a 50% chance of survival. Little progress has been made to improve outcomes in more than 20 years and North America has fallen behind other international efforts to study pediatric MDS. As a result, the disease remains poorly understood in children and there is no expert consensus on diagnosis, classification, or treatment. Dr. Winters and her colleagues in the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, Dr. Taizo Nakano and Dr. Craig Forester, have 3 goals for standardizing the approach to children with MDS: (1) to understand the biology of MDS (that is, why the bone marrow doesn't work and why it tends to develop leukemia); (2) to be leaders in the United States in establishing diagnosis and treatment guidelines for pediatric MDS; and (3) to conduct a clinical trial of pre-transplant therapy for pediatric MDS and AML to improve the current 50% survival statistics. The clinical trial will employ a standard-of-care drug for MDS, azacitidine, in combination with the drug venetoclax, which has shown very promising results in adult AML and MDS clinical trials and which is expected to allow more children to get to transplant with less advanced disease and with less chemotherapy-related side effects. Dr. Forester will study patient samples in his research lab to incorporate biomarkers of response and better understand the driving biologic and genomic events that lead to different characteristics in pediatric MDS, which will better inform treatment for current and future patients. Dr. Winters recently received a Career Development Award from the American Cancer Society, and funding from SAA has supported the launch of her independent scientific research career.

Brain Tumor Research Study

Dr. Green’s pediatric brain tumor research is using an understudied set of data in patients with pediatric brain tumors at Children’s Hospital Colorado over the last 20 years to study how these tumors interact with the immune system. Most patients have cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tested at diagnosis to determine if tumor cells have invaded into the fluid around the brain and spinal cord. Information about the makeup of white blood cells (WBCs) in this fluid is also obtained, but these data have previously gone overlooked. The study is looking at how the makeup of WBCs in the CSF of these patients correlates with their tumor type, presence of metastatic tumor, and long-term survival. These aims will give us key knowledge of pediatric brain tumors that can be used to improve treatment in the future. First, understanding which types of tumors generate a robust immune response and which are more immunosuppressive will help determine how to use new cancer immunotherapy strategies optimally. Second, having another key factor in predicting patients’ likelihood of survival from their initial CSF results will help us better tailor treatment to be either less aggressive (to limit long-term side effects in lower-risk patients) or more aggressive (to increase survival likelihood in higher-risk patients) with their subsequent treatment. Integrating these data into other bioinformatic and genomic data will further inform and refine our prognostic and treatment approaches for children with brain tumors.

Biomarker Development for Sepsis in Pediatric Oncology Patients

Dr. Slatnick’s research is focused on infectious complications in immunosuppressed pediatric oncology and bone marrow transplant (BMT) patients. Due to intensive chemotherapy regimens, this patient population is at high risk for severe infection and sepsis, a life-threatening and potentially fatal infection of the blood. Over the past few decades, there has been improvement in outcomes for patients with infection, largely due to better supportive care practices and standardization of empiric broad-spectrum antibiotic administration with fever. Despite this, immunocompromised pediatric patients who do develop sepsis or septic shock suffer multiple negative sequelae including organ damage and even death at higher rates than the general pediatric population. A cornerstone of sepsis care is early diagnosis and intervention, however pediatric oncology patients frequently do not show typical signs and symptoms of impending sepsis or shock due to impaired immune responses. Moreover, established laboratory values, or biomarkers, used in the general population to identify patients at highest risk for sepsis have not proven useful in immunocompromised patients. The primary goals of Dr. Slatnick’s research are: (1) to better characterize predictive clinical factors and biomarkers for sepsis and infection in pediatric oncology and BMT patients; and (2) to develop novel biomarkers to distinguish which patients with fever or infection concern are at highest risk for critical illness. This work will contribute to better risk-stratification strategies to facilitate life-saving intervention for patients at highest risk and aid in identifying patients at low risk who may benefit from less aggressive intervention.

Improving detection of CAR-T Cells in Pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Dr. Murphy’s research is focused on improving cure rates in children with leukemia using CAR T cell therapy. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common type of childhood cancer. Most children with ALL can be cured with chemotherapy alone. However, some patients have leukemia that returns after chemotherapy and are at high risk of dying without improved treatment options. CAR T cell therapy is a promising treatment approach for these patients. CAR T cells are immune cells that are reprogrammed in a way to target and kill cancer cells. Detecting the presence of these cells in a patient’s blood after treatment helps clinicians understand how well the CAR T cells are working. The more of these cells that survive long-term in the body, the more likely that patient is to continue to be cancer-free. CAR T cells currently in clinical use have limited persistence, resulting in higher risk of leukemia relapse. A novel CAR T cell product has been developed at the University of Colorado that targets two different proteins on leukemia cells and has the potential for greater persistence and lower risk of relapse. This project will use advanced testing modalities to detect these CAR T cells in mice and in patients treated on a clinical trial, to determine if these cells improve cure rates for patients with leukemia.

2016 Atlanta Map
L to R: Taizo Nakano MD, Amanda Winters, MD, Craig Forester, MD, Adam Green, MD




Midway through kinde­rgarten, Teagan was struggling with weig­ht gain, sleeping th­rough dinner and felt tired all the ti­me without any answe­rs. Still, she continued to go to school and was her usual bubbly self. Her school nurse thought something was wrong when she saw Teagan's pale face and told her parents she should be seen by a doctor. After numerous vis­its to the Urgent Ca­re and no answers, she went to the emerg­ency room at her loc­al hospital in Cheye­nne, Wyoming. She was immediately refe­rred to Children’s Hospital Colorado whe­re she received the devastating diagnosis of Acute Lymphobla­stic Leukemia (ALL) and began her treatm­ent four days later. Her liver and spleen were so enlarged that she waddled arou­nd and she could hardly get in and out of bed without help. After six weeks of treatment and physical therapy, Teag­an was in remission and then back to sch­ool within three mon­ths of her diagnosis. Teagan finished her treatment in April 2017, and is now ca­ncer-free. Teagan has always kept a posi­tive attitude even through two and half years of chemother­apy, nausea, and fat­igue. Her most memor­able experience at Children’s Colorado was playing in the ar­ts and crafts area during her chemo trea­tments. Today, Teagan is a cheerful, outg­oing, healthy sophomore in high school, proud member of her local swim team (b­ackstroke is her fav­orite stroke!), participates in 4-H archery, and loves to play with her family's new puppy. She sees her physician, Dr. Amanda Winters, regul­arly for clinic visi­ts. Teagan’s Mom, Er­in, shared “Dr. Wint­ers was absolutely amazing and was with us the minute we ste­pped into the emerge­ncy room at Children­’s Colorado and made sure we knew what was happening every step of the way.” Teagan is grateful to be alive and wants to share her story with other cancer pat­ients so she can rai­se awareness and help other kids and let them know they are not alone.


Harper was diagnosed with Wilms Tumor, a type of kidney cancer in children, at 14 months. She underwent a nephrectomy and continues to receive all of her treatments and follow-up care at Children’s Hospital Colorado. She has been cancer free since 2014!! Harper and her family have always been treated with kindness and compassion by her care team under Drs. Thomas Smith and Jessica Bloom and are so thankful for all the care received at Children’s Hospital Colorado. In Harper’s own words “Children’s Hospital Colorado is THE BEST!!”

Today, Harper is a joyful, kind and funny 5th grader, participates in gymnastics, lacrosse, and swimming, and enjoys playing the piano. Harper is super proud of recently learning how to ski on the double back diamond runs!! By being a Swim Across America Patient Ambassador, Harper hopes to raise money to further support the funding of cancer research at Children’s Hospital Colorado.


Midway through the 8th grade, Garrett was in a minor bicycling accident that uncovered an intramedullary spinal cord tumor. Twenty-two days later he was having surgery at Children’s Hospital Colorado to resect the tumor; however, only 50% of the tumor was resected as attempting to resect more would have put his life at risk. Following the surgery, Garrett stayed at the hospital for 3 weeks to regain functionality and to learn to walk again. Some of his most memorable experiences at Children’s Colorado was how everybody took such great care of him including the rehabilitation nurses, the doctors and all the incredible staff…..they all treated him as though he was family. Two of his favorite caregivers were Dr. Nathan Dahl from Hematology and Oncology, and Dr. Todd Hankinson from Neurosurgery as they both took the time to explain the care they were delivering in a manner that was empathetic, thoughtful, and comprehensible by someone without a medical background. Garrett just finished undergoing an investigational form of chemotherapy which has been successful in stabilizing the tumor.

Today, Garrett is a junior at Cherry Creek High School. He plays the piano and various percussion instruments, speaks Spanish semi-fluently, loves public speaking, enjoys camping, hiking/climbing fourteeners, and traveling. He just finished his Eagle Scout project and hopes to earn the Eagle Scout, the highest achievement/rank attainable in the Scouts program of the Boy Scouts of America, in a couple of months.

While Garrett can’t swim at the level he could prior to his diagnosis, he still enjoys swimming as a form of physical therapy and recreation. As an SAA ambassador, he wants to share his story with others fighting cancer and support them through their journey. In 2023, Garrett was featured on the popular YouTube series Expedition Overland through the Make a Wish Foundation.


Sunny had just turned 6 years old and in kindergarten when her Mom noticed a lump on the left side of her face that would not go away. Three biopsies later, she was diagnosed with mucoepidermoid carcinoma, a type of salivary gland cancer. Through a collaboration between the otolaryngology and the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders teams at Children’s Hospital Colorado, the tumor was surgically removed and then treated with radiation.

Sunny and her family have always been treated with kindness and compassion by her care team and are so thankful for all the care received at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Two of her most memorable experiences while at the hospital where the LOL Surprise Dolls that were given to her as gifts and the Christmas party where she was able to get her picture taken with various Disney characters. Two of her favorite caregivers included a nurse that helped her walk and an occupational therapist that is helping her move the muscles in her face again.

Today, Sunny is an artistic, lucky, and beautiful 5th grader, participates in judo, swimming at the Big Blue Swim School, speaks two languages, and enjoys drawing, painting, dancing, and singing. Sunny is super proud of winning a gold and silver medal in judo at the Rocky Mountain State Games!! By being a Swim Across America Patient Ambassador, Sunny wants to help other kids like her with their illness and let them know they are not alone.



In the middle of her junior year of high school, Lauren was struggling with intense stomach pains causing her to stop eating and resulting in almost 20 pounds of weight loss while she was doing two-a-day workouts with her high school and club swim teams. After numerous visits to a local Denver emergency room, she received the devastating diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The pain she was feeling was a tumor in her small intestine, causing her intestine to slide into an adjacent part of her intestine (called telescoping/intussusception). Lauren’s parents brought her to Children’s Colorado where she immediately started her treatment under the guidance of Dr. Kelly Maloney. “When my family and I arrived at Children’s Colorado, I immediately felt comfortable which is important when going through such a tough time. Dr. Kelly Maloney was very supportive of my love of swimming and allowed me to race one last time before chemotherapy started. She was great in treating me, making my family feel the best they could during my care and followed my health closely post-treatment.” After 12 weeks of grueling chemotherapy treatment, including the loss of her beautiful long hair (that she dyed bright blue!), horrible migraines, and medications that caused symptoms of shaky hands and blurred vision, Lauren was in remission. Her most memorable experience at Children’s Colorado was when her grandma made a surprise visit to the hospital for her 17th birthday and took her to get gelato every day she was there. Lauren finished her treatment in April 2013 and is now cancer free. Exactly one year and one day after her diagnosis, she was swimming faster than she ever had and accomplished her goal of making the sectional qualifying time for the 1-mile freestyle swim!

Today, Lauren is an ambitious, passionate, and intelligent young lady who recently completed her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at Colorado State University. She is completing a one-year rotating small animal internship at a private practice in Columbia, South Carolina. Afterwards she aspires to earn her board certification in veterinary medical oncology and work on developing better treatments for four and two-legged friends. Lauren swims because it remains a constant in her life and she is thrilled that her sport can have such a large impact on the world. Lauren has seen the amazing things that Swim Across America can do: as a patient ambassador, a swimmer and as a cancer researcher.


What started as knee pain turned into a nightmare for Markus and his family. After an X-ray revealed a mass in his leg, Markus was diagnosed with osteosarcoma a rare form of bone cancer. His family came to Children’s Colorado for a second opinion and immediately felt reassured that they would get the best care. To treat the cancer, doctors had to remove Markus’ leg at the knee. Markus opted to undergo a Van Nes Rotationplasty, a groundbreaking procedure that replaces the knee with the ankle joint from the amputated limb, which allows patients to retain more mobility

Markus’ surgery took place in July 2017. Although painful, the procedure was a success. Markus’ recovery was one of the most difficult parts of his journey, but he also remembers this time fondly. He was thrilled to wiggle his toes for the first time, and he passed the time by finding new ways to make his nurses laugh. After four days in the hospital, he was discharged the day of his 13th birthday. Once fearful, Markus is now stronger than ever. Markus was fitted for his prosthetic leg, and he’s looking forward to being able to run, jump and even play flag football again.

Markus continues to come Children’s Colorado for regular check-ups. During his many appointments, Markus loves meeting other cancer patients. He even formed an unofficial support group of fellow osteosarcoma patients, fondly nicknamed the “Osteo Club” by his nurses.

Today, Markus’ caregivers often ask him to speak to newly-diagnosed patients who are feeling helpless and afraid. Markus hopes to give other kids the same kind courage he found at Children’s Colorado.


What is SAA MY WAY?

SAA My Way is our virtual offering where you decide your activity and timeline. Register with a $50 self-donation and we’ll send you an SAA Swag Bag to show off your spirit. All donations raised for your My Way will support our SAA-Denver event. Click here to learn about all the ways you can have fun your way!

To sign up as an SAA My Way participant for our event, click the register button above and select 'SAA My Way' as your participation type. SAA My Way participants can lead their own team or join an open water team to fundraise together!


Volunteers are the backbone of the Swim Across America Family ensuring our event run smoothly from beginning to end. Even if you aren’t a swimmer, you can still help us in the fight against cancer. Don’t forget, volunteers can fundraise too if they want! Ready to volunteer with us? Click on the Register button and select the Volunteer participation type.

Land Volunteers

Land Volunteers staff all aspects of our event on land. You can anticipate helping with set up, swimmer check-in, finish line support, hospitality and post-swim events/clean up.

Water Volunteers

Water volunteers consist of kayakers, stand-up paddleboarders and power boaters that provide crucial logistical and safety support to our event officials and for our swimmers. They will monitor the swim lane, keep an active eye on all our swimmers and communicate any swimmer issues to our event officials.

Angel Swimmers

Angel Swimmers are experienced open water swimmers who are willing to accompany a nervous swimmer throughout the course. Angel swimmers must be able to swim all distances and help out if the swimmer needs. To register as an angel swimmer, choose “volunteer” and then select Angel Swimmer. The local planning team will have final approval of angel swimmers.

Questions about volunteering? Check out our SAA Volunteer Page or contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Jessica Vitcenda.


What is the Kids' Splash?

Now even the youngest kids can make a big splash. Children up to age 11 can participate by splashing a short distance along the beach. Parents are welcome to join in and must accompany non-swimmers or those under age 6.

Registration is $25 and each registered participant receives a shirt, towel and swim cap. There is no fundraising minimum for Kids’ Balloon Splash swimmers. However, they are encouraged to fundraise if they would like! Please follow the steps at the top of the page and click 'in-person swimmer' to get kids registered. Same-day registration will also be available. Join the Balloon Splash where kids support kids in the fight against pediatric cancer!


If this is your first time participating 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 can find more helpful resources on our fundraising resources page.

NEW! Watch these instructional videos to learn how to register, update your participant center, connect to Facebook and more!

Be a WaveMaker by taking your fundraising to the next level and raising $1000! Anyone can achieve WaveMaker status - swimmers, volunteers or SAA My Way participants. WaveMakers get special recognition and an exclusive WM gift on event day. You can learn more about WaveMaker Status here.

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. Participants may direct donors to mail checks to the PO Box noted above.


SAA Safety & Policies:

Participant safety is the most important component of all our events. All swimmers will be asked to follow specific safety procedures and policies to participate, as well as comply with SAA safety personnel, including local and government entities, Lifeguards, and water safety volunteers. Participants are responsible for adequately preparing for their registered event. We ask that all participants review the information packet provided in advance of event day, as well as attend the day-of safety briefing for important safety information.


All swimmers and volunteers must complete the waiver found here.

If you have questions about our policies regarding inclement weather, swim equipment or wetsuits, please consult our Policies page.


Event Schedule is tentative and subject to change.

5:45 am: Volunteer Check In

6:30 am: Registration Opens (Closes at 7:30 am)

6:45 am: Mandatory Water Safety Meeting for Water Volunteers

7:25 am: Welcome Program

8:00 am: National Anthem

8:05 am: Mandatory Safety Speech

8:10 am: 2 Mile Swim Start

8:15 am: 1 Mile Swim Start

8:20 am: 0.5 Mile Swim Start

*Course closes at 10:00 am.

10:00 am: Kid's Balloon Splash



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:

2023 SAA Denver Course Map.png


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.


Parking is available adjacent to Chatfield Resevoir. Please only park in designated parking spaces. We encourage all participants to carpool when possible.


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Time: 5:30 - 8:00 PM

Boulder High Panthers Pounce on Cancer

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Fairview Knights Joust Against Cancer

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6th Annual Jag-a-Thon

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Date: December 29th, 2023
Time: 3:30PM - 4:45PM

The John Strain Memorial Creek Invitational

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Date: April 19th & 20

Creek Crushes Cancer

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Date: May 15th
Time: 4:00 - 5:15 PM

Whalers Make Waves to Fight Cancer

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Date: June 14th
Time: 7:45 AM - 9:45 AM

Boulder High's MEN Swim Against Cancer

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Date: TBA
Time: TBA

Meadows Makes Waves Against Cancer

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Date: TBA
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Gators Swim to Fight Pediatric Cancer

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Date: June 25th
Time: 7:00 AM - 10:00 AM

7th Annual Club Greenwood Pool Swim

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Date: June 9th
Time: 8:00 AM

Aquawolves Swim Against Cancer

Greenwood Village, CO
Date: TBA
Time: TBA

ETC Stands Up to Cancer

Englewood, CO
Date: June 8, 2024
Time: 7:30AM - 9:00AM

MESA Swim Team Fights Cancer

Broomfield, CO
Date: TBA
Time: TBA

Hawk-a-Thon to Fight Cancer

Centennial, CO
Date: TBA
Time: TBA

Start A Pool Swim

Interested in raising money for SAA - Denver, but not sure you're ready for the open water? Why not start a pool swim? Gather together your family, friends or team for a day at the pool. Email Eric Vitcenda or Holden Bank to learn more!


Greenwood Athletic Club Swim to Fight Cancer - TBA

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

Denver Open Water Swim Clinic to Fight Cancer - TBA

Join us for an open water swim clinic to raise money for cancer research. All ages are welcome, but participants must be open water friendly.


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!


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 Junior Board, email Nicole Vanderpoel or Holden Bank.


Interested in being an SAA Denver Partner?

If you'd like to learn more about partnership opportunities, please review the SAA-Denver Partnership Guide or email Nicole Vanderpoel or Jessica Reinhardt Vitcenda.



Here are some recent stories that display the impact members of the Swim Across America family have had in the Denver community.


If you have any questions about SAA - Denver, please contact Nicole Vanderpoel or Jessica Reinhardt Vitcenda.
















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