Swim Description:

Racing will begin Saturday, August 4, at precisely 6:02 am. Swimmers will complete a 1.5 mile loop on a triangular race course, every hour. Racing will continue every hour until no swimmer completes a loop. If we reach 6:02 pm on Sunday, August 5, without a winner, race directors will implement a swim-off. There will be one award for our first-place finisher.

Because this is our first year, the event will be capped to a limited number of participants.

The Location:

This race will take place at Wellington Lake: www.castlemountainrec.com

            Address: 21843 Stoney Pass Rd, Bailey, CO 80421
            Phone: 303-8385-5496

Wellington Lake is 45 minutes from the small town of Conifer, with dirt road access. You don’t need 4-wheel drive to access the lake, but a Prius will have a harder time getting there than other types of vehicles. There are potholes.

The lake is at 8,000 feet above sea level. Day time temps will be warm, in the 70s. Night time temps could drop into the 40s.  Water temp estimates are 65-68. Do not plan for water over 70 degrees. Afternoon storms are possible, with rain, lightning and/or hail.


 This is a remote, mountain location. There is no running water at Wellington Lake. There are vault toilets and we’ll provide a port-a-potty. Swimmers will be responsible for:

  • Camping/Sleeping gear for themselves and crew members
  • All food and water for the duration of the event for themselves and crew members

The nearest grocery stores are in Conifer, 45 minutes-1 hour from Wellington (depending if you drive like Sarah or Karl). We suggest you get your supplies at either the King Soopers or Safeway in Conifer. Otherwise, your only other chance to re-supply will be at gas station/convenience stores, which are around 30 minutes away. Crew members are allowed to leave/return to Wellington Lake if needed, but race volunteers cannot guarantee assistance with supply runs.

Race directors will provide:

  • Firewood
  • Water, in case of emergency
  • Emergency medical support
  • Post event meal on Sunday

If you are coming from out of town and need assistance with tents, sleeping bags, or other gear, please inform Sarah or Karl and we will do our best to help locate items to loan to you for the weekend. We cannot guarantee we’ll have extra supplies, but please let us know and we will do our best.

Because there is limited parking and camping sites at Wellington Lake, teams will be limited to 3 people: One swimmer and two crew members. Additionally, your team is limited to only one vehicle. Race fees will cover the parking and camping for your team of three for Friday and Saturday night.

If you need additional crew members, have family/friends who want to come watch, or need an extra vehicle, you will need to pay those fees directly to Wellington Lake when you arrive. Campsites do fill up quickly, so if you intend to bring additional team members or to camp on Sunday night, you will want to book those sites online, directly through Wellington Lake, as soon as possible. If you do not book sites in advance, we cannot guarantee there will be additional spots available for your crew/friends on race weekend.

Campsites must be cleared out by Sunday at 9 am and re-located to the general, day use area during the day on Sunday. Any accommodations for Sunday night are left up the individual swimmer.

**Please note: Cell phone reception and internet is very spotty and not guaranteed at the lake.

Swim Rules:

  • Swimmers must fully complete a race loop of 1.5 miles within every hour. Failure to start the next race at :02 on the hour means you have exited the race. Late starts are not allowed. Race directors have the sole discretion to determine if you were late to the start or not.
  • Wetsuits are prohibited. You may only compete in a textile swim suit. Women may only wear a standard swim suit. Female suits may not cover the shoulder or continue to the knees. Men may wear a traditional Speedo cut suit, box suits, or jammers. Male suits may not extend below the knee. If you have to ask, it’s probably not allowed.
  • Swim aids of any type are prohibited. You may wear a swim suit (as outlined above), one silicone or latex swim cap, grease, ear plugs, and goggles. You will be required to wear a light if swimming at night.
  • MP3 players are prohibited.
  • Simple wrist watches are allowed. No other type of navigational devices or GPS devices are allowed.
  • Loop direction is at the discretion of the race directors and may be changed at any time.
  • Swimmers must stop at the two race course buoys to collect a token before they can be checked in as officially completing a loop. Failure to procure both tokens will disqualify a swimmer from continuing the race.
  • Swimmers may not accept any aid from spectators, race volunteers, or officials during their swim loop. Accepting any type of aid means forfeiting your loop.
  • In the event of lightning or inclement weather, race volunteers will alert the swimmers. At their own discretion, swimmers may then either exit the water during their loop or continue swimming at their own risk. If you choose to exit the water, you may not make any forward progress. The clock does not stop if you exit the water, so if you choose to exit the water, you must complete your loop and be ready for the next loop at :02 on the hour.
  • There will be race volunteers placed on opposite shores at CROWS point and the boat launch. They are there if you require assistance or need to stop in the middle of your loop, however, if you exit the water for any reason other than for inclement weather or accept assistance from volunteer crews, you will be disqualified.
  • We will have a few roaming kayaks during the race. They are not there to assist you unless it’s an emergency. They will not guide you if you get off course. They will not hold feeds for you. However, if you have an emergency and want to quit, they will be available to help you exit the water safely.
  • Race directors have the discretion to change the rules at the start of each loop. You are not allowed to complain.
  • If we reach 6 pm on Sunday with more than one racer, the race directors will implement a race-off, which will be described at that time.

Swim Schedule:

Friday, August 3:

  • Noon-4 pm: Check in and set up camp at Wellington Lake.
  • 5:00 pm: Pre-Swim Dinner and Informational Meeting. Location TBD.
  • 9:00 pm: Quiet hours at the lake.

Saturday, August 4:

  • 6:02 am: Race Start

Sunday, August 5:

  • 6:02 pm: Post-swim meal. There may be racers still competing, but we’ll still eat.
  • 6:02 pm: If there are still racers lined up, race directors will implement a swim-off.

Miscellaneous Items:

  • This is an outdoor, open water event. Things can happen that mean the event may be cancelled. There is no option for an alternate weekend. We’ll do our best to hold the event no matter what, but please know that race fees are non-refundable.
  • This is meant to be a self-supported event. We’re providing the location and basic amenities, but you are on your own for everything else.
  • Race Directors have the right to refuse/deny an application to this event for any reason. Experience will be a major factor on whether or not your application is accepted. Please include as much of your swim history as you think is pertinent on the application.
  • Application deadline is May 1. We will notify you of your acceptance by May 8.


Please fill out this application and email it Sarah at ssthomas04@hotmail.com; cc: mountainswimseries@gmail.com.  Application is due by May 1, 2018.  Participants will be announced by May 8, 2018.

Payment instructions are included at the bottom of the application.  Race fee will be $300 and is non-refundable.  Race fee is due by July 1, 2018.

The Cliff Backyard Ultra Swim Application.pdf