Cliff Backyard Ultra Marathon Swim

evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
edited November 15 in General Discussion
This discussion was created from comments split from: The Barkley Marathons.

@ssthomas, @Karl_Kingery, let me know if you prefer a different title.
ssthomas
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Comments

  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member

    https://ultrasignup.com/register.aspx?did=44026

    Different race, but another race by Laz. I think the concept could work for swimming, either in the pool or open water. That race in run something like 4 miles, within an hour. You get the rest of the hour to fuel and recover.

    Mile and a half every hour? Thoughts?

  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Member

    Oh yeah. I'm plotting on this for real. I was thinking 1.5 mile swim course would be about the same as a 4 mile run.

    Anyone want to come to Colorado next summer and try this out? @Karl_Kingery and I were discussing how to make it work last week.

    JustSwimKarl_KingerylakesprayslknightSpacemanspiffKate_AlexanderForeverSwimTMcQueen
  • 1.5 miles each hour for 24 hours.

  • Karl_KingeryKarl_Kingery Denver, COMember

    Until you drop out. Might be longer than 24 hours if we get people like @ssthomas getting after it.

    JustSwimCopelj26vegasdood
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  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Member

    I actually did base it off of myself- I was still holding 1.4-1.5 MPH at around hour 67 of Lake Champlain. The running race this year last until about hour 60, so I figured there might be a few folks who could hold that for a few days. If I was planning, I sure has heck won't be swimming. I already know what it's like to swim that long. ;-) But, the lake I was thinking about doing this in is at about 8000 feet and, depending on the month, will be below 70. The "cold" and altitude would make it tougher for a lot of people. 1 mile every hour seemed too easy. I know lots of people who do that for 24 hours in the pool. Similarly, 2 MPH seemed too hard for most people to maintain over a long amount of time, especially at altitude. 1.5 MPH seemed a good compromise. I'm open to other distance suggestions.

    Karl and I were discussing course as well. I'd envisioned 4 race buoys (our lake is about 2 miles around if you swim the perimeter). Karl liked the Barkley style, were each buoy has a stash of tokens. At each turn, you have to pull out a token and we check your tokens at the start/finish to make sure you hit each turn. The items would have to be able to be stowed in your swim suit or cap for the course. We were debating having people monitoring the turn buoys to make sure everyone went to them, but I sorta like the idea that the swimmers would be out on their own. It's a small lake, with no boats, so fairly safe. If someone wanted to pull out, they could just swim to shore and walk back over or just cut the course and get to the start easily.

    In Barkley fashion, we definitely want to limit the assistance of others- so you'd be swimming on your own, in whatever conditions happen to be happening during the race. We get a lot of lightening storms in the afternoons in the summer, so people might be deciding to get out on shore and wait it out or to finish their loop. It also can get fairly windy. Or it can rain. Or it can be hot. It would be chilly overnight, for sure. We were envisioning no kayakers, probably limiting insurance to what the lake already has, etc. Low key, hard swimming.

    aafairman
  • Depending on the shape of the lake you could set it up like CIBBOW's did their Triple Dip swim which requires only 2 turn buoys and one back at the starting beach. Swimming at altitude is always an extra challenge for us Lowlanders.

  • lakespraylakespray Senior Member

    It certainly would be fun to emulate the Barkley, I'd like to nominate myself for the Lazarus Lake role so I don't actually have to swim it. But @ssthomas I will defer to Ryan for that role at the very least as the race starter ;-)

    • It would be nice to have a 10K course or around that length, even better if it were subject to a bit of swim-able current. One of difficulties in swimming compared to running is the safety aspect, ideally the body of water would not have motorized boats or so few it wouldn't matter.
    • Question, would we want the swimmers to tow there own supplies and self navigate, like the Barkley? I like the idea of nav points where the swimmer would have to prove they were there. But again the safety thing comes up if the swimmers are going solo versus kayak escort.
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  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Member

    the race @timsroot mentioned earlier is different than the Barkley. It's 4 mile loops, starting every hour. You can take as long as you like on the loops, but you have to start every hour with the group. You don't make the start, then you're out. The race goes until only one person finishes and is ready to start the next lap. If no one does a solo final loop, no one wins.

    Ken- I'm not sure we have a lake here that would make a true Barkley type of swim possible, but I think this looped race is very possible in Wellington. No assistance from anyone, other than at the camp spot. If you want supplied during your hour, you do have to tow them yourself.

    Niek- I do like the idea of changing up the course a little. Even on the running race, they do switch between a day course and a night course. Something to think about!

  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member

    ssthomas said: Anyone want to come to Colorado next summer and try this out?

    Keep me posted. If I ever get over whatever bug I've been fighting for a while now, I'm interested, even though I know I wouldn't be all that competitive

    ssthomas
  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member

    Sounds interesting. When you guys plan this with the adult-onset non-incredible open water swimmers in mind, let me know.

    dpm50
  • SpacemanspiffSpacemanspiff Dallas, TexasSenior Member

    lakespray said: - Question, would we want the swimmers to tow there own supplies and self navigate, like the Barkley? I like the idea of nav points where the swimmer would have to prove they were there. But again the safety thing comes up if the swimmers are going solo versus kayak escort.

    Yes!!!

    "Lights go out and I can't be saved Tides that I tried to swim against Have brought be down upon my knees Oh I beg, I beg and plead..."

  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Member

    So, @Karl_Kingery Karl and I are seriously thinking about putting this on the agenda for July. 1.5 mile loops, every hour. We can likely set up in our lake here- no boats, 8000 feet, water temp is around 68 in July.

    We'll have to work out details, but will likely host under Karl's already established Mountain Swim Series.

    This will be low key- so if a detailed safety plan and 10 kayaks per swimmer is your preferred way of swimming, then maybe not the event for you.

    If you're actually interested in this, message me so we have an idea if people will actually want to do this. :-)

    slknightKarl_KingerylakesprayevmoSpacemanspiffJSwimaafairman
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  • Karl_KingeryKarl_Kingery Denver, COMember

    @Niek, remember that at 5 hours, you will be either at 7.5 miles or you will be out, 10 hours=15 miles, 20 hours=30 miles, etc. It will be relentless. The lake is at 8000 ft (not as high as some lakes we swim in but "kinda high"), at night it is dark (no city lights) and the only light is from the moon (if there is one) or campfires. Plus, at night in July, the temperature drops, sometimes to near freezing. The water most likely will be warmer than the air, which could make it foggy. You will not be guided, so if you swim extra, you just swam extra, congratulations. If there is wind, tough nuggets. I have swum loops in this lake (as has Sarah and others) where there is a headwind for the entire loop. This isn't a "speed" race, it would be a race of brutality, where only the most stubborn or the toughest would "win".

    ssthomasevmoCamillelakespray
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  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin

    Completely agree with Karl and Sarah, 1.5 miles/hr is going to be plenty, plenty hard.

    I'm in.

    Karl_KingeryJSwimssthomasaafairmanJaimie
  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Member

    @Niek : the winner of the running race finished at hour 59 this year. That was the mark i was aiming for. I can do that. Who else can? ;-)

    I actually think getting put and having the rest period will make this harder. It's cold at night (we had a fire ban last summer), and you get out, get warm....and get back in? Sounds terrible to me!

    JustSwimCamille
  • BridgetBridget New York StateMember

    So tempting, and intriguing. On paper, 1.5/hr sounds great-- I do a 1:10 two mile, so figure 45-50 minutes for the 1.5. Well, having the stop-eat-break might prove that my worry about fast feeds during a marathon swim should not have been so locked in. I am aware that my food intake in the first 15 miles was fine, but the second half, and mainly last 1/3 of my swim took a lot out of me-- and I've been thinking longer food breaks would have been a good time investment.

    Doing the math, 24 hours should generate 36 miles. Well, I know that 32 miles took me just a smidge over 28 hours. So, what would the "time out" of even 5 focused minutes gain me? A more "normal" food intake option range, certainly. As a training tool, I think it is a great idea (even if getting in and out is the hardest part for me- I really don't care to get wet), and having a "closed course" without the need for support crew is nice. Bonus points if we could access food while in the water on ht rest time.

    Of course, I say we as if a trip to Colorado is an option. ;-) But I do appreciate the idea of finding a place to do the 1.5. I've got a stretch were I feel ok swimming on my own for 1/3 mile loops. Something to think about.

    But I'm starting to have to erase a row of Ks and ;s. Turning into a pumpkin. Must sleep. G'night, all.

  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member

    Niek said: For example you swim one 1.5 mile stretch in 30 minutes in the pool. (Yes I know it's outdoor.) You'll not be realy tired.
    You can rest for 30 minutes. Now all your fatigue is gone.

    @Niek, not everyone in this forum is a 3mph swimmer, in a pool or outdoor. 1.5 miles in an hour is hard enough, that's 50 min for me IF and only IF I manage to swim straight. More likely I'll be swimming 1.6 miles and be out in 2 or 3 cycles.

    But I will cheer for all who do this! I will definitely be following all your dots around on track.rs!

    IronMike said: Sounds interesting. When you guys plan this with the adult-onset non-incredible open water swimmers in mind, let me know.

    dpm50
  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Senior Member

    I'm very pokey compared to all of you. My most recent "how far can you swim in an hour" test (in a pool, mind you) had me at 2650 yds, so I'd be eliminated in one go-round! But I'll cheer (virtually at least) for all participants!

    The one-hour run limit for the 4 miles allowed even 12 -15 minute milers (pretty slow pace that even the most casual jogger could maintain for a while) time to rest/refuel.

    One mile every hour swimming solo, no kayak etc., dark, foggy conditions! You have my blessing, but I'd need to be a lot quicker before you'd have my body there! Which btw, is totally ok b/c if it were easy, anyone could do it. A person has to qualify to run the Boston Marathon (okay, it does admit slower runners who raise x amt of $, but the qualifiers have rhe cachet of making the standard). And likewise, not just anyone could keep going for days at a time 1.5 mph. So not a citizen race, but many races aren't, and that's cool.

    IronMike
  • MoCoMoCo Worcester, MAMember

    This sounds like a ton of fun and I look forward to hearing the stories (I'm also on the "too pokey for this" list. Unless you want to add a JV division.)

    dpm50
  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member

    MoCo said: Unless you want to add a JV division.

    I think you could make this work, although officiating it would be tougher...if you fail on the longer course of 1.5 miles (as has been thrown around here), have an alternate, shorter 1 mile course. If you can't make that one, then you're completely done.

  • MoCoMoCo Worcester, MAMember
    edited November 1

    timsroot said:

    MoCo said: Unless you want to add a JV division.

    I think you could make this work, although officiating it would be tougher...if you fail on the longer course of 1.5 miles (as has been thrown around here), have an alternate, shorter 1 mile course. If you can't make that one, then you're completely done.

    or, to make it totally evil, athlete's choice. do you start out on the longer course (shorter rest) and stay there as long as possible? do you start out on the shorter course (longer rest) and stay there? do you go back and forth between the two of them?

    you'd just need to decide if the winner is the one who swam the longest, or the farthest.

    ssthomas
  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Member

    I can see that- two events: a 1 mile and a 1.5 mile. You'd do one or the other, but not both. Trouble would be fast people signing up for the 1 mile race and going forever. That wouldn't be fair. I'll think on it. Probably not something we could consider for this year, but if year 1 goes well, we can think about other ways to make it better as we go. Good ideas!

    I've received a few emails- enough to show that there is def some interest. Karl and I are working on some details and will of course need to get permissions. We'll keep you all posted. Keep the ideas coming! :-)

    Karl_KingeryrosemarymintSolo
  • Everyone could swim the 1.5 mile course but the repeat interval could vary. Slower people could elect a 90 minute or 2 hour interval, with a total maximum time of 24 hours. Whoever is still swimming after 24 hours wins. Ties count. Fast people swimming a 2 hour interval can be mocked shamelessly. :-)

    rosemarymintdpm50Spacemanspiffdrewbird
  • rosemarymintrosemarymint Charleston, SCCharter Member

    I like having the multiple options. I'm super pokey and will be coming from an epic altitude/temperature disadvantage, but a mile option for me is doable, though hopefully i don't die after hour 3 because altitude... I'll need to think about it!

    dpm50
  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member

    @ssthomas - I know I'm not local to you, but if there is anything I can help with, I'm happy to

    ssthomasKarl_Kingery
  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Senior Member
    edited November 2

    Depending on the timing and whether I get into StS next year (must make date w my computer when reg/ opens), the mile idea could make this doable for my ....er.... speed.

    I've committed to the 24 hr relay in Feb (friends say I should be committed for even thinking of swimming in SF Bay at that time of year, and I can't say I disagree, but it's a good kind of crazy).

    Have to think of travel budget since I'm also going to a family wedding in NH next November.

    Maybe 2-3 wild and crazy swims are making their way to my calendar.... so only thing to do is chill and enjoy! :)

    rosemarymint said: I like having the multiple options. I'm super pokey and will be coming from an epic altitude/temperature disadvantage, but a mile option for me is doable, though hopefully i don't die after hour 3 because altitude... I'll need to think about it!

  • JaimieJaimie NYCCharter Member

    I only swim about 1.5 mph but if this were a mile an hour I would do it (mostly because of the ability to REAPPLY SUNSCREEN - my dream come true :)

    rosemarymintJustSwimssthomasIronMikelakespraydpm50drewbird
  • VanCornwellVanCornwell Marin, CANew Member

    Sounds like a great event. I'd love to be there if possible. Where in CO is the lake exactly?

  • Karl_KingeryKarl_Kingery Denver, COMember

    it is about a 90 minute drive southwest of Denver above the small town of Bailey. It's called Wellington Lake.

    Jaimie
  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Member

    Karl and I were discussing this last night and we realized we had a difference in vision. So, I thought I'd put this out to you guys for some brainstorming.

    So, to me- this is about winning: The race is over when one person completes a solo lap.

    To Karl, this is about not failing: The race is over when one person gets tired of swimming.

    In my version, the race/event ends as soon as one person finishes on their own, regardless of if they could have swum for longer. To Karl, one person can do solo laps as long as he/she wants. My version would theoretically be done sooner, since it would take finding TWO people (at least) who want to swim for days and days. Karl's version could go on for days, since one person can keep on going forever.

    Do any of you have a way you were envisioning this or have an opinion? Seems boring to me to have to watch one person swim laps for days. Much more interesting to watch people battle against each other. But, from Karl's point of view, one person can push himself/herself to find their personal limit.

    We have a call today with the lake owners and hope to have a date sometime soon (hoping for a full moon weekend at the end of July). We're still discussing cost- we have to take into account lake entry fees, camp site fees, insurance, and other admin costs. Our goal is to make it as affordable as possible where we don't lose money.

    We also have a name: The Cliff Backyard Ultra Marathon Swim, after our pal Cliff Crozier (in Barkley Marathon naming tradition). We've been calling it The Cliff, for short. :-)

    lakesprayevmoKarl_KingeryJSwimJustSwim
  • JaimieJaimie NYCCharter Member
    edited November 15

    +1 for the Karl version

    I don't like the "winning" versus "not failing" dichotomy though. Long swims should be about so much more than that.

    That said, this would probably be more than a weekend. It could go a week for sure.

    Karl_Kingerythelittlemerwookie
  • MoCoMoCo Worcester, MAMember

    I went back to the original, inspiration race link and it says: "until only one runner can complete a race within the time limit."

    I vote Team Sarah here (not that I'm racing this!)

    ssthomasKarl_KingeryslknightJSwimgregoc
  • lakespraylakespray Senior Member

    @ssthomas Both, the first person who completes a solo lap is the winner. Yeah hurrah, confetti and all that ;-) Volunteers, race admin can go home to work or play. Then if said person has arranged there own support, paid there own camp fees, arranged observers etc., they can keep going as long as they want.

    ssthomasKarl_KingeryslknightJSwim
  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Member

    @Jaimie - I was definitely over simplifying for the point of explanation. Karl and I both feel much more about long swims than just about winning or not failing and I can't think of a time I've ever presented a long swim to myself in such a manner. But, we are talking about a race here, where there is going to be winner! :-) And I'm not really committed to hanging out at the lake for a week while one person soldiers on indefinitely.

    @lakespray- I mostly said the same thing to Karl last night. If they want to keep going, so be it!

    Karl_Kingeryslknight
  • This discussion reminds me a bit of that scene in the Goldie Hawn movie "wildcats" (I think that was the title, at least) where she's having to prove herself to the football team. She challenges them to run.... "if I drop before any one of you, I'll quit." In the middle of the fracas, she tells them that she ran the Boston Marathon -- "TWICE!" -- and yeah, she wins.

    I'm with the "It's over when the last swimmer is swimming" aspect of it.... because, if I understand it right.... the distance isn't fixed. You "just" have to outlast everyone else. Get a strong field one time, and you need to be stronger. A different field might yield a different winner. The sense of competition is definitely a part of it that way.

    For this event, anyway. (and it looks really really fun, but I"m not anywhere near able to think about something like this -------------- yet. ;) )

    BUT, the other type of event also looks fun, too. The "how long can you swim?" type of event.
    Both are attractive, but I think you have to hold them as separate events. There are different logistics for each. Even the most ultra of ultra running events have time cutoffs and a fixed finish line.

    So, for THIS event. -- "swim until you're all alone." (compare yourself to others) For a different event. -- "swim as long as you can" (compare yourself to yourself)

    slknightlakespray
  • FlowSwimmersFlowSwimmers Polson, MontanaMember
    edited November 15

    In your inaugural year, and before you have a better understanding of the participants limitations, you might consider an event time limit regardless of the the @Karl_Kingery or @ssthomas option.

    Because, if you have two swimmers who want to swim "forever," are you prepared to stay with them until there is a winner?

    It might be fun to set total time limit and then come up with some type of "eliminator" format to finally declare a winner. For example:

    Event Time Limit: 72 Hours

    Group Rounds: ALL successful swimmers continue each hour UNTIL there are more swimmers than hours remaining.

    Eliminator Rounds (if necessary): Once there are more swimmers than hours remaining, the slowest swimmer will be eliminated each hour until a winner is declared in the 72nd hour.

    Solo Rounds (if necessary): If at any point during the event, there is only ONE swimmer remaining, that person will be declared the winner, and they may choose to continue swimming, hourly, up to the event maximum of 72 hours.

    From a spectator and organizer standpoint, I think this would be more interesting, too, as I would be WAY more likely to stay and cheer people on if I knew that the maximum time commitment would be 72 hours --- or whatever was defined as the event limit.

    Just a thought...In future years, you could adjust accordingly.

    Jaimielakespraythelittlemerwookiecurlygrappledunkdrewbird
  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member

    The way I was envisioning the race was closer to what @ssthomas was envisioning. At big's, there have been years where after going for like 3 days, race leaders agreed to bail at the same time.

    I'm pretty sure Laz declared no winner that year

    gregocKarl_Kingery
  • JSwimJSwim western Maryland, USMember

    What if after 36 hours (or maybe 48 hours), the time interval was decreased by 1 minute each lap?

    After 36 more laps (taking 24:54 instead of 36:00), the total elapsed time would be 60:54. And the allowed time for that last lap would be :24. The event would be guaranteed to finish in less than 3 days and if you want brutal, this would definitely be that.

    lakesprayslknightJaimie

    Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. --Neale Donald Walsch

  • BridgetBridget New York StateMember

    ssthomas said:

    Karl and I were discussing course as well. I'd envisioned 4 race buoys (our lake is about 2 miles around if you swim the perimeter). Karl liked the Barkley style, were each buoy has a stash of tokens. At each turn, you have to pull out a token and we check your tokens at the start/finish to make sure you hit each turn. The items would have to be able to be stowed in your swim suit or cap for the course.

    Option beyond tokens: somehow secure hair elastics to the buoy- I used to put six on one wrist and move one each lap at the beach figuring left to right and back was a mile. ;-) I still swim with one and clip my nose clip to it when I stop swimming.

    Jaimie
  • gregocgregoc Charter Member

    I have to agree with the last person standing (swimming) format. Maybe with a reasonable end point even if more than one swimmer is still swimming.

  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member

    Wow, take a week off from the forum and everything changes...

  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Member

    @ironmike: what changed on this thread?

    For the rest of you, I think we decided on the last man standing format for this year, to keep things easier and more in line with the running race. We should have the camp sites Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night (July 27-29). We'll do some type of pre-swim meeting Friday and start early on Saturday. If it's looking like we're going to go into a third night, we'll probably do as @timsroot suggested and declare a draw. And then make it harder next year. BUWAHAHAHAHA.

    Karl drafted out a triangle course- a start/finish buoy and two turn buoys. We'll have minimal water support, but will likely have 1-2 stations along the shore should someone run into an issue. Obviously, if you get out or use the aide, your race is over.

    There are no hotels near this lake, so if you're traveling, you'll want to consider camping all nights.

    There is no potable water and only vault toilets, so be warned.

    More info coming. And message me (if you haven't already) if you're interested in this.

  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member

    @ssthomas, when this first started, I never in a million years thought it would be a 72-hour or longer "race." Plus I was referring to all the now-blank inputs above when I mentioned change.

    ssthomas
  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Member

    @IronMike - I hope this doesn't go 72 hours. 48 seems reasonable and less seems more appealing, but swimmers gotta swim. ;-)

  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member
    edited November 22

    @ssthomas - if there isn't potable water available on site, will there be someone who can run to a store somewhere and get some would people need it in the middle of the race? I'm not at all familiar with the area, or your feelings on if neutrally supplied water would count as aide

    ssthomas
  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Member

    @Karl_Kingery and I are discussing this. We're pretty remote at Wellington, so a trip to a store is about a 2 hour round trip (though I might have to scope out some of the gas stations along the way that are closer than a grocery store). I'm inclined to say that you'll need to bring your own water and we'll have some extra should you run out. Karl is inclined to filter water for folks so you have an unlimited supply. Either way, I'm guessing you'll want to bring your own water- but if you run out I don't have a problem with you getting help with that from us or co-racers. As we nail down details on stuff like that, we'll be sure to communicate with everyone. Still thinking out loud some.

    Karl is working on a website, which will include registration. We'll share when it's all ready.

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