Olympic medalists Jon Olsen and Jeremy Linn will host the kick-off open water swimming clinic in Islamorada, Florida for the inaugural 8-mile (12.8 km) Alligator Reef Lighthouse Swim.
This ocean swim was first accomplished by Larry Herlth, also known as Lighthouse Larry. The renowned artist completed the first solo swim from Islamorada around the Alligator Lighthouse and back in 5 hours 11 minutes. Herlth attempted the swim as a crusade to raise awareness about Alligator Lighthouse and the five other historic, but deteriorating, beacons in the Florida Keys.
A 5-person relay team that included 6-time Olympic medalist Jon Olsen and masters swimmers from the Fighting Manatees team swam alongside him for most of the swim.
But When Lighthouse Larry first swam the course designated as a trial for the Alligator Reef Lighthouse Swim, he never imagined so many swimmers would attempt to replicate his swim – especially when a sea of moon jellies has moved in along the course. But over 100 hard-core ocean swimmers will line up and head out 4 miles to sea, round the lighthouse this Saturday.
The swim itself features warm salty waters that could generate some serious ocean swells depending on the conditions. The Atlantic Ocean boasts a massive bloom of moon jellyfish that is, at least figuratively, mitigated by the fabulous scenery and fauna the swimmers will encounter as they swim over Alligator Reef and circle the historic lighthouse. While the swim under perfect conditions can take an average swimmer just under 5 hours, this weekend’s forecast and current trends could create situations where the swimmers will be fighting Mother Nature for over 6 hours.
The weekend includes an art walk where Lighthouse Larry will showcase his replica Alligator Lighthouse, an Olympian-hosted swim clinic, and a pasta dinner at Morada Bay.
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