Bill Welzien

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Bill Welzien is an American open water swimmer and race director of the 12.5-mile Swim Around Key West, one of the longest marathon swims in the world.

[edit] Marathon Swimming

Welzien has completed an unprecedented 55 circumnavigations of Key West, Florida. He also completed a 10 hour 25 minute solo crossing of the 21 km (13-mile) Sea of Galilee (also known as the Lake of Gennesaret, Lake Kinneret or Sea of Tiberias (Hebrew: ים כנרת‎), (Arabic: بحيرة طبريا‎) on 2 September 2009. He also completed the 8-mile Alligator Reef Lighthouse Swim in Islamorada, Florida on 21 September 2013.

[edit] Swim Around Key West

The Swim Around Key West began in 1977 by Anna Fugina, who had suffered injuries from a car accident and used swimming as therapy to assist in recovery. On 4 July 1977, Fugina took roughly 12 hours to finish the circumnavigation around Key West. In 1978, she finished in eight hours. She completed the 37 annual Swim Around Key West in a relay in 7 hours 32 minutes.

The race takes a clockwise course around Key West, the southernmost tip of Florida and is held in June. The original Swim Around Key West is held in beautiful, shallow, generally calm warm waters (85°F or 29.4ºC) with the bottom of the ocean visible throughout the course. Abundant marine life includes Conch shells, manna rays, seaweed, sting rays, sea turtles, very docile nurse sharks and colorful tropical fish. Race includes a solo swim, a 2-person relay and a 3-person relay.

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