Alligator Reef Lighthouse Swim

From Openwaterpedia
Larry Herlth, first person to complete the 9.2-mile (14.8 km) ocean swim from Islamorada around the Alligator Lighthouse
Swimmer and escort kayaker in the Alligator Reef Lighthouse Swim in Islamorada, Florida
Dale LeClair, winner of the 2013 Alligator Reef Lighthouse Swim
Start of the Alligator Reef Lighthouse Swim
Escort kayaker and ocean swimmers at the Alligator Reef Lighthouse Swim in Islamorada, Florida

Alligator Reef Lighthouse Swim (or Annual Swim for Alligator Light, also the Islamorada around the Alligator Lighthouse and the Swim for Alligator Lighthouse or Alligator Lighthouse Swim or Swim Alligator Lighthouse) is an 8 nautical mile (9.2 miles or 14.8 km) marathon swimming charity competition in Islamorada in the Florida Keys, originally organized by Jonathan Strauss and currently organized by Fred Rzymek. The marathon swim is from Islamorada, Florida around the Alligator Lighthouse and back for solo swimmers, 2-person teams, and 4-person teams on 21 September 2013.


This ocean swim was first accomplished by Larry Herlth, also known as Lighthouse Larry, who is an American artist and open water swimmer from Islamorada, Florida who completed the inaugural 8-mile 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, including the Sombrero, Molasses, American Shoal, Carysfort and Sand Key lighthouses. He was supported by the Fighting Manatees, a masters swim team in Islamorada. A 5-person relay team that included 6-time Olympic medalist Jon Olsen swam alongside him for most of the swim.


All proceeds of the Annual Swim for Alligator Light benefit the Friends of the Pool in Islamorada to help provide scholarship opportunities to those in need and aid the support of treasured Historic Lighthouses on Florida’s Coastal Waterways. Friends of the Pool is an all volunteer 501(c)3 organization.


The start area will be a designated chute in order to count all swimmers entering the waterway. The start will be an in-water start in waves of approximately 50 swimmers at one time in heats of 2 minutes. Large buoys will be placed at least every ½ mile. The course will be an out-and-back 4 mile each way. The passage requires swimmers keep buoy markers on their left shoulder. Every team or individual is required a support craft. The lead vessel will have an official Organizer uniform. The finish is on land under a finish archway.

Time Limits

6-hour time limit: The Referee may allow swimmers to finish race after allotted time limit if swimmer and safety officials are capable of escorting the swimmer to a safe and secure finish. 2-person teams may relay as many times as they wish, but each swimmer MUST be in the water at least 1 hour. 4-person teams may relay as many times as they wish, but each swimmer MUST be in the water at least a ½ hour.

2013 Results

1. Dale LeClair (43) 1:57 pace, 4:49:37.48
2. Portia Culley (42) 2:00 pace, 4:56:31.30 [fins]
3. Luther Davis (39) 2:01 pace, 4:58:21.40
4. David R. Heffernan (53) 2:01 pace, 4:59:44.62 [fins]
5. Carlos Lloreda (59) 2:01 pace, 5:00:01.76
6. Denise Desalniers (48) 2:03 pace, 5:04:48.56 [fins]
7. Wayne Hannum (60) 2:05 pace, 5:08:51.97
8. Cesar J. Valdesuso (70) 2:05 pace, 5:09:34.00 [fins]
9. Kelsea Volland (16) 2:07 pace, 5:14:34.40
10. Danielle Maham (43) 2:13 pace, 5:29:26.69
11. Sarah Maschal (35) 2:17 pace, 5:39:47.65
12. Chuck Tanner (56) 2:17 pace, 5:39:48.66
13. Alexander Harling (40) 2:18 pace, 5:42:28.55
14. Julie Salvetti (51) 2:19 pace, 5:43:00.39
15. Karl Stine (54) 2:19 pace, 5:44:05.46
16. Kerri Kanuga (43) 2:19 pace, 5:44:14.88
17. Evan O'sheehan (16) 2:20 pace, 5:47:09.17
18. Bill Welzien (63) 2:23 pace, 5:54:09.25
19. Richard Fohr (49) 2:24 pace, 5:55:29.44
20. Andrea Roach (39) 2:25 pace, 5:59:06.93
21. Christopher Audet (40) 2:31 pace, 6:13:13.90
22. Elizabeth Berns (36) 2:32 pace, 6:14:53.91
23. Larry Herlth (53) 2:47 pace, 6:53:31.96
24. Rob Dixon (52) 2:57 pace, 7:17:11.20
25. Tom Krasner (51) 3:05 pace, 7:37:21.13

Alligator Reef Lighthouse Swim

External links