ISLAMORADA, Florida Keys — Hundreds of solo and relay-team swimmers are expected to conquer the fifth annual Swim for Alligator Lighthouse Saturday, Sept. 23, a unique open-ocean endurance swimming challenge in Atlantic waters off Islamorada.
Individuals and two-, three- and four-person teams have up to seven hours to complete the 8-mile roundtrip course. Participants must show proof of completing a prior 1,650-meter or 1-mile swim in 35 minutes or less to compete as an individual.
The 2017 course features an in-water start and beach finish at the event's new headquarters, Amara Cay Resort, located at mile marker (MM) 80.5 oceanside in Islamorada.
First- through fifth-place solo and relay-team finishers are to win awards in male, female and mixed divisions. All successful participants are to receive a finisher medal and souvenir towel.
Award ceremonies are to begin at 6:30 p.m. at Morada Way, MM 81.5 oceanside.
Early-bird check-in and packet pickup is 4-6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21. Afterward a meetup for participants is planned at Florida Keys Brewing Co. at 200 Morada Way. The brewing company is located inside the expanse of the evening's free-admission Morada Way Art Walk, scheduled 6-9 p.m. between mile markers 81 and 82.
Participants also can check in Friday, Sept. 22, from 2-7 p.m. Start times for swimmers are to begin at 7:40 a.m. Saturday, in heats. All swimmers must exit the water by 3:30 p.m.
The entry fee for solo swimmers is $150 and entries are full, with a waitlist.
The fee is $140 per person for a two-person team, $95 per person for a three-person team and $90 per swimmer on four-person relay teams. The field is limited to 400 swimmers total.
Admission for spectators is free.
Athletes, support crews, family and friends can make the most of their time in the Keys with the Florida Keys Flip Flop Experience, a passport booklet of values for Islamorada area activities, attractions, dining, water adventures, shopping and more. Passports can be picked up at the Florida Keys Brewing Co. or Ron Levy Aquatic Center at Founders Park, MM 87.
Specially priced Islamorada accommodations are available to participating swimmers.
Event information and registration: swimalligatorlight.com
Islamorada visitor information: fla-keys.com/islamorada or 1-800-FAB-KEYS