As many as 500 solo and relay-team open-ocean swimmers will attempt to conquer the eighth annual Swim for Alligator Lighthouse, a unique endurance challenge in Atlantic Ocean waters off Islamorada slated for Saturday, Sept. 11.
Individuals and two-, three- and four-person teams must complete the 8-mile roundtrip course in less than eight hours. To compete as an individual, a participant must show proof of completing a prior 1,650-meter or 1-mile swim in 45 minutes or less.
Swimmers navigate the 8-mile course and round the Alligator Lighthouse off Islamorada.
Officially sanctioned by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the event features an in-water start and beach finish at the host hotel, Amara Cay Resort at mile marker 80.5 oceanside.
First- through fifth-place solo and relay-team finishers are to win awards in male, female and mixed divisions. All successful participants receive a finisher medal and souvenir towel.
Early-bird check-in and packet pickup is set for 4-6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 9, at Amara Cay. An informal meetup social is planned for 6-9 p.m. at Florida Keys Brewing Co. at 200 Morada Way.
Swimmers can experience a host of activities during the weekend at Founders Park, Green Turtle Inn and other local eateries, according to organizers.
Each swimmer is accompanied by a safety kayaker.
Participants also can check in Friday, Sept. 10, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Amara Cay.
Saturday, wave starts for swimmers are to begin by 7:45 a.m. All swimmers must exit the water by 3:30 p.m. An awards ceremony with dinner begins at 6 p.m. at La Siesta Resort.
Entry fee is $210 for solo swimmers and individuals must provide their safety-kayaker information to race officials. Fees are $200 per person for a two-person team, $190 per person for a three-person team and $180 per swimmer on four-person relay teams.
Online registration is available and the field is to be capped at 500 swimmers, according to race officials.
Event information and registration: swimalligatorlight.com