It all started when World Renowned Artist, Lighthouse Larry, decided to swim, in his native town of Islamorada, to Alligator Lighthouse and back, alone and self-supported, his friends thought he was crazy. When he then said out loud “every open water swimmer should experience this,” Larry became the anchor to the Swim for Alligator Lighthouse.
The Fighting Manatee Swim Club, the Masters swim club of Islamorada, accepted the challenge to present a world class open water swim event in the Florida Keys. The Fighting Manatees presented the Inaugural Swim for Alligator Lighthouse in 2013. It’s here to stay!
You are likely a bit curious about the name, interestingly the name doesn’t come from the reptile, but rather a ship. It honors the U.S. Navy schooner Alligator, part of the U. S. Navy Anti-Piracy Squadron that had recently been established in Key West, which went aground at this location in 1822. The Alligator was blown up after removing as much as possible from it to prevent it from being used by pirates. Countless vessels have also sunk here on the reef’s jagged coral.
Proceeds from the swim benefit the “Friends of the Pool” in Islamorada, providing scholarships for high school students. They also support small investments towards the preservation of Alligator Light. The Swim brings awareness to treasured Historic Lighthouses on Florida’s Coastal Waterways. Friends of the Pool is an all volunteer organization.
Like the other GSS races in the Florida Keys, this race makes a perfect destination race. Scheduling even works out well for an awesome September getaway. It doesn’t take much convincing to get someone to do a spectacularly beautiful race like this in the Keys. Nor is it hard to convince family and friends to join you on a relay, crew, or just a great getaway. Only a 2 hour drive from Miami means that the race is easily accessible to just about anyone in the world that is looking for an incredible swim in a beautiful tropical paradise.