38th Annual Swim Around Key West June 28, 2014 Ever thought about swimming around a tropical island in the Gulf of Mexico? Throw on your swim suits and plenty of zinc oxide and join the 38th annual Swim Around Key West. Starting and ending at Smathers Beach on the Atlantic side, the 12.5 mile Key West open water swim race circumvents the island clockwise through the warm Gulf and Atlantic waters that surround this island paradise. Open to 90 solo swimmers and 25 two- and three-person relay teams, the Annual Swim Around Key West is a fun and challenging event that celebrates the active lifestyle and spirit of Key West. The summer waters around Key West are warm, around 85 degrees, so it’s super important for swimmers to stay hydrated. Every swimmer and team gets a support kayak with provisions and protection from motor boats and jet skiers. There is an 8-hour time limit for the race, so any swimmers in the water at 4:30 will be escorted by boat to the finish line. Founded in 1977 by Anna Fugina, who won the first two swims, the Swim Around Key West will donate all proceeds to the Key West High School Cross Country Team. The swim will start at 7:30 AM at Smathers Beach, followed by an awards ceremony and raffle with free gifts at 4:30 on the beach. Any solo swimmer finishing in first place and breaking the record time of 3:31:28, set by Gabe Lindsey in 1999, will be awarded $1,000 at the ceremony.