ISLAMORADA, Fla. (AP) — A three-time Olympic gold medalist and a former college All-American won top honors Saturday at an annual 8-mile (13-kilometer) ocean swim around the Alligator Reef Lighthouse off the Florida Keys.
Olympian Brooke Bennett, 43, of Clearwater, was the top female swimmer, finishing second overall behind Connor Signorin, a former All-American at the University of Florida who lives in Tampa. While both excelled at competing in pools, the swim around the 150-year-old lighthouse presented a different challenge.
“You’re here amongst the sea life and this is your natural form of swimming — this isn’t pool swimming, this is as natural as it gets … beautiful,” said Signorin, 31, after finishing the race in 2 hours, 59 minutes, 44 seconds.
About 400 people participated in the race that raised money and awareness of the need to preserve the historic lighthouse and five other aging beacons off the Florida Keys.