Lucky's Lake Swim
Lucky’s Lake Swim is a daily 1 kilometer open water swim started by Lucky Meisenheimer in Lake Cane at his home in 1989 in Orlando, Florida, U.S.A. The free swim has achieved a cult status with open water swimmers and triathletes. Thousands from across the world have completed the swim. It is also known as the Aquatica 1K (unrelated to the Orlando water park) "Enter The Food Chain Swim".
It is one of America's Top 100 Open Water Swims.
The swim began in 1989 when Lucky Meisenheimer invited friends and masters swimmers he coached at the YMCA Aquatic Center to join him on his morning lake swim. Initially the swim was held on Saturdays, but after the first year it went to 4 days a week. In 1995, it became a daily swim except for Sundays. Originally, the swim went from April through October, in 2005 the swim went year round. The weekday swims, which are always at 6:30 am, are started in the dark much of the year. On Saturdays and holidays the swims are at 7:45 am. The starts are a mass start and no other start times are available.
The Wall of Fame
In 1999, swimmers began signing their names to a wall on the back of the Meisenheimer’s house on the first completion of the 1-kilometer course. Lucky would write one item of sporting accomplishment under the name if one existed. There is now an eclectic mix of accomplishments listed on the wall some that include; Olympic Swimmers, Olympic Water Polo, National Swimming Champions from multiple countries, World Record holders, National Parachuting Champion, Hang Gliding world record holder, National Sailing Champion, National Unicycle Champion, and scores of Ironman distance finishers. In 2004, Disney artist Ron McDonald added a swimming mural to the wall. In 2008, the wall had to be expanded to allow for more names.
The swim is done at a person's own risk. There are no lifeguards or rescue boats. Participants are expected to be accomplished swimmers: others are told not to swim. Swimmers are encouraged to use a flotation aid such as a pull buoy or wetsuit. Alligators have been seen in the lake at times and some swimmers do swim with knives, but there has never been an alligator attack. Reportedly, a lake cane monster lives in the lake. Although, never photographed, residents and swimmers have reported sightings or feeling the monster brush up against them.
On completion of a swimmer's first swim, they receive a patch with the logo of the swim, a bumper sticker with the logo and website, and get to sign the wall of fame. On the twenty-fifth crossing swimmers receive a white racing cap with the logo. On the one hundredth crossing, swimmers are inducted into the 100K club, their name is highlighted in yellow on the wall of fame, a bio is posted on the official web site, and they receive a baseball cap with the lake cane monster logo. At 150 crossings, swimmers receive a yellow racing cap, 200 crossings a T-shirt, and at 500 crossings a silver racing cap.
Lake Cane is located southwest of Orange County, Florida, just across from the Universal Studios theme park. It is a 85-acre (340,000 m2) spring fed lake with an average depth of approximately 18 feet (5.5 m). The water temperature ranges from 60ºF to 90ºF.
Swimmers from over 60 different countries have completed the swim.
In 2007 Yuko Matsuzaki a professional marathon swimmer from Japan set a Record Holders Republic (RHR) World record for the longest open water lake swim by a woman with, 82 crossings (82 kilometers)
Lucky Meisenheimer has done over 15,000 crossings.
In 2007, a RHR world record was set by a 50-person relay doing 100 crossings.
An escorted dog named Digger completed the swim 100 times in 2011.
The youngest to complete the swim is Jake Meisenheimer at age 6 and the oldest first time swimmer is Gene Augustin at the of age 84.
Distance of Lucky's Lake Swim
City Lake Cane, Orlando
Website: Lucky's Lake Swim
About Lucky Meisenheimer
At Eastern Kentucky University, he was Phi Kappa Phi, Mortar Board, Phi Sigma, a school record holder in swimming, and a Kentucky Intercollegiate Swimming Champion. He also received national publicity and was listed in Ripley’s Believe It or Not for a swimming stunt, when he swam ½ a mile with his foot in his mouth. He was selected as a national NCAA scholar athlete; the scholarship was used to attend the University of Kentucky College of Medicine which he graduated from in 1983.
An avid open water swimmer and an All American in Masters swimming he has won several open water competitions over the years including the swimming hall of Fame Gault Ocean Mile swim, the 12.5 mile Around Key West Swim where he held the fin swimming record, and multiple Triathlon Relay National Championships. He is best known for hosting a daily 1 kilometer open water swim, Aquatica, since 1989. In the fall of 2011, Doc Lucky Meisenheimer will be inducted into the Athlete's Hall of Fame for his amazing achievements in swimming.
A life member of the American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA) he is a certified level 5 masters coach and was the head coach of Team Orlando Masters at the YMCA Aquatic Center from 1989 until 2000. He was the president of the Masters Aquatics Coaches Association from 1994-95 and served on the ASCA Certification committee. He is the co-author of the “The Masters School” with Judy Bonning and Micheal Collins. In 1994, he started and continues to coach the Special Olympics swimming program (The Man O’ War Swim Team) at the YMCA Aquatic Center.
Along with being a prestigious dermasurgeon and chief of dermatology at Orlando Regional Medical Center, Doc Lucky Meisenheimer is garnering international fame and recognition for being a critically acclaimed author of The Immune, a sci fi political thriller released by LJS&S Publishing in May of 2011. The Immune has been receiving rave reviews from reviewers across the globe, who have predicted that it will soon be an important part of every political science and American literature curriculum in classrooms across the country. All book sales of The Immune on www.theimmune.com benefit the YMCA Aquatic Center's Scholarship Fund.
A founding board member of the American Yo-Yo Association, he continues to serve as chairman of the world records committee. Lucky is best known for his book “Lucky’s Collectors Guide to 20th Century Yo-Yos” and his Guinness World Record for the Largest Yo-Yo collection. A copy of "Lucky's Collectors Guide to 20th Century Yo-Yos" is part of the Smithsonian Institution collection.
A member of the Screen Actors Guild he has appeared in movies and on television. He made his directorial debut and also wrote the featurette film National Lampoon presents “RoboDoc Dissected the Making of the Movie RoboDoc ” a parody of behind the scenes making of movie, films. In the summer of 2011, Doc Lucky Meisenheimer will be filming "The Zombie Cause," a reality TV show based on his alter ego, Doc Ruger (a world renowned zombologist) and his pursuits of teaching his three sons to be zombie hunters. Solidifying his growing reputation as the world authority on zombies, Doc Lucky will also be releasing a book based on The Zombie Cause in the Summer of 2011.
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