Cancer Survivor Swims Channel Four Times In A Row

A cancer survivor has become the first person to swim the English Channel four times non-stop.

Sarah Thomas
She said: "My crew was really great about helping me out and keeping me strong.

Sarah Thomas, from Colorado, USA, set off during the early hours of Sunday morning and finished at around 6.30am on Tuesday, after more than 54 hours of fighting strong tides.

After completing the gargantuan challenge, the 37-year-old ultra marathon swimmer – who completed breast cancer treatment a year ago – dedicated the accomplishment to ‘all the survivors out there’.

She said: “I just can’t believe we did it.

“I’m really just pretty numb. There was a lot of people on the beach to meet me and wish me well and it was really nice of them, but I feel just mostly stunned.

“I’m pretty tired right now.”

Ms Thomas said the greatest challenge – within the massive challenge that is swimming the channel four times in a row – was coping with the salty water, which made her throat dry and horrible, as it does. However, she also had plenty more to contend with, including unfavourable currents and a jellyfish to the face.

“Every length had something that was really hard about it. Coming back from France the last time was definitely hard. It took forever and the current pushed me all over.

As if all of this wasn’t enough, the swim was supposed to be about 80 miles, but because of those damned tides, she actually ended up swimming nearer to 130 miles.

Official observer, Kevin Murphy, said the achievement was ‘absolutely inspirational’.

Sarah Thomas
“I got stung in the face by a jellyfish and it wasn’t as cold as I thought it might be but it was still chilly.”

According to the BBC, he said: “It is a triumph, she has tested the limits of endurance.

“It is amazing, absolutely inspirational. At the end we were very emotional.”

Having survived off nothing more than a protein recovery drink mixed with electrolytes and caffeine for more than 50 hours, Ms Thomas celebrated after making land with champagne and chocolates.

Well deserved, Ms Thomas.


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