Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

11.47 17 Sep 2019


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A 37-year-old American woman has become the first person to swim the English Channel four times in a row.

Marathon competitor Sarah Thomas trained for the feat while undergoing breast cancer treatment last year.

She began the challenge on Sunday, and finished at 6:30am this morning after swimming for 54 hours and 10 minutes.

The open water ultra marathon swimmer dedicated her swim to "all the survivors out there".

The swim was due to be about 130 kilometres.

However, Ms Thomas ended up swimming closer to 210 kilometres due to strong tides.

During the challenge she primarily ate a liquid formula of carbohydrates and electrolytes, with the support team throwing her a water bottle containing the mix.

Speaking to BBC after she finished her swim, Ms Thomas suggested dealing with the salt water was the toughest part of the challenge.

She observed: "It really hurts your throat, your mouth and your tongue.

"My crew were really great at helping me out and helping me stay strong.

"I knew what to expect from the currents and the weather and the cold, so I was very prepared for the amount of time that I was going to be in the water."

Several swimmers have previously swam the English Channel three times in a row, but Ms Thomas is the first to achieve the four-time record.

Her effort to achieve the record has been documented for a short film called The Other Side.

Main image: Sarah Thomas. Photo via The Other Side / Kickstarter

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