US swimmer Sarah Thomas becomes first person to swim channel four times non-stop

17 September 2019, 09:47

Sarah Thomas on dry land after completing her mammoth swim
Sarah Thomas on dry land after completing her mammoth swim. Picture: Loretta Cox

By Asher McShane

An American woman has become the first person ever to swim the English Channel four times non-stop.

Sarah Thomas, 37, from Colorado, took a sip of champagne and tucked into a bag of peanut M&Ms and said “I feel sick” after finishing her marathon 54 hour swimming challenge.

She started her swim in the early hours of Sunday and finished this morning

Posted by Loretta Cox on Monday, 16 September 2019

Swimmer Lewis Pugh posted on Twitter: “Extraordinary, amazing, super-human!!! Just when we think we’ve reached the limit of human endurance, someone shatters the records. Huge congratulations to Sarah Thomas on swimming the English Channel 4x continuously!!!”

The length of the swim in a straight line is around 80 miles, but due to tides the distance she actually covered was closer to 130 miles.

Ms Thomas, who competed treatment for breast cancer a year ago, completed her first open-water event in 2007 and first swam across the Channel in 2012 and then again in 2016.

Ahead of the start of her epic challenge, Ms Thomas wrote that she was "scared" and admitted she was "going to need some luck”.

In a Facebook post made on Saturday, she dedicated the swim to "to all the survivors out there", adding: "This is for those of us who have prayed for our lives, who have wondered with despair about what comes next, and have battled through pain and fear to overcome.

"This is for those of you just starting your cancer journey and those of you who are thriving with cancer kicked firmly into the past, and for everyone in between."