American ultra long-distance swimmer Sarah Thomas became the first person to swim the Channel four times non-stop, report Frances Perraudin and Sean Ingle of British daily newspaper The Guardian. The 37-year-old swam nearly 215 km in the open sea in 54 hours, dedicating her achievement to breast cancer survivors. Thomas swam the Channel amid strong tides, extending a route that she was expected to cover in just 84 miles, which was less than the distance she completed. British endurance swimmer Lewis Pugh was impressed with the 37-year-old’s feat, describing her accomplishment as “extraordinary” and “superhuman.”
In November 2017, Thomas was diagnosed “with an aggressive form of breast cancer,” undergoing surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation as well as using swimming to cope with breast cancer. According to a Facebook post, a member of her team noted that the conditions of the final leg were “dark, windy and choppy.” They said, “This is supposed to be the most challenging leg of the swim so please keep up the good vibes you’ve all been sending her way.”
|Photo Credit by The Guardian|
Thomas commemorated her success with champagne and chocolates. Kevin Murphy, an observer, acknowledges that the woman “ tested the limits of endurance.” “It is amazing, absolutely inspirational. At the end we were very emotional,” he states. Before Thomas swam the Channel, she expressed her fear of the challenge. She explains, “I’ve been waiting for this swim for over two years now and have fought so hard to get here. Am I 100%? No.” In the end, she took the challenge, placing herself ahead of four people who previously completed the Channel crossing three times non-stop.
Thomas shares, “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.” Her achievement is also for people who are starting their cancer journey, including thriving individuals with cancer and “everyone in between.”
|Photo Credit by Pixabay|
Becky Baxter, Thomas’s mother, reveals that her daughter managed to sustain herself by drinking a carbohydrate shake every 30 minutes. The bottle was tied to a rope, which Thomas consumed in 10-15 seconds. The long-distance swimmer also ate solid foods. Baxter commends her daughter’s determination, citing the obstacles she encountered in the swim such as being caught in the tide. Despite that, Thomas refused to quit. Baxter recounts, “And so we had to do some screaming and yelling and get her to dig deep and she found it after all that time. I’m pretty proud of her.”