US swimmer Sarah Thomas, today, September 17, became the first person to swim across the English Channel four times without stopping, refueling only on a liquid formula during her 54-hour feat, BBC reported.
The 37-year-old woman from Colorado started the epic task in the early hours of Sunday, September 15 and completed it in more than 54 hours on Tuesday (September 17) morning, the BBC reported.
She performed her record-breaking swim a year after receiving treatment for breast cancer, and dedicated her achievement to fellow cancer survivors.
She came ashore on a beach near Dover, on the south coast of England, on Tuesday morning, September 17, exhausted and with a sore throat from all the salt water.
Speaking to the BBC after the epic feat, she said in a croaky voice, “I’m really tired and I’m losing my voice from all the salt water.”
On being asked about the worst part of it, she said “Probably dealing with the salt water over four days or two days, it really hurts your throat, your mouth and your tongue.” But she added: “My crew was really great about helping me out and keeping me strong.”
Thomas consumed only a liquid diet during her swim. Her support crew, following her in a boat, would throw her a bottle containing a mix of carbohydrates, electrolytes and some caffeine, with a little apple juice to improve the flavor.
“That’s what I ate most of the way,” she said.
“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.
“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.”
“There were a lot of people on the beach to meet me and wish me well. That was really nice of them, but I feel just mostly stunned right now, I just can’t believe we did it.”
“Hopefully I can sleep the rest of the day. I’m pretty out of it and pretty tired right now, for sure,” she said.
Only four swimmers had previously crossed the Channel three times without stopping. Before Ms Thomas no-one had ever completed a fourth leg.
Swimmer Lewis Pugh said in a tweet: “Just when we think we’ve reached the limit of human endurance, someone shatters the records.”
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!!! 🏴🏊♀️🇫🇷 🏊♀️🏴🏊♀️🇫🇷🏊♀️🏴 pic.twitter.com/kOa9QlereH— Lewis Pugh (@LewisPugh) September 17, 2019
Upon arrival, she tried to celebrate with champagne but found it did not go down well. She did manage to eat some M&M chocolates.
She completed her first open-water event in 2007 and first swam across the Channel in 2012 and then again in 2016.