Swim 216 km. Sarah Thomas fought cancer and swam the English Channel four times
The English Channel has long been one of the favorite destinations for ultra-long distance swimmers. On September 17, 37-year-old American Sarah Thomas became the first person to swim across the English Channel four times without stopping. But back in that year, Sarah was battling cancer and recently completed her treatment. Prior to that, only four athletes managed to swim across the strait three times without stopping.
Sarah Thomas started on the morning of September 15th and finished the swim at about 6:30 am on the 17th. She spent 54 hours and 10 minutes in the water in total. Sarah had to swim 216 km instead of the planned 130 because of strong currents, ebb and flow.
Thomas said that salt water caused her the most trouble. Due to the constant presence in seawater, she suffered from the mucous membranes of the mouth and pharynx. In addition, the swimmer got a hit from the jellyfish: she stung her in the face.
The Channel Swimming Association, founded in 1927, has its own rules for swimming across the English Channel.
- Even in very cold water, athletes are prohibited from using wetsuits - instead of them, swimmers are allowed to apply a special fat composition.
- Athletes are not allowed to touch the boat and accompanying persons.
- During the swim, power is supplied using a pole or rope. Matthew Webb - the first person to submit to the English Channel (1875) - ate chicken eggs mixed with brandy. He was also fed sandwiches, roast beef and beef extract.
After Sarah Thomas set the record, they decided to celebrate this event with champagne and chocolate. However, due to extreme fatigue, the girl was able to eat only a small piece. The only thing the swimmer wanted was to get to bed as soon as possible.
The evening before swim Sarah admitted on Facebook that she is not very confident in her abilities: I have been waiting for this swim for more than two years, and I had to fight hard to end up here. Am I 100% ready? Not. But I will show the best result that I am capable of now.
Sarah Thomas has already swum ultra-long distances more than once. The girl has been swimming in open water since 2007, crossing the English Channel for the first time in 2012, and then again in 2016. Her personal records followed one after another. However, that year she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and not only her sports career, but also her life was in danger.
Sarah dedicated this swim to everyone who is fighting cancer and who managed to overcome it.
This is dedicated to you, those who have just begun their path of fighting the disease, and those for whom the disease is in the past, and all those who are still fighting it. You are all in my heart, and I will sail for your health and future. We are stronger togetherst, each and every one of us, - she wrote on Facebook before the swim.
Team members Thomas said that swimming helped her a lot during the difficult course of treatment. Sarah Becky Baxter's mom admitted that this swim was the most frightening for her. According to Baxter, her daughter developed stomach pains during the swim and her team began to seriously worry about the swimmer's health.
Surprisingly, during the swim, Sarah did not eat anything, but only drank isotonic, containing proteins and caffeine.