Sarah Thomas, aged 41, is an ultra-marathon swimmer who achieved the current world record for the longest continuous swim in current-neutral conditions, performed without assistance or a wetsuit. This record-breaking feat spanned 104.6 miles over the course of 67 hours and took place in Lake Champlain, USA, in August 2017.
Shortly after this remarkable swim, Sarah faced an aggressive form of breast cancer diagnosis at the young age of 35. During her cancer treatment, which included chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy, Sarah remained unwavering in her pursuit of an extraordinary swim that many considered impossible.
One year post-cancer treatment, Sarah made history by becoming the first person to complete a four-way crossing of the English Channel, accomplishing this incredible feat in a remarkable 54 hours and 10 minutes.
More recently, Sarah achieved another groundbreaking milestone, becoming the first individual in history to conquer a two-way crossing of the North Channel, enduring 21 hours and 46 minutes in frigid waters inhabited by enormous jellyfish.
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Who is Sarah
Her story of becoming a long-distance open-water swimmer
Early memories of comfort and joy in the water
Begging her dad to sign her up for the swim team
Getting introduced to open-water swimming by a friend and found her passion in it
Swimming through high school and in college for the University of Connecticut
Trying out other sports after college
Growing up in Texas where swimming is super competitive
How she transitioned to open-water swimming after college
How she returned to swimming after a 2-year hiatus
Discovering her passion for open-water swimming in 2007
Signing up for Catalina Channel in 2010
Training for the English Channel by swimming around Manhattan in 2011 and booking a slot for 2012
Struggles with cold water and building up tolerance
Refusing to take cold showers, and values warm showers as a luxury
Poor weather and not wanting to swim the English Channel
Returning to England with a reformed crew enjoying a beautiful, sunny swim across the channel
Falling out of love with swimming
Setting her sights on longer swims, including a 42-mile swim across Lake Tahoe
Swimming for 24 hours and the challenge of mentally preparing for such a long distance
Having her husband next to her helps her prepare for each swimming session
Sarah's experience of swimming 104.6 miles in Lake Champlain
Reflecting on her childhood and meeting her potential
Feeling on top of the world after completing an incredible swim
Having digestive issues during long swims and eating liquid-based nutrition
Swimming and craving for giant cheeseburgers
Finding a lump in her breast and being diagnosed with breast cancer
Her treatment and how it would impact her ability to swim
Finding solace in swimming during chemotherapy
Sarah and her doctor working together to find solutions
What makes her uncomfortable after a mastectomy
Being glad for keeping her left side intact
Swimming the English Channel in 2019 after completing an 80-mile swim in Lake Powell in 2016
The difficulty of her swims, particularly in the English Channel
Struggles with nausea and vomiting, seasickness and mental exhaustion during her swims
Battling a strong current caused hours of delay in the swim, causing mental and physical exhaustion
Her desire to complete the Oceans Seven Challenge
Having two remaining swims in the Oceans Seven Challenge
Why the swimming organization in Japan stopped accepting swimmers
Final words of advice
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