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Sarah Thomas - Ultra Marathon Swimmer - Breast cancer Survivor

Renata Chlumska  - Adventure athlete who became the first Swedish and Czech woman to climb Mount Everest and in 2005 did a circumnavigate of the lower 48 States of the United States by her own power.

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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Show notes

  • 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

  • Swimming the Strait of Gibraltar and the Tsugaru Strait

  • Why the swimming organization in Japan stopped accepting swimmers

  • Final words of advice


Social Media

Instagram: @SarahSwims04 

Twitter: @SarahSwims04 


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