Sarah Thomas – “Reflections on The Four Way”

sarah thomas english channel track
GPS track of Sarah Thomas' 4-way English Channel swim

On the one-year anniversary of her unprecedented four-way English Channel swim, Sarah Thomas has published a long-awaited report on the 54 hours that blew the collective mind of the global ultraswimming community. It’s a remarkable, detailed glimpse into the build-up and execution of one of history’s greatest endurance feats.

Warning: possible tears ahead.

This English Channel swim wasn’t my longest by distance or time. It wasn’t my coldest. I’d already done the Channel once, so I knew I could swim in this water. So, it wasn’t about time or distance or cold or being somewhere new. It was supposed to be my victory lap until I got diagnosed with cancer. And suddenly, I felt like I was starting over. No longer was this swim just about swimming. It was about being a survivor and overcoming something that literally tried to kill me. I wasn’t swimming just for me anymore. I did it for others who had been through what I was going through, and for those who would go through it in the future. I got lucky with my cancer journey. I know that. Through my swimming, I really wanted to show others that there is hope, even when you don’t feel it at first.

— Sarah Thomas