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Ross makes big splash up north in UK swim bid

By Matt Leslie

A FITNESS guru caused a splash last weekend as he became the first Briton to swim from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

Ross Edgley, who has done previous challenges such as rope climbing Mount Everest and swimming 100km in

the Caribbean while tied to a tree, swam the coast of Caithness over the weekend en route to swimming the entire circumference of Great Britain.

Having already swum the length of the English Channel from Margate to Land’s End in 30 days, it took Ross a further – and a record – 62 days to complete the swim to John O’Groats.

Ross’s amazing swim smashed the previous record of 135 days set by Zimbabwe’s Sean Conway in 2013.

Edgley swims two six-hour sessions a day stopping to rest on the boat crewed by his support team. He has had to endure bits of his tongue being eroded by sea water and attacks from jellyfish.

While his achievement so far is a momentous one, he’s not celebrating yet as his main mission is not yet done.

He said: “It’s a great feeling and a momentous achievement, but we can’t really celebrate it until we’ve reached the end of the challenge. We’ve still got 600 miles to go to the end, so we’ll probably just have an extra slice of pizza or a nice cake as a team.

“We had to set this pace because we needed to get up and around Scotland before the winter set in for us to complete the full circumnavigation of Britain.

“We would have had less daylight hours to swim in and you don’t want to be around Cape Wrath at that time with the autumn winds. What’s weird is the record was just a nice by-product of completing Scotland in British summertime.

“What’s been so nice is you find motivation from anywhere and everywhere when you’re spending so long on your own, looking at the bottom of the sea.

“You can’t just focus on one thing, you need loads. So obviously family, friends and the wins along the way. Equally it’s really nice what people have done for me along the way like someone in Devon bringing me fudge and a woman who swam to me on the boat with a freshly-baked cake on her head.

“All the support on social media has turned into a great collective where it feels very British as so many people are getting behind it.

“Sometimes it helps to know there’s an end point and say to yourself ‘we’ve only got the south coast’ but other days it’s like I’ve got the whole of the country to swim. Sometimes you just put one arm ahead of the other and think you just need to get to the next headland and other days you can think of the bigger picture.”

Follow Ross’s Great British Swim journey via the live tracker at RedBull.co.uk/GreatBritishSwim and tune in to weekly vlogs at youtube.com/redbull.

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