It might be easier than you think to do your bit.
3 World Records | 157 Days | 505,219 Calories Burnt | 2,883 KM Travelled
On November 04th, Ross Edgley became the first person to swim around mainland Great Britain.
As he takes his first steps back on dry land, we decided to take a look into the milestones reached during his epic journey...
- THE JOURNEY WILL BE THE EQUIVALENT OF SWIMMING THE ENGLISH CHANNEL, EVERY DAY, FOR 100 DAYS.
- HIS SHOULDERS WILL ENDURE OVER 2.4 MILLION STROKES.
- CALORIE CONSUMPTION IS SET TO BE OVER 15,000CAL PER DAY.
"I WOKE UP WITH CHUNKS OF MY TONGUE ON MY PILLOW" - Ross Edgley
The thought of your tongue disintegrating day-by-day seems like it should be in an up and coming horror movie but, for Ross Edgley it became a way of life for the succeeding 157 days.
"I realised something was bad when I woke up with chunks of it on my pillow" - the flesh was translucent, but otherwise was said to look a lot like beef stroganoff or slow cooked pork - "it's that tender, you're just pulling strips off. I mean, you could see the tastebuds, it was that thick".
Endurance swimmers call it Salt Mouth - the effect of seawater build-up in your mouth and throat.
The results? An inflamed throat and a cracked, peeling tongue. This is just the start...
"A WEEK IN, IT WENT FROM BEING A SWIM AS MOST PEOPLE KNOW IT, TO BEING AN EXERCISE OF SURVIVAL"
The "exercise" lasted 157 days.
Configured of 6 hour intervals, and propelled by muscle power alone, Edgely would sleep for 6hrs, often less and then swim for a further 6hrs...
IT WAS QUITE LITERALLY A: 'SWIM. EAT. SLEEP. REPEAT.' KIND OF EXPEDITION.
The instant Edgley finished a portion of his swim and boarded the accompanying boat, its location was recorded.
Why? It allowed the boat to be returned to the exact point that Ross last finished at. No cheats.
Think: a continuous circumnavigation of 1,792miles - pretty much the same distance as London to Moscow by road...
Edgley's aim throughout the swim was to be 100% transparent: "we have a duty to post the highs and lows of our endeavours and support/celebrate each other through them...
This is 'the ugly' - as the saltwater, my neck and the wetsuit are no longer friends, haha" he tweeted.
His transparency led to his followers giving him the nickname: "Rhino Neck" due to the severe chafing that his neck endured.
With the upmost determination not to place foot on land, Edgley tried to combat the chafe via some of the following methods:
DUCT TAPE | VASELINE | SUDOCREM | BIN BAGS | CUTTING UP HIS WETSUIT | SWIMMING BARE-CHESTED WHICH BROUGHT HIM CLOSE TO HYPOTHERMIA
"Just when I think I've got this whole, Salt Mouth, Rhino Neck thing figured out...Jellyfish!"
He told Red Bull that the first sting wasn't too bad, but once he took the tenth one straight to the face... well, that was a different story.
Said to be his lowest moment, Edgley recalls the evening that he was kept awake by a sting to the face whilst crossing the Irish Sea.
"I looked possessed. I was walking around naked on the deck because the wind was the only thing that soothed my skin. Eventually, I went to bed and from my cabin, saw day turn to night and night turn to day. The tide changed and Matt (the catamaran owner) knew that I hadn’t slept. He said: ‘mate, I’m so sorry – you have to go in.’
It had literally, just stopped itching”
ROSS EDGLEY'S BANANA TALLY
TO DATE: 649
You've probably heard the rumour that eating too many bananas can lead to a potassium overdose...
Pushing boundaries and testing the waters on a matter-of-fact statement, is Edgley.
He consumed a phenomenal total of 649 bananas - eating one every 20 minutes whilst he was in the water, with the occasional break for fortified porridge or noodles. Crudely sprawled on the cockpit roof in permanent marker, stands Edgley's banana tally.
I guess you could say they were eaten in moderation...
A CONNOISSEUR OF THE NATIONS WATERS
In the course of his 5-month long Great British Swim, Edgley raced ferries, stopped boats, braved storms, swam with countless dolphins, suffered hundreds of jellyfish stings, saw “every single seal” and became a connoisseur of the nations waters…
“SCOTLAND, TASTED REALLY NICE”.
THE IRISH SEA, HE SAYS AFTER CONSIDERATION, WAS "ORGANIC"
THE HUMBER ESTUARY: “STRAIGHT UP FERTILISER”.
"IT WASN'T JUST WATER, I THINK I WAS SWIMMING IN POO"
THE FITNESS SIDE OF THINGS...
Picture: Bilbo Baggins towards the end of his unexpected journey... bearded and sat in a fleece-lined hooded cloak...
Barely recognisable as his former, bodybuilding self; in the space of 5 months Edgley had to gain 8kg to weigh a mass total of 100kg, gaining muscle in his shoulder and losing it in his legs to develop a 'seal' like bulk all over.
"I'VE GOT HAIRIER. I'VE GOT FATTER."
"There is no definition. Right now, I'm really fit if you want me to swim around Great Britain, but awful if you want me to run a marathon."
After swimming 12 hours a day for five months, Edgley has begun to add balance and leg strengthening exercises to his fitness regime in readiness to walk on-land again.
His feet have entirely lost their arches, though the purple-yellow colour that they currently display is apparently no reason for concern.
QUITTING WASN'T AN OPTION
Despite the Salt Mouth, Rhino Neck and Jellyfish Attack, quitting was never an option for Edgley. He told Red Bull that there wasn't any time to feel sorry for himself - his precious few hours out of the water were spent either sleeping or eating.
With a daily target of 15,000 calories, Edgley described his endeavours as a "giant eating competition, with a bit of swimming in-between."
"WHEN YOU ADD IT UP, I'VE PROBABLY SPENT A MONTH ON MY OWN, STARING AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SEABED"
THE FINAL LEG...
On November 04th, 2018, Ross Edgley completes his swim and becomes the first person to swim around the entire coast of Great Britain without once setting foot on land.
Over 400 people braved the ice cold waters of Kent to swim alongside Edgley for the last half mile of his World Record.Clambering ashore to the crowds of Margate beach, Edgley arrives back to the exact point he set off from, 157 days earlier.