After over five months on the seas swimming around the perimeter of mainland Great Britain, Edgley is scheduled to return to Margate Harbour in the morning of November 4th after completing a 3,218 km circumnavigation swim.
The Great British Swim will ultimately take Edgley 157 total days during which he never stepped foot on land even once. Two more weeks off the British shores is all that is left for Edgley to complete the first stage swim around Great British.
More than 300 swimmers are scheduled to join the former water polo player in the final one-mile stretch of his Great British Swim. In partnership with the Outdoor Swimming Society, more than 300 swimmers will swim alongside Edgley after he swum through Storm Callum, Storm Ali, and jellyfish blooms with a saltwater-tortured tongue and chaffed neck due to wetsuit friction.
The 33-year-old from Grantham, Lincs, explained his challenge, “It’s about finding normality in the abnormal. This isn’t a traditional sporting event. With a marathon, you can grit your teeth knowing you can get through it and you’ll be in your bed with a bubble bath at the end of it. I can’t do that.
I’m constantly in the cold water or in my bed which is rocking side to side in the waves – but as long as you make peace with that fact, the Great British Swim becomes possible.”
Along the way in September, he became the first Britain to swim from Land’s End to John O’Groats (900 miles) in 62 days. He described his journey around the entire coastline of mainland Great Britain.
Q1. How do you feel knowing the Great British Swim is coming to an end?
Ross Edgley: It’s a really weird feeling as it’s all I’ve known now for the past five months. On the one hand it’s almost pure relief, but on the other, there’s a real sense of sadness because I’ve grown so close to the crew and the experiences I’ve had will stay with me forever. I always say how naïve I was at the start of this whole thing, and there was always a sense of can it really be done, so to now be talking about the finish is pretty surreal.
Q2. What are you most looking forward to about the finish?
Ross Edgley: There are so many things, but obviously the chance to be back with my friends and family is top of the list. I guess secondly, it’s you guys. Everyone who has supported me on social media, to those who have come out to see me swim and wish me luck – you have no idea how much the support you’ve given means to me and I can’t wait to see all you at the finish line. Obviously the final swim-in should be absolutely amazing.
Q3. How is your body coping after five months at sea?
Ross Edgley: I get asked this a lot and it probably sounds weird, but I just love getting out there and swimming. There’s a task at hand, but you’ve got to enjoy what you’re doing first and foremost. Yes, there’s aches, pains and salt tongue to contend with, but it’s all about going beyond those perceived mental and physical limits. So a bit painful yes, but it sort of pales into insignificance when I think about the finish in Margate.
Edgley’s Great British Swim journey can be followed via live tracker here.
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