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Adventurer becomes first person to swim around Britain

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By Alice Cuddy  with Reuters
Adventurer becomes first person to swim around Britain
Copyright  REUTERS/Marian F. Moratinos

British adventurer Ross Edgley made history on Sunday when he became the first person to swim around the coast of mainland Britain.

The 33-year-old from Lincolnshire, England set off on June 1, swimming in a clockwise direction around Britain, and did not step foot on land again until he completed the 2,864-kilometre journey on Sunday.

Swimming up to 12 hours a day, Edgley battled fierce tides, cold water and dozens of jellyfish stings. His tongue has also partially disintegrated because of exposure to salt water.

During the journey, he expended an estimated 500,000 calories and ate more than 500 bananas as a source of energy.

He did not take any days off for sickness or injury over the five months, with stoppages only occurring as a result of extreme winds and waves.

"It feels a bit weird on land, a bit too solid for my liking! I almost fell over when I started to jog into shore,” he said upon his return on Sunday.

“Setting out, I knew the Great British Swim would be the hardest thing I've ever attempted. I was very naïve at the start, and there were moments where I really did begin to question myself. My feelings now are pride, tiredness, and relief.”

The achievement was just the latest record-breaking feat for Edgley.

He set a new record 74 days into his challenge for the longest staged sea swim and had previously completed the world’s longest rope climb.