Swimming the English Channel is an impressive feat. Swimming it four times in a row is unprecedented. Or at least it was, until Colorado swimmer Sarah Thomas went for a dip this weekend. The 37-year-old emerged from the water Tuesday to become the first person to swim the channel four times nonstop, reports the BBC. "I just can't believe we did it," says Thomas, whose feat took more than 54 hours. "There [were] a lot of people on the beach to meet me and wish me well and it was really nice of them, but I feel just mostly stunned." Thomas ended up swimming 130 miles, longer than she anticipated, because of strong tides.
Thomas is a breast cancer survivor, and she dedicated her swim to other survivors, per NBC News. As the Washington Post notes, she began planning the ultra-marathon feat before her diagnosis. "We honestly didn't know if I'd make it to this point,” she wrote on Facebook earlier this month, noting that she'd completed her cancer treatment just a year earlier. Thomas entered the water in Dover, England, on Sunday morning, and a support boat accompanied her to provide periodic protein drinks and snacks. "Just when we think we've reached the limit of human endurance, someone shatters the records," tweets fellow marathon swimmer Lewis Pugh. "Huge congratulations to Sarah Thomas on swimming the English Channel 4x continuously!!!" (Read more swimmer stories.)