Loughborough Alumni


5 Nov 2018

Ross completes 1,780-mile Great British Swim

Alumnus Ross Edgley has become the first person to swim around Britain after swimming 1,780 miles in 155 days. 

Ross left Margate, Kent on 1 June and didn't set foot on land again until he finally completed his challenge yesterday. A large crowd gathered to welcome him on his return, with 300 swimmers joining Ross in the water for the final mile. 

He became a world record holder in August, when 74 days into the challenge he broke the record for the longest assisted contiguous stage swim. Eating around 15,000 calories per day, Ross endured jellyfish stings, shoulder pain, wetsuit chaffing and 'salt mouth' - where the tongue disintegrates due to saltwater exposure. At times, the tide allowed Ross to swim at speeds of almost nine knots - the same speed as a cruising dolphin. 

Ross is no stranger to a mammoth challenge. In 2013, he became the first man in history to swim the 900 miles from Land’s End to John O’ Groats in just 135 days. He has also previously completed a marathon whilst dragging a Mini Cooper, and has rope-climbed the equivalent height of Mount Everest in 19 hours. 

Speaking on dry land for the first time in over five months, Ross was quick to show his appreciation for the support from his team and Loughborough throughout the swim: "It's because of these guys [his team] that I managed to swim around Great Britain. It's important that history remembers that we swam around Great Britain and it was never an individual sport.

"The whole of the way around the Great British Swim, I felt the love of everybody at Loughborough so I wanted to say, thank you so much.

"It sounds so weird, but I'm still not quite bored of swimming. Since finishing this, there were a few more challenges that were thrown my way, and I might be naive enough to say "yes"." 

Ross graduated in 2008 with a degree in Sport and Leisure Management. He has also devoted time to the University to share his story with students in recent years.

Congratulations to Ross for completing his challenge. Find out more about Ross in his alumni profile.

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