WHY I TRI

Af­ter 157 days at sea and 1,792 miles, Ross Ed­g­ley has just be­come the first per­son to swim the coast of Bri­tain

220 Triathlon Magazine - - CONTENTS -

The Great Bri­tish Swim fin­ish was just nuts. We in­vited 300 swim­mers to do the last mile with me. We had guys in skins out there, we had some amaz­ing Chan­nel swim­mers with us and we had the Royal Marines guid­ing ev­ery­one in… It’s hard to ex­plain how I felt in that mo­ment. I had to re­move my gog­gles, I got so choked up.

From the out­set this was a team ef­fort. The com­mu­nity of open­wa­ter swim­mers and triath­letes helped with ad­vice and help! It was re­ally nice get­ting that sup­port. They’d say, ‘Oh wet­suit chaf­ing, here’s what I’d do’, or ‘Your tongue is fall­ing apart? Here’s a home­made rem­edy.’

The team got me through it too, for sure. Me and [cap­tain] Matt got quite choked up last night. The sense of hu­mour that you de­velop to try and get through is quite some­thing. Last night we watched the sun set and we were talk­ing about how he’d bought 5kg of Vase­line with him for the swim… So much lube… and I’d said we were never go­ing to need it all, but we got through 4kg! That’s the statis­tic from the swim that I’m most proud of! To­wards the end Matt’s putting Vase­line on my neck and I just whis­pered ‘I’ve never re­ally been chaf­ing, I just like these mo­ments to­gether…’ and he’s just rolling around in stitches laugh­ing.

I prepped as much as I could for the changes my body would ex­pe­ri­ence, but all of that’s just the­ory. A lot of things weren’t nec­es­sar­ily cap­tured. At one point the chaf­ing was so bad it was an open wound and it was so sore. I’d go to sleep and then when I woke up it was just stuck to the sheets. We were like, ‘1, 2, 3… rip it off!’

There were times too in Scot­land when we were swim­ming for 10-12 hours and we were play­ing with hy­pother­mia, push­ing the bound­aries of com­mon sense. One time the crew were heat­ing up the gal­ley, putting the ket­tles on to cre­ate a sauna and hud­dling round me. In sit­u­a­tions like that you don’t stop to put the cam­era on.

“We used 4kg of Vase­line. That’s the statis­tic I’m most proud of!”

I can’t say no to a re­ally good idea… So since do­ing this, there have been some re­ally cool sug­ges­tions which I find it hard to say no to. I’m quite swim-fit at the mo­ment and I’m not bored of it yet, but I’ll have to get it past my girl­friend Hester first!

Now I’m back on dry land, I just want to be warm! I haven’t been warm in 157 days so now I just want to be toasty. I mean, I haven’t sweated in 157 days! Peo­ple ask if there’s any­thing else and I’m like ‘No, just warmth!’ It sounds cheesy, but I just want fam­ily and friends – and to be warm! Bar­be­ques too, maybe. I missed out on a sum­mer of bar­be­ques…

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