Adventurer completes 157-day, 1,791-mile swim around Britain

Ross Edgley becomes first man to swim around Great Britain after arriving back in Margate

Ross Edgley becomes first man to swim around Great Britain after arriving back in Margate

Adventurer Ross Edgley became the first man to swim around the coast of mainland Britain as he completed a 2,865-kilometre trip to make a triumphant return to dry land in Margate, England, on Sunday.

Edgley left the Kent town on 1 June, and has not set foot on land since, swimming for up to 12 hours a day and eating more than 500 bananas.

Mr Edgley, from Grantham, Lincolnshire, said: 'I had to put my goggles on.

He wrote: "Excited to get back on land (once we finish this cheeky swim in 600 miles) where I'm going to be working (and documenting) my foot rehab with the heroes at @vivobarefoot as I basically learn to walk (and run) again after the tiny ligaments, tendons and muscles in my feet and legs have atrophied (shrunk) from over 100 days at sea (a similar physiological phenomena that happens to astronauts from months in zero gravity)".

"I'm in London tonight (Sunday)".

"We went all the way round the coastline at such a slow pace, what was wonderful for me was to see the wildlife in some of the more remote areas where we let nature survive and thrive, like Devon and North Scotland". His tongue has also partially disintegrated because of exposure to salt water.

His odyssey has been compared from the outset to the feat of Captain Matthew Webb, who in 1875 became the first person to swim the English Channel.

He was accompanied by Cornish sailor Matthew Knight, supporting from his catamaran Hecate.

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He admitted being a bit wobbly after five months either swimming or being on his support boat - and emotional, too, while struggling to find the words to sum up his achievement.

"His mind set has just been so positive the whole of the way through, he's had a smile on his face and I've never heard him complain once".

"I always keep saying "what we've achieved" because in no way is it an individual sport. I'm just really grateful".

Edgley set a new record 74 days into his challenge, for the longest staged sea swim, according to the World Open Water Swimming Association.

But Edgley, then at the Isle of Skye, knew the record would only stand if he completed his journey to Margate.

Not one to shy away from a challenge, Ross has previously rope climbed the equivalent height of Mount Everest (8,848m) inside 24 hours, completed a triathlon with a tree strapped to his back, and finished a marathon while dragging a Mini Cooper.

He said getting that kind of reception made it all worthwhile, adding: "There's not many places you come in and people are asking you to sign bananas".

"There's loads of people on the beach. It was really weird to see that".

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