Have any plans for the weekend? Maybe sleep in? Catch a little of the Tour de France on the telly? If you’re feeling particularly energetic you might even take a little evening stroll around the block? If that is your plan I’m about to make you feel very bad about your life choices.
On Sunday, endurance athlete Sean Conway will begin an epic swim that will run the entire length of Britain. He’ll start at the aptly named Land’s End in the south and will proceed to swim north, passing Devon before crossing over to Wales along the West Coast. After that, it is onto the Isle of Man before proceeding to Scotland, where he’ll continue north until he reaches the distant village of John O’Groats. If successful, he’ll cover approximately 1000 miles (1609 km) along the way.
Of course, swimming a thousand miles in a swimming pool would be tough, but Sean will be doing it in an ocean. He’ll have to battle turbulent waters, rough waves, cold temperatures and Britain’s notoriously bad weather. That can take a hefty toll on the body to say the least, particularly when it happens day-in and day-out. He estimates that it will take a minimum of nine weeks to cover the distance, swimming eight hours per day, every day of the week. He also believes he’ll burn roughly 800 calories per hour, which will make it extremely tough to maintain weight and keep energy levels high. Fortunately he has been training for this incredible challenge for some time.
Sean has decided to take on this swim in an effort to raise funds for War Child, a non-profit dedicated to helping protect children from the effects of conflicts, and help them recover from war, in some of the most dangerous countries in the world. He hopes to raise as much money as possible through his efforts on the water.
If successful, Sean will be the first person to swim the entire length of Britain. There aren’t many people who have managed to swim this kind of distance before, so in order to get some advice, he visited his friend Dave Cornthwaite prior to setting out. You may recall that Dave swam more than 1000 m iles down the Missouri River last year, so of course he had some thoughts on Sean’s endeavor. You can see the two adventurers comparing notes in the very funny video below.
Good luck Sean!