Irish woman battles tide to complete channel swim

An Irish long distance swimmer has joined an elite group of people who have successfully completed the gruelling challenge from England to France.

Alice Flood completed the task in under 14 hours. The Galway woman said she was delighted by her achievement.“It was such a big thing to take on. I gave so much of my life to it that it feels like it’s a bit surreal now, that it’s done,” she said.

Ms Flood swam the Channel in 13 hours, 53 minutes.

“To be honest, the day before if you’d told me it was going to take me 20 hours but I’d definitely get across that would have been OK with me,” she said.

“I was actually about to make land at 11-and-a-half hours but then the tide just had other ideas and it turned on me. I couldn’t get through it until I was in front of the beach so that cost me a bit of extra time.”

The final leg of the journey proved to be the most arduous and the last two miles took her two hours to complete. “There’s a thing we say in Channel swimming circles — that the swim doesn’t really start until the last two to four miles.

“I didn’t really know how true that was until I was in there doing it but it’s so true.

“You’re tired, your head’s tired, your body’s tired, everything just wants to stop.”

Ms Flood originally planned to do the swim last year but was forced to postpone it due to bad weather.

However, this time around she experienced “almost the perfect day”.

Ms Flood is now planning on competing in the Liffey Swim in Dublin. However, she also has her eyes on an even bigger challenge — the Lake Zurich endurance swim in Switzerland next year. “It’s about 26km so the distance is slightly shorter, but it’s just as challenging because it’s fresh water and that’s much harder to swim in than salt water.”


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