Sarah Thomas – 2019
Sarah Thomas, a Colorado native, was the 2019 Colorado Sportswoman of the Year. Thomas is an ultra-marathon open water swimmer. Thomas transcends the sport of ultra-long-distance swimming.
In 2007, Thomas began long-distance swimming in open water when she swam a 10K at Horsetooth Reservoir. Thomas is noted as saying, “I was dead tired when I got out, but I knew I’d found my niche.” (5280.com, December 2017) In 2013, Thomas was the first person to swim 42 miles at Lake Tahoe and 50 miles at Double Lake Memphremagog. On July 3, 2015, Thomas swam Flathead Lake setting a record for her first unassisted swim, completing 27.6 miles in 13 hours and 39 minutes. In 2016, Thomas was the first person to swim 80 miles across Lake Tahoe. Over a four-day span in August of 2017, Thomas set a world record for the longest unassisted open water swim in current-neutral water when she swam 104.6 miles in Lake Champlain in 67 hours and 16 minutes. Thomas received the world record in the longest unassisted open water swim which was her first current-neutral 100+ swim. August 10, 2019, Thomas swam her first two-way crossing Blue Mesa Reservoir, completing 31 miles in 15:36:23. Shortly after this swim, Thomas was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer, and she had to undergo aggressive treatments. “In the darkest of times, there is still a chance you can still achieve good things if you just believe in yourself.”—Sarah Thomas
On September 17, 2019, Thomas completed a record swim of the English Channel. On September 17, 2019, Thomas completed a record swim of the English Channel when she swam across it four consecutive times which totaled 84 miles. She accomplished this feat in 54 hours and 10 minutes. Thomas dedicated this achievement to breast cancer survivors everywhere.
Since the beginning of her career, Thomas has received many accolades and recognition for her record breaking swims. In 2018, Thomas was named as an Honor Swimmer with the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame. When she’s not training and swimming, Thomas is an inspirational speaker, coaches open water swimming, and is a veterinarian recruiter.