Ross Edgley sets stunning new non-stop river-swimming record: 510km and 62 hours along the Yukon

Aerial view of the Yukon River, Canada
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Warning! This article contains some gruesome images of human extremities that have been submerged in the water far longer than your average bath experience.

The super-wrinkly hands and feet in question belong to serial extreme endurance swimmer, the UK’s Ross Edgley, following his 62 hour, 510km (317 mile) swim along Canada’s Yukon river last weekend, to set a new non-stop river swimming record. That’s over two-and-a-half days without stopping, sleeping or touching land. That’s wild swimming taken to insane extremes.

According to the challenge’s sponsor, PhD Nutrition, “The record signifies a momentous achievement for both Ross and the field of sports science, setting new parameters on the limits of the human body.”

We’d love to believe Ross did it all in the name of science, but this is the guy who has previously swum for 53 hours in Scotland’s Loch Ness, and for 107km (66 miles) in Italy’s Lake Trasimeno – the guy’s a glutton for these challenges. But you still have to marvel at the commitment and training he puts in.

Edgely embarked on his latest challenge on June 16, leaving Whitehorse on Lake Laberge and finished in Dawson City on June 19. As well as sleep deprivation and exhaustion, he also had to be wary of bears, wolves, white water rapids, log jams and forest fires – a bit more unusual than the usual wild swimming safety issues.

“The success of this swim feels especially significant given it is pioneering research into the body’s ability to overcome sleep deprivation, freezing water and so many more factors,” said Edgley. “The sheer number of hours, days, months and years we have devoted make the record feel unique and I cannot wait to celebrate with my team.”

To sustain him through the challenge, Edgley consumed a specially created with the help of PhD Nutrition and honed over the course of past challenges.

Thor actor Chris Hemsworth congratulated Edgley on Facebook: “Big congrats to my mate Ross Edgley. You may be asking why’s he looking like a swollen testicle… Well the answer is this is what happens when you stay in the water for 60-70 hrs and complete the worlds longest swim at 510km (317 miles). No sleeping, stopping or touching land, water temp 9 degrees C (48 degrees F).”