42 miles in 25 hours

Fort Myers, Florida – Heather Roca breaks down the most difficult parts of swimming in 30-minute increments.

“I can do anything for another 30 minutes,” she told herself.

When it gets tough, she will reduce it to 100 strokes. 30 strokes. 1 meter. She even imagined each of her supporters swimming with her. Something to keep human feats that sound impossible achievable.

Last month, Fort Myers Roca completed a double crossing in the English Channel. This is a 21 mile swim from Dover, England to northern France. Roca swam 42 miles non-stop in 25 hours and 7 minutes, becoming the 38th and 10th American to complete an unthinkable open water swimming challenge.

“I thought it was arguably the hardest thing I’ve ever tried and would definitely push me to the limit and really risk failure,” Roca said.

Heather Roca completed a double crossing of the English Channel from the English Channel to France and on August 21, 2021. In 2017 she crossed one way. Swimming is over 42 miles long.This portrait was taken at Vanderbilt Beach in Naples

Roca overcame cold water, fatigue, physical distress and mental fatigue and completed a difficult swim.

“I want to say I’m still recovering from it,” she said.

Ginger Tompkins, Masters Coach of the Gulf Coast Swim Team and Roca’s training partner, said swimming this long distance requires concentration and mental strength.

Roca refused to sneak in suspicion or distract her from her goals.

“Her mental strength in terms of human performance is extraordinary,” said Tompkins. “I think she’s an inspiration.”

42 miles in 25 hours

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