A man with type 2 diabetes has just completed an epic challenge by swimming eight times the distance of the English Channel.
Mark Humfrey from Barnstaple, Devo, has raised £1,300 for Diabetes UK by racking up 11,334 lengths in his local pool as part of the charity’s Swim 22 Challenge.
The task gave participants three months to complete a 22-mile swim, which is the distance of the channel. But Mr Humfrey has gone above and beyond, completing the grueling mission several times over and swimming 176 miles.
Speaking to the North Devon Gazette newspaper, the former teacher said: “I wanted to take on this triple challenge – swim the channel eight times, improve my own blood glucose levels and raise funds for Diabetes UK – not just for myself but because diabetes is all too common both in my own family and in the population generally.
“I want other people to know that you can do something about type 2 diabetes and even though I’ve managed to improve my blood glucose levels, I’m going to carry on ploughing up and down the pool to maintain it at that level.”
The mission is even more impressive as Mr Humfrey’s health has suffered over the years, having endured three heart attacks.
When he completed the first 22 miles he celebrated by travelling on the Eurostar to Brussels so he could actually tell people he had been to Calais.
He was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes several years ago, after being borderline for some time. The condition runs in his family and his son-in-law was also diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in recent years.
The epic swim challenge has also helped Mr Humfrey lose around 20lbs in weight. He is now hoping the increased exercise and weight loss will be reflected in his forthcoming six-monthly review.

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