Swimmer Sean Conway shaves off beard after mammoth swim

Sean Conway, who took four and half months to swim the length of Great Britain, has shaved off the beard he grew to ward off jellyfish.

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The first man to swim the length of Britain has shaved off the beard he grew to protect his face against jellyfish stings.

It took Sean Conway four and a half months to swim from Lands End to John O'Groats, via Ireland.

Along the way he was stung 10 times by jellyfish including three times on the face, which was why he grew his beard.

Mr Conway said he was unsure whether he was ready to lose it, but it was all part of his fundraising efforts.

'My image'

"The beard was such an important part of my adventure and it inadvertently became my image," he said.

"I'm definitely going to grow it again.

"Next summer I'm going to hopefully run from Land's End to John O'Groats and I hope to have the beard for that."

The 32-year-old began the swim at the end of June and finished on 11 November.

Ten swim statistics

  • Number of strokes = 3,000,000
  • Longest day = 21 miles
  • Average water temp - 14 degrees
  • Calories burned = Over 500,000
  • Longest session without seeing land = four days
  • Litres of salt water drunk = 20 litres
  • Wetsuits used = six
  • Average time in water each session = five hours
  • Days off due to bad weather = 45
  • Times swam with dolphins = 10

Source: Sean Conway's blog

He said he was not a serious swimmer before the trip and lost a lot of weight as he was burning more calories than he could eat.

Some £10,000 has been raised for the charity War Child as a result and life has been "a whirlwind" since then, he said.

"I just wanted to have a great British adventure and prove that the swim could be done and all of a sudden I'm going out to dinner with Ben Fogle and things like that.

"Now I'm just looking forward to writing a book and not feeling guilty when I'm having a beer."

He is also plotting a massive challenge to run the length of Africa.

A Cairo to Cape Town adventure will feature a marathon a day for six to eight months and will be "on a par with this swim," he said.

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