SWIMMING with sharks and doing front crawl around jellyfish – Beth French likes a challenge in water.

Beth, 35, a single mum from Milverton, has completed a 23-mile, 24-hour endurance swim of the Molokai Channel in Hawaii and become one of only 28 people to do so.

The massage therapist at Marlborough House in Taunton, is the first British woman to complete the swim and has more challenges in the pipeline.

She said: “There was a possible shark appearance after two hours but the pilot boat engine was enough to deter it and I carried on regardless.

“After six hours, my left elbow became inflamed and very sore, after another six hours, my left shoulder all but gave up and the last 100 metres took over half an hour.

“It is one of the seven most iconic channel swims on the planet and I have now completed two off this list – and hope to tackle the Straits of Gibraltar and swim intercontinent from Europe to Africa in 2013.

“Each channel is unique and tough – currents, water temperature, tide, wildlife and extreme endurance are in the mix, so it’s a tough course.”

For swims to count, they must be completed according to ‘English Channel rules’ which means no insulation, flotation devices and no physical contact from high tide one side to high tide the other side, with only standard swim costume, hat and goggles allowed.

Earlier this year, Beth, who was in a wheelchair in her teens due to ME, completed the 30-mile Dover-Calais marathon in just over 15 hours, raising money for Action on ME.

Visit bethsbigswim.blog.

co.uk to keep up to date with her next swimming challenge.