SARASOTA COUNTY,  Fla. (SNN) — A Sarasota local swam the English Channel without getting out of the water a single time.


On Sept. 8, Allen Hillman (55) and his team were out on the water all day beginning at 3 a.m. The swim began in England and ended in France. 


“My original time estimate when people asked what time I wanted to do was anywhere between 12 and 14 hours, and I was done in 11 hours and 44 minutes,” said Hillman.


He could only stop swimming for a few seconds at a time.


“He stops very briefly, like 30 seconds, so that he could have a drink. And straight away the captain of the boat will be ‘alright start swimming, keep swimming,’” said a member of Hillman’s team, Sarah Philpott. 


“Pretty much 11 hours and 44 minutes straight with a break every half hour for nutrition, hydration, and pain relief as needed. So there were two or three feeds that included ibuprofen in liquid form,” said Hillman. 


Hillman said about 130 people participate in the channel swim every year and that when it comes to marathon swimming it’s a team effort.


Playing the important role of support swimmer was Sarah Philpott. 


“I’m allowed to get into the water once or twice to swim alongside him. It’s a very isolating experience doing a marathon swim because you can't really see very much, you can't hear very much, you certainly can't speak. So it’s good to have a support swimmer that’s just slightly behind and making sure that he’s safe,” said Philpott.


Hillman said the celebration of completing the swim doesn't happen until a few days after the marathon.