AN RNLI volunteer is taking on the challenge of running more than 1,000 miles around Wales to raise money for the lifeboat charity.

Simon Marchant, of Penarth, is a trainee crew member at Penarth RNLI station and said he will be tackling the run over the course of 42 days - running an average of 23 miles a day.

The 39-year-old said he wanted to take on the challenge after RNLI crews saved his brother’s life in Cornwall after he was found unconscious in the water next to his surfboard.

“My brother was found by two surfers under the water next to his board, not breathing and unresponsive,” said Mr Marchant. “RNLI lifeguards recovered him to the beach and administered CPR and oxygen until air ambulance arrived to air lift him to hospital.

“I’d rather not think what could have happened to be honest, but he’s fine now with an amazing family of his own.”

Mr Marchant said the efforts of the RNLI inspired him to volunteer locally after he moved to Penarth in October last year.

As well as volunteering he has also done a variety of cycling events to fundraise. However, this time he said he wanted to do something a little different and chose a new challenge.

The marathon around the circumference of Wales will be starting this Saturday from Penarth lifeboat station.

Mr Marchant said: “I’m really looking forward to discovering Wales at a slow pace, especially things off the beaten track that tourists don’t know about.

“Volunteering is great, especially as I’m new. There are lots of new people to meet from all different walks of life, and always lots of training to be done.

“Training is every Tuesday night, and I also try to get out most weekends on the water to hone skills. As I’m new, I’m trainee crew, and as such I’m learning the ropes at the moment and doing assessments in order to go afloat when we get a ‘shout’.”

Jason Dunlop, the lifeboat operations manager at Penarth RNLI station said: “All at the station wish Simon the very best for his long distance adventure. Receiving no government funding, the RNLI is entirely dependent on donations to fund its equipment and training.

“Simon, a HGV driver, is self-funding his entire trip, and really is going the extra mile to support his station.

“We hope that our RNLI colleagues around the country will be able to offer Simon local support and a cheer, and we look forward to following his process around Wales”.

For more information or to donate to the challenge visit