A MAN from Penarth is running the equivalent of Mount Everest in his hometown to raise money for the team which helped his mother in her battle against cancer.

James Joseph, a 26-year-old musician, said he decided he would run up and down Custom Hill [near Custom House at the barrage] ten times a day throughout January.

Nearly there, Mr Joseph requires a final push over the next couple of days to reach his goal of 340 hill climbs and descents – which, according to his calculations, amounts to the height of Everest.

He says he is doing it for his mum Clare Evans, who is now in remission following a two-year battle with breast cancer, and the team who looked after her at the Cardiff and Vale Breast Ward at University Hospital Llandough.

Penarth Times: James says it has given him a purpose during a difficult timeJames says it has given him a purpose during a difficult time

He says he also needed “something to work towards every day”, as the impact Covid has had on the music industry has taken its toll on his mental health.

“I’ve never been much of a runner, but it’s really helped me throughout this pandemic,” said Mr Joseph.

“But in November and December I got into a bit of a bad place and it was just a write off for me. I wasn’t running and the restrictions became tougher.

“I wanted a reason to go into January on a high, and to really test myself.

“Mum battled breast cancer for the whole of last year. She’s getting better now and is in remission, but I felt it was a great chance to repay them a bit for what they did for us at the breast centre.

“It’s helped me no end too, and I’ve been so overwhelmed by how much the fundraising page has made.”

The page has surpassed Mr Joseph’s target of £500, and is now at almost £750.

“It’s really been great for me mentally,” he said. “When you’re in the arts industry, unless you’re really at the top of your game and able to be performing all the time, it’s very easy to get into a bad headspace with it.

Penarth Times: James's view from Custom HillJames's view from Custom Hill

“My plans with music were going really well before the pandemic. And it did feel as though that crumbled away a bit.

“It’s been a difficult time for mum and for me. But when I go on the runs it’s just about putting one foot in front of the other – that’s all I think about. 

“For anyone who is a bit lost at the moment, I would really recommend going out and running, or setting a fundraising challenge. It’s given me some impetus back into my life again, and I’m thrilled to have done it for mum and the breast centre.”

To donate or to find out more about Mr Joseph’s fundraiser, you can visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jamesjosephxvxeverestrun.

  • Mr Joseph plays for James And The Cold Gun, and can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at jamesjosephxvx.