I’m home, mum! Conquering hero finishes his sub-zero marathon walk

Joe Rowsell walked into a hero’s welcome when he completed his 60-mile walk along a Welsh canal on Wednesday night – his mum Petina and dad Andy were waiting for him.

In fact, after Andy had finished work and had his supper, he strode out to meet his 21-year-old son who was on his last stretch of the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal. The pair of them walked the last couple of hours home together.

“And it was really good to see my mum again – she was the whole reason for doing the walk”, said Joe today.

Joe  took 21 hours and 12 minutes to walk his planned route of 60.29 miles along the canal on the borders of the Brecon Beacons National Park in order to raise money for our Ramsay Research Fund. 

Petina has suffered from M.E. since soon after she gave birth to Joe.

“I was buzzing when I got in because I was so pleased to have finished. But as soon as I’d had a bath I felt very tired. I got into bed and didn’t wake up until 3pm. I must have slept for about 14 hours,” said Joe.

Joe, who is studying to become a personal trainer, added: “I’ve still got very sore feet but what’s more important is that mum’s in very high spirits at the moment. She was really behind what I took on.”

Best moment of the walk – done in sub-zero temperatures – was seeing the sun rise over Goytre Wharf, a pretty little marina off the canal, just south of Abergavenny. There, dozens of narrow boats were trapped in the ice on their moorings. “Complete isolation, no one about, with the sun glittering on the water. Really lovely to look at”, said Joe.

The worst time came about 3pm on the day when Joe reached the southernmost tip of his adventure and realised he then had to turn round and walk back along the same route. “I just had to knuckle down and do it,” said our modest hero.

At the end, Joe’s tracking device told him that he had walked 136,436 steps.

Joe, from Llanbedr near Crickhowell, has a large network of family and friends who put money into his fundraising page. A donation even came in from America.

“But what really surprised me was the number of donors, whose names I didn’t recognise, who donated money after the ME Association put my fundraiser up on their socials.  They did me proud too.  Thank you everyone for your support,” he added.

Joe is keeping his fundraising page open for a while so, if you would like to contribute but haven’t done so yet, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/joe-rowsell

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