A UK singer-songwriter taking on the extraordinary challenge of running 40 marathons in 40 days reaches southern Scotland this weekend

King Charles.King Charles.
King Charles.
A UK cult singer-songwriter is outdoing comedy legend Eddie Izzard after taking on the extraordinary challenge of running 40 marathons in 40 days.

Earlier this year Izzard raised quarter of a million pounds for charity after completing 32 marathons on a treadmill in the same number of days – and performing gigs after each day’s run was over.

London-based singer-songwriter Charles Costa – known as King Charles – is aiming to outdo even that Herculean achievement with his ‘Feel Good Jog’, running 40 marathons in 40 days followed by an informal performance.

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He’s running from John O Groats to Land’s End after setting off on July 25.

The 1,782km journey has been mapped out as something of a scenic route across three countries and this weekend he passes the doorstep of the Scottish Borders, running from Lamington to Moffat today, Saturday, August 7, Moffat to Langholm tomorrow, Sunday, August 8, and from Langholm to Greenhead on Monday.

Charles is running with a small crew from Regenerate, a charity which ‘inspires and supports young people by helping them build strong relationships and creating life changing opportunities’.

Working alongside the charity, Charles hopes to raise awareness and support for mental health and £40,000 in the process.

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The challenge is being documented throughout the route, via live videos on @kingcharlesuk and @regenerateuk social media channels.

Classically trained Charles, whose songs have been streamed more than one million times, is preparing to launch an autumn UK tour, alongside a new EP.

Having suffered his own mental health challenges, Charles is relishing the chance of getting out on the road – in both senses – post-lockdown.

He said: “The last 18 months of lockdown and isolation have been a feeding ground for anxiety, loneliness and depression.

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"Running has always helped me find an escape when I’ve felt trapped and isolated. And all you need is a pair of shoes and a running buddy to get you moving.

“Some of the performances on the route are traditional, in a venue, and some less so, out in the wilds, where we find somewhere beautiful to play.

"I don’t think there’s a precedent for this. I know that Eddie Izzard ran some marathons in lockdown on his treadmill and then did some stand up performances after that, but I’m not sure how many he did, but as for the running the length of the country and performing along the way I’m not aware of anyone else having done it on this scale.

"Running and singing are the things which I love to do most. Running, especially in lockdown, kept me functioning mentally.

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"I have been to a lot of these places before but you tend to fly in or drive through on a motorway and you don’t get to see, or feel the experience, of that much of the territory. What I love about running is you are in charge of the distance between you and the horizon and you can take in all the different smells and sounds. It’s a beautiful way to experience a place.”