Two Birmingham businessmen who laced up their boots to take on a challenge that saw them walk 100km in 24-hours have raised over £4,800 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity. 

Conrad Brunton, Managing Director at Tonic Talent, a recruitment agency in the hospitality and catering sector, was inspired to do something to support Birmingham Children’s Hospital’s sick kids after he and his team were shown the impact of the hospital’s charity and how it supports the work of the hospital’s staff as they go above and beyond to care for their patients. 

Tonic Talent pledged to support the hospital by rallying local restaurants, bars and pubs to take part in their “Dine and Donate” initiative, whereby each venue added an optional £1 donation to Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity onto every customer’s bill during the month of April. However, Conrad, 43, felt compelled to do more and whilst encouraging the initiative, he began planning his own personal fundraiser. 

Conrad set his sights on a £2,500 target but knowing he would need to do something spectacular to achieve it, Conrad boldly announced he would be walking 100k in just one day. Not long after sharing his plans, Conrad’s good friend, Matt Roden, Chief Operating Officer at Clements and Church tailors, stepped up to join him. 

Conrad and Matt set about training for the challenge, and by the time the day itself came around, the pair had over 350km under their belts, and they had every faith they were going to make it. They started their walk at midday outside Birmingham Children’s Hospital before making their way onto the Birmingham canal network, where they would complete most of their walks along the tow paths.  

The pair wound their way along the canal network, completing stretches of up to 40k at a time before heading towards Wolverhampton for the final leg of their journey. As Conrad and Matt reached the 60k mark, fatigue set in and blisters rubbed. It was the middle of the night but with motivational messages pouring in from friends and family and dance music playing through their headphones, the duo stomped on into the morning reaching the finish line at 8am. 

Conrad said: My dad was the first patient to undergo successful surgery for a hole in the heart at Birmingham Children’s Hospital when he was a child, so when I learnt about the incredible care the hospital provides to its patients today, it really resonated with me. 

“The challenge was tough mentally, as well as physically and although Matt and I were weary when we hit 100k, we were both absolutely over the moon to have done something so monumental to support such a worthy cause, and even happier to have raised almost double the initial target. 

Helen Miles, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said: 

Walking 100km is no mean feat in any case, but to manage such a distance in just 24 hours really is incredible. We’re so grateful to Conrad and Matt for going the extra mile, or should I say kilometres, for our sick kids. 

The phenomenal amount Conrad and Matt have raised, teamed with the support from Tonic Talent’s Dine and Donate initiative will go towards helping us do more for the 100,000 sick kids our hospital treats every single year.