Two friends and colleagues have put their best foot forward for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, taking on the epic West Highland Way Challenge and raising over £39,000 for the hospital’s sick kids.  

Although Surrey-based Mike Seaman and Doug Emslie don’t live in the Midlands, as exhibition industry professionals, they run a lot of events in Birmingham via their company Raccoon Media Group and are therefore familiar with the hospital’s vital work. They wanted to do something to support the local community, so chose Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity as one of four causes to support. 

The avid runners settled on tackling the West Highland Way challenge, which spans 96 miles (154 km) across Scotland's beautiful countryside. The challenge is no easy feat, with an elevation gain of 3,155m (10,351 ft). Mike and Doug had previously attempted to run the treacherous route last year and unfortunately had to give up after 72 miles, after Doug experienced problems with his feet. The pair turned their disappointment into a huge learning opportunity, and returned for a second time, more resolute to do it.  

This time, the two were met with the same perilous roads, high inclines and rough terrains, all whilst battling great British weather, but never gave up on their target and managed to complete the challenge in an impressive 34 hours.  

The duo had originally set out the goal of raising £96,000 in total £1,000 for every mile they ran of the challenge – which would be split across the four charities. However, thanks to generous donations from clients, associates and support from family and friends, this target was absolutely smashed, with almost £118,000 raised and a phenomenal £39,000 share of the total donated to Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity. 

Mike said: “As a father of two and someone who works a lot in the local area, I think the charity is utterly fantastic. I have had the pleasure of meeting some of the young patients at the National Running Show – which my company runs, and where the hospital is charity partnerand they are some of the most fantastic and inspiring people I have ever had the pleasure of speaking to. 

Miranda Williams Head of Public Fundraising at Birmingham Children’s Hospital says: “This was an incredible physical feat for Mike and Doug to take on for our sick kids. I’m always in awe of our supporters who put themselves through so much to raise money for our hospital. Of course, their motivation is always our brave patients, who go through so much at such a young age

We’re extremely grateful to Mile and Doug for the phenomenal amount raised, which will help improve the treatments and experience we can offer our children.”