Thousands of runners pounded the streets of the city, as they took on the Great Birmingham Run last weekend, including Louise Gnosill, 50, from Wednesbury, who decided to go the extra mile for the sick kids at Birmingham Children’s Hospital by completing the half marathon distance.

Louise has taken on the Great Birmingham Run a couple of times for the hospital’s charity already, motivated by having been treated at the hospital as a child and her seven-year-old niece, Alice, who is currently a patient.

Alice was born with Omphalocele, an abdominal wall defect, where some of her organs were on the outside of her body. She required immediate surgery to fix the problem, which was undertaken at the Children’s, and was thankfully a success. Alice was also diagnosed with Spina Bifada, meaning her spine did not develop properly in the womb, which has required ongoing treatment throughout her life.

Louise is a keen runner and her family’s experience at the Birmingham Children’s Hospital has inspired her to turn her hobby into fundraising, raising over £380 for the hospital charity over the years. As well as the Great Birmingham Run, she completed the incredible feat of running 2021 miles in the year 2021!

As part of her training for this year’s race, Louise designed a seven-mile running route she undertook a few times a week. However, her spot was placed in jeopardy, after she broke her ankle in November. Luckily, physio and Louise’s determination meant that just six months later, she was able to take her place on the start line and complete the 13-mile distance in two hours and 39 seconds.

Louise said: “It’s so rewarding when you can combine your passion with a good cause, like I have done with my running and Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Alice is also such an inspiration to me, and I’m happy to do my part in helping children like her at the hospital with my fundraising.”

Miranda Williams, Head of Public Fundraising at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “Louise is a real trooper to have overcome a broken ankle and still take on the half marathon. She has been a great sport, fundraising for us over the years, and we could not be prouder of her. In fact, we’re so thankful to all our runners who took part in the Great Birmingham Run for us this year. Collectively, they raised an astonishing £100,000 for our Children’s Hospital, and sister hospital, the Women’s, which is phenomenal. It's going to make such a difference to our patients!”