A fitness-fanatic mum has gone the extra mile for sick kids, after running a staggering 100k and raising over £1,400 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital, where both she and her daughter received the same open-heart surgery over 30 years apart.

45-year-old Katherine Iles pulled on her trainers to take on her biggest running challenge yet, an ultra-marathon, which saw her run 100k in one single race in the Peak District, as thanks for her 12-year-old daughter, Molly’s care.

Molly was just four-years-old when Katherine began to feel that something wasn’t quite right. She wasn’t developing at the same rate as her twin and had become very lethargic. Having had surgery to fix a hole in her own heart, when she was six, Katherine suspected that Molly might have inherited the same condition. However, it wasn’t until Molly was checked over for a chest infection that doctors spotted a heart murmur, and after further investigation, Katherine’s suspicions were confirmed, Molly also had a hole in her heart.

Soon after her diagnosis, Molly was admitted to Birmingham Children’s Hospital where she underwent open-heart surgery to close the hole. It was the same operation Katherine had received all those years ago, albeit at the hospital’s old site in Ladywood. It was a worrying time for the family but, having been through the experience herself as a youngster, Katherine knew Molly was in the best possible hands.

While Molly was still in recovery, the perfect opportunity came up for Katherine to say double thanks to the hospital, by signing up to the Birmingham Half Marathon which was taking place at the same time. From that moment, Katherine was hooked on fundraising, taking on race after race, and even throwing a daring abseil and skydive into the mix.

Now Molly’s older, she’s her mum’s biggest cheerleader and followed Katherine on her 100k route to wave, shout and give her the motivation she needed to cross the finish line at 10:30pm, fifteen hours after she began.

Katherine said: “Both me and Molly have received outstanding care at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and I’m so pleased I’ve been able to give back this way. Running is something I’ve always done, so to use it to raise money and say thank you just made sense to me.

“Before the 100k ultra-marathon the furthest I’d ever run in one go was 45 miles, but I was so ready and determined to make it happen and I’m so proud that I did!”

Miranda Williams, Head of Public Fundraising at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “Our hospital is celebrating its 160th anniversary this year, so it’s no surprise that we have treated multiple generations of the same family on many occasions. Nevertheless, it must have been difficult for Katherine to find out that her daughter had the same condition she did, but we’re glad that her own positive experience of our hospital was mirrored in Molly’s.

“Katherine raised a phenomenal amount through her awe-inspiring run and those funds will go on to help us do more for other sick kids, just like her younger self and Molly.”