IT was a journey born from the tragic death of Scott Bradley’s young relative.
Even then, running the West Highland Way in just 27 hours would be a remarkable feat under any circumstances.
Starting at 10pm, in snowy and icy conditions, Scott Bradley, 44, put his body to the test as he set out to complete the daunting 96-mile challenge.
He finished his run at 1am a day later and, with support from his friends, family and colleagues, raised £1,500 for Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity (ECHC).
With just a rucksack carrying water and a first aid kit, safety was a key concern.
So, Scott’s father, brother-in-law and a colleague ran some of the night sections with him and met him at various checkpoints throughout his run to monitor his health and provide him with food.
He felt compelled to raise money for ECHC because of the way they looked after his niece’s son, Felix, who, sadly, died over Christmas last year after contracting meningitis.
Scott, who trained hard around Fife, among other places, said: “My sister spoke so highly about the way ECHC cared for Felix that I just knew I had to do something to support the charity.
“ECHC really pushed the boat out to make it a magical Christmas period for kids staying at the hospital.
“After feeling so helpless at the time of Felix’s illness, taking on this challenge just felt right – it was therapeutic.
“The run was tough. With limited sight at night and with the snow covering it was hard not to trip over rocks and bumps on the path.
“I got lost a couple of times along the way but I knew I had to stay in high spirits.
“Overall it was a very rewarding experience. I carried a tracker with me so that friends and family could see my progress and send me messages of encouragement – they really kept me going.”
Scott trained for the run in February by carrying out recces along the West Highland Way to trial both his fitness and the weather conditions.
Scott said: “During one practice session it was so snowy and dark that I couldn’t make out what was what – I was wading through a river at one point because I couldn’t find the bridge to cross the water.”
Amy Ford, senior partnerships fundraiser at ECHC, said: “Scott’s courageous effort inspired all of us at ECHC.
“To be recognised and supported with such a brave endeavour as this is a real honour.
“ECHC exists to ensure children and young people’s lives are less interrupted by illness. The generosity and bravery of those like Scott who support us allows us to continue transforming the lives of those in hospital so that they can be child first and patient second.”