Project 96 – getting ready for the infamous West Highland Way

Long-time exhibition industry professionals and avid runners – Mike Seaman, CEO of Raccoon Media Group, and Douglas Emslie, Senior Advisor at Informa and former Tarsus Group CEO – will be running the infamous, 96-mile West Highland Way in Scotland July 1 to raise funds for four charities.

Mike and Doug’s goal was to bring in a total of £96,000 (£1,000 per mile) for the following charities:

  • Green Hub is a local community project supporting teenagers and their families / carers facing social, emotional and mental health challenges
  • Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity is a leading, specialist paediatric centre, delivering some of the most advanced treatments, complex surgical procedures and cutting-edge research to over 90,000 children and young people from across the UK and beyond
  • Mind UK provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding
  • Cancer Research UK fund scientists, doctors and nurses to help beat cancer sooner. They also provide cancer information to the public

HERE is the link to donate to these incredible causes!

“Mental health and cancer impact most families. We have chosen four charities that do fantastic work in these areas and this run will be a major boost to them in helping those in need,” Emslie said.

Seaman concurred that the charities were chosen carefully. He said: “Doug and I spent a long time deciding which charities we wanted to raise money for, and the causes are incredibly personal, important and meaningful to us both.” 

The charities range in size, with one of the smallest ones being Green Hub, which is based near where Doug resides.

“Doug’s wife, Caroline, joined Green Hub 18 months ago and quickly became an integral part of the team, running our inspiring Teen Garden. When she and Doug told us that Green Hub was to be a beneficiary of Doug and Mike’s extraordinary West Highland Way adventure, we were completely over the moon,” said Vanessa Lanham-Day, Co-Founder & Co-Chair of the Green Hub Project for Teens.

She added, “As a small, locally-based charity their donation will make a massive difference to the range and depth of work that we do for teens with mental health issues. Doug and Mike’s story of resilience, and how they have come back determined to succeed in this gruelling challenge on their second attempt, is an inspiring message for all young people today.”

This isn’t the first time that Mike and Doug have tried to complete the daunting West Highland Way course.

“Social media tends to be about successes. This challenge is about failure. Last October Mike and I attempted the 96 miles of the West Highland Way, and we had to stop after 72 miles due to my feet issues,” Emslie said. “Rather than give up, we saw the failure as a huge learning opportunity, and we return more resilient to do it again this time better equipped to complete it.”

Seaman added: “This is a huge challenge that will test us both mentally and physically – the West Highland Way is a brutal route and has to be one of the toughest things I have ever done”

The West Highland Way stretches 96 miles (154 Km) from Milngavie to Fort William in Scotland, taking in a huge variety of scenery along the way, from countryside parks to loch-shores and open moorlands to steep mountains.

Mike and Doug will have to contend with running a total distance of 96 miles (154km) with 3,155m (10,351ft) of elevation gain, covering very tricky terrain and ‘variable’ weather conditions.

Astonishingly, the team have already raised over £96,000 with an incredibly generous donation from Charterhouse and the Tarsus management team. During the recent acquisition of Tarsus by Informa, £96,000 was set aside to support the challenge.

On their behalf, Doug Emslie said: “Whilst we were going through the transaction with Informa, the team decided that we wanted to ensure a proportion of the transaction was paid to good causes, which is exactly what we have done here. £96,000 makes a huge difference to these charities and we are excited to see how far we can go beyond that. I will certainly be talking to my other contacts and connections to see if they can match this generosity as we seek to go #beyond96.”

Header image: (from left) Mike Seaman and Doug Emslie preparing for Project 96.

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