Sheffield dad tackles 100km challenge in memory of baby son

james Halse with his son Elijah
james Halse with his son Elijah
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A grieving father used his son’s death to inspire him to tackle a 100km hiking and running challenge.

James Halse, aged 38, from Meersbrook, Sheffield, took part in the 24-hour Peak District Challenge, beginning at Stannage Edge and finishing in Hathersage, to raise cash for Action Medical Research after his son, Elijah, died in 2013 after being born at 25 weeks.

James said running has helped him to cope with the tragedy.

He and his wife Jenny are aiming to raise £37,000 to help fund a study into necrotising enterocolitis, the condition which took Elijah’s life.

Elijah lived for just 37 days after he was born at The Jessop Wing in Sheffield.

He developed a bowel disorder that mainly strikes premature babies and while he was recovering from surgery, a scan revealed extensive brain damage.

James said: “Running gave and still gives me much-needed headspace. It gives me time to think about Elijah, about his life and his death. Running has been a huge help to my mental health.”

So far £22,000 has been raised since Elijah’s death.

To sponsor James visit