London Marathon replacement 2.6 Challenge benefits record number of charities
Posted: Mon, 18 May 2020 14:13
Organisers of the 2.6 Challenge say the campaign raised money for 3,961 charities - believed to be a record in both the United Kingdom and the world.
More than £10 million ($12.3 million/€11.3 million) was raised in total.
The fundraising event was set up to replace the postponed London Marathon, which was due to be held on April 26.
Instead, thousands of people took on challenges related to the the number 2.6 or 26 - many of them bizarre and unusual - to raise money for charities of their choosing.
The Mass Participation Sports Organisers (MSO) group organised the campaign, which was designed to aid charities in the UK which are estimating the coronavirus pandemic will leave them with a £4 billion ($4.9 billion/€4.5 billion) shortfall.
Charity shops cannot open at present and thousands of fundraising events have been cancelled or postponed.
"This is an extraordinary success story," said MSO co-chairman Hugh Brasher.
There were just 23 days between the first virtual meeting regarding the 2.6 Challenge and the day of the event.
"This is an entirely new model for fundraising," Brasher continued.
"We would like to thank everyone involved: the team that put the campaign together, the businesses and organisations that supported it and, most of all, every single person who came up with a 2.6 Challenge and raised money for their chosen charity."
One of the challenges saw current and former athletes take part in a virtual relay where they all ran 2.6 miles.
Twelve British female marathon runners took part in the relay - Steph Twell, Alice Wright, Steph Davis, Eleanor Davis, Alyson Dixon, Helen Davies, Natasha Cockram, Rebecca Murray, Hayley Carruthers, Jess Piasecki, Tish Jones and Jo Pavey.
World Athletics President Sebastian Coe is another well-known name to have taken on a challenge, while six-time Paralympic gold medallist David Weir completed a marathon himself.
MSO co-chairman Nick Rusling added it had been "so rewarding" to see the scheme focus people on positive physical activity.
"At a time when isolation is a real issue, the spirit behind the Challenge has brought together families, streets, colleagues and friends," Rusling said.
London Marathon Events, Run 4 Wales, Human Race, parkrun, The Great Run Company, Grounded Events, London Landmarks, Virgin Sport, Limelight Sports, Threshold Sports and Running High were the mass-participation events organisers behind the challenge.
The 40th edition of the London Marathon is now hoped to go ahead on October 4.
Article Source: Insidethegames