Event and charity groups have come together to stage a virtual fundraiser to replace donations lost this month due to the postponement of the London Marathon.
An online fundraiser that aims to raise £67m for the charity sector has launched to replace April’s postponed London Marathon.
The London marathon, which raised more than £66m for charity last year, was due to take place on April 26 but has been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic until October.
Instead during April people are being urged to take part in running, walking or other physical activity fundraising events that adhere to social distancing.
The fundraiser is called the 2.6 Challenge in reference to the original date of the London Marathon and the 26 mile distance of marathons. Also the fundraiser’s target £67m can be achieved if 2.6m people can raise £26 each.
The website includes a downloadable toolkit for charities, business and other organisations wanting to take part. This features social media posts and frames, email footers and other resources.
The London Marathon’s 170,500 strong Twitter account has been dedicated to the challenge and renamed The #TwoPointSixChallenge, which is the hashtag being used to promote the event.
Get active, have fun, raise money
The campaign is being organised by a number of mass participation event organisers: Human Race, parkrun, The Great Run Company, Run 4 Wales, Grounded Events, London Landmarks, Virgin Sport, Limelight Sports, Threshold Sports, Running High and London Marathon Events.
The fundraiser is also being backed by a raft of charity sector organisations including: the Charities Aid Foundation, the Institute of Fundraising, the Small Charities Coalition as well as fundraising platforms Virgin Money Giving and Just Giving.
“The 2.6 Challenge can be anything that works for you,” said Nick Rusling, Human Race Chief Executive Officer and Co-Chair of the Mass Participation Sports Organisers group (MSO).
“You can run or walk 2.6 miles, 2.6km or for 26 minutes. You could do the same in your home or garden, go up and down the stairs 26 times, juggle for 2.6 minutes, do a 26 minute exercise class or get 26 people on a video call and do a 26 minute workout – anything you like.
“We want people to get active, have fun and raise money to help Save the UK’s charities by giving money or raising funds for the charity close to your heart.”
Hugh Brasher, MSO Co-Chair and London Marathon Events Event Director, added: “For many of the UK’s charities, the day of the London Marathon is the biggest fundraising day of the year.
“Right now, our vulnerable members of society need the help of charities more than ever before. We are asking everyone to create a 2.6 Challenge of their own and raise funds or pledge a donation.”