Sunday 26 April was the scheduled date for the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon, the 40th edition of the world’s greatest marathon. It is a huge event in the charity fundraising calendar.
Every year for the past 13 years, the London Marathon has set a world record for an annual one-day fundraiser, with an incredible £66.4 million raised for good causes in 2019 and more than £1 billion raised since the first race in 1981.
The 40th Race has now been postponed to Sunday 4 October, but the original date of Sunday 26 April resonates very strongly with the many thousands of runners, charities, spectators and TV viewers who’ve been counting down to Marathon Day, with the BBC planning network programming over the weekend.
Thousands of fundraising events across the UK have been cancelled due to Covid-19 with a devastating impact on charity income that means many charities are facing closure. The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) CEO Karl Wilding estimates that the UK charity sector will lose £4 billion in income as a result of the pandemic.
This impacts all sectors of society – from children to the elderly – as well as the vital work in areas such as palliative care, serious diseases, mental health, housing support, food supplies and countless others that charities support.
In response, the organisers of the biggest mass-participation sports events across the country have come together to create a new campaign to raise vital funds to help save the UK’s charities.
The campaign, The 2.6 Challenge, will launch on Sunday 26 April – what should have been the date of the 40th edition of the London Marathon.
From Sunday 26 April, the public is asked to dream up an activity based around the numbers 2.6 or 26 and fundraise or donate to Save the UK’s Charities via twopointsixchallenge.co.uk
The 2.6 Challenge is open to anyone of any age – the only requirement is that the activity must follow the Government guidelines on exercise and social distancing.
The 2.6 Challenge is a simple and fun way for everyone to do their bit to help save the UK’s charities.
This is a challenge for all ages and abilities. All you need to do is think of an activity based around the numbers 26 or 2.6 that suits your skills and complete it on or from Sunday
This could be something as simple as pledging to run 2.6 miles as your daily exercise to doing 26 minutes of yoga, or juggling for 26 minutes (or maybe just 2.6 minutes) non-stop. Check out the ‘how to get involved’ page on our website for more ideas and inspiration.
And don’t worry if you’re not able to get out your house or flat for now – you can do your 2.6 challenge anywhere inside too!
There are no rules, apart from the Government guidelines on how to exercise safely during this time. Whatever you can do, you can be a part of it – the main thing is to get active, have fun and pledge whatever you can to help save the UK’s charities.