London Marathon launches 2.6 Challenge to help £4bn charity loss

The organisers of the London Marathon have launched a fundraiser in an attempt to recoup some of the billions charities face losing due to coronavirus.

The UK sector is facing a £4 billion loss in income as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.

Now people across the country are being asked to donate and take part in the 2.6 Challenge in a nod to the famous London race which will be held for the 40th time this year.

Organiser Nick Rusling said: “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.”

He added: 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.”

The 26.2-mile race was due to be held on April 26 before its cancellation due to the pandemic, but the day will now mark the launch of the 2.6 challenge.

The race through the capital is the world’s biggest one-day annual fundraising event, and raised more than £66 million for charity last year.

Hugh Brasher, event director for London Marathon events, said: “For many of the UK’s charities, the day of the London marathon is the biggest fundraising day of the year.

“One of the founding pillars of the London Marathon was ‘to show how the family of mankind can be united’.”

He hopes the challenge will “embody that spirit” and “inspire people” to raise money.

The 2.6 Challenge has been put together by the Mass Participation Sports Organisers group (MSO) which includes London Marathon Events, as well as parkrun and the London Landmarks races.

This year’s Virgin Money London Marathon is now scheduled to take place on October 4.

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