Running News

Races come together to support UK charities

Races team up during Coronavirus

Charities in the UK are facing a funding crisis in the wake of the coronavirus. It is estimated that the charity sector will lose £4 billion in income as a result of the pandemic. Now the organisers of Britain’s biggest events including London Marathon and the Great North Run have launched a new campaign to raise vital funds to help save in-trouble charities.

The campaign, the 2.6 Challenge, will launch on Sunday 26 April – what should have been the date of the 40th edition of London Marathon, the world’s biggest one day annual fundraising event, which raised £66.4 million for charities in 2019.

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 the 2.6 Challenge website. The 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 can be anything that works for you, 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.Nick Rusling, CEO of Human Race.


For many of the UK’s charities, the day of London Marathon is the biggest fundraising day of the year. One of the founding pillars of London Marathon was ‘to show how the family of mankind can be united’.

We hope that the 2.6 Challenge, which starts on the day our 40th race should have taken place, will embody that spirit and inspire people, families and communities to fundraise for their chosen charity to help Save the UK’s Charities. 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.” Hugh Brasher, event director of London Marathon Events


The 2.6 Challenge is an excellent opportunity for all of us, and our network of amazing runners and partners from around the UK to do something to help the incredible UK charity sector at this challenging time. The spirit of the Great North Run is about achieving great things together. While we can’t be together right now, we can still join together virtually and support this great cause.Paul Foster, Chief Executive at the Great Run Company

The mass-participation events organisers behind the 2.6 Challenge are: The Great Run Company, Human Race, parkrun, Run 4 Wales, Grounded Events, London Landmarks, Virgin Sport, Limelight Sports, Threshold Sports, Running High and London Marathon Events.

For more information on the 2.6 Challenge, visit the project website.

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