Association of International Marathons and Distance Races

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Running news

17 April 2020, 8am

New event for fundraising by cancelled marathons

2.6 Challenge hopes to plug charity gap

In order to fill a GBP 4 billion shortfall caused by the cancellation and postponement of mass road races in Great Britain, organisers of mass participation events including the London Marathon have launched the 2.6 Challenge which will take place on 26 April to raise money for charities, the initial date of the 2019 London Marathon.

From foundation the London Marathon has been a driver of charity fundraising. In 2019 GBP 66.4 million (USD 83 million) was raised. For many years a large quota of entries have been reserved as “guaranteed” entries for charities who recruit runners willing to commit to raising a specified amount for the charity. Runners were willing to commit because the demand for places exceeded the number available several times over.

For many years “donor fatigue” has been a concern but many participants in the Marathon are first-timers – which reduces the pressure for the same people to be repeating their sponsorship year upon year. It is not clear if there will be the same willingness to donate to runners in a “2.6 Challenge” event as there has been in a nationally-televised spectacle like the London Marathon especially at a time when personal finances are under severe pressure. In the run-up to the postponed race date on 4 October both donors and runners may hesitate to join the fundraising exercise for the second time in six months.

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