18 May 2020, 10am
On Sunday, April 26, 2020 , thousands of runners and spectators at the 40th edition of the London Marathon should have turned the streets of the capital into a colourful carnival. Instead, they ran, cycled, hopped, jumped, boiled, flipped, turned, raged, danced, dressed up and had fun collecting donations in a uniquely British way in the 2.6 Challenge.
The event brought joy to the lockdown as the nation banded together on behalf of 3961 UK charities. Just 15 days after launch more than GBP10m (USD12.5m) had been raised from a campaign launched and carried out in just three weeks. Organisers of the country’s largest mass sporting events came together to launch the campaign to help rescue Britain’s charities struggling with an estimated GBP4 billion (USD5bn) deficit .
Hugh Brasher, Co-Chairman of the Group of Mass Participating Sports Event Organizers (MSO) and Event Director of London Marathon Events, said: “This is an exceptional success story. The first virtual meeting on the 2.6 Challenge took place on 3 April and just over five weeks later the campaign enabled this record number of charities to collaborate and raise over £10m. This is a completely new model of fundraising.”
Nick Rusling, co-chair of MSO and CEO of Human Race , said: “In addition to the success of fundraising, the 2.6 Challenge created a positive focus. At a time when isolation is a real problem the spirit behind the challenge brought families, streets, colleagues and friends together.”
The organisers of the mass events behind the 2.6 Challenge are 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.