More than £16m raised for charities through 'virtual' London Marathon, says Virgin Money Giving

Participants mapped out their own routes to complete the marathon distance as a solo exercise

A 'virtual' London Marathon runner in Dulwich Park, south London (Photograph: Dominika Zarzycka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
A 'virtual' London Marathon runner in Dulwich Park, south London (Photograph: Dominika Zarzycka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Runners taking part in yesterday’s virtual London Marathon raised more than £16m for good causes through Virgin Money Giving, according to figures released by the online donations platform.

The event was postponed from its usual April date and run in a new format because of the Covid-19 outbreak. 

Only elite runners were invited to take part in a race alongside each other in the capital because of coronavirus restrictions, but about 45,000 people signed up to each run 26.2 miles on their own to raise funds for good causes.  

Official figures from VMG today showed almost £16.2m had been raised through its site for this year’s event, including Gift Aid, with donations still coming in. 

More than 2,000 charities would be receiving the funds, VMG said. 

The day after the full event last year, more than £25.5m had been raised via Virgin Money Giving for good causes through the marathon, and the figure was expected to rise to £28m. 

A total of £66.4m was raised for charity through last year's London Marathon, yet again breaking the record for the highest fundraising total through an annual single-day fundraising event.

It is not clear what sums might have been raised for charities through other fundraising platforms. 

JustGiving did not respond to a request from Third Sector to confirm how much had been raised through its site this year. 

Jo Barnett, executive director at Virgin Money Giving, said: “This has been an extraordinary year and, while this wasn’t the 40th marathon we’d planned for, it’s been hugely encouraging to see 45,000 runners throw their weight behind a virtual race and pound their local streets instead. 

“Every runner and walker has defied the obstacles Covid-19 has brought to this annual event and shown a single-minded determination to carry on raising funds for the charities that matter to them. It’s both heartening and inspiring.”


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