Mass-participation events organisations set up the 2.6 Challenge

Starting on the day the London Marathon would have been run, 26 April, the event is designed to raise millions of pounds to tide the sector over

People are being urged to take part in a new event to raise millions of pounds to “save the UK’s charities” in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. 

The 2.6 Challenge, which has been organised by a group of mass-participation sports events organisations and companies and is backed by charities and the Office for Civil Society, calls on people to come up with activities based around the numbers 2.6 or 26 to raise funds for their chosen charities. 

The challenge will start on 26 April, the day the London Marathon was due to take place. The 26-mile event has been postponed until October.

Charities have been concerned about the effects of delaying the huge amounts of funds that are raised for good causes through the marathon each year. Last year’s event raised a record £66.4m.

“The postponement of the marathon – which is the world’s biggest one-day annual fundraising event – and thousands of other mass-participation events has had a devastating effect on charities,” organisers said. 

“In response to this, organisers of the biggest mass-participation sports events in the country have teamed up to create the 2.6 Challenge to raise vital funds to help to save the UK’s charities.”

People can decide to run or walk 2.6 miles, or 2.6km, or for 26 minutes, run up and down the stairs 26 times, juggle for 2.6 minutes – anything around those numbers providing it meets government guidelines on social distancing. 

Hugh Brasher, event director of London Marathon Events, one of the mass-participation sports events companies behind the new venture, said it  would be incredible to beat the £66.4m raised for good causes by the London Marathon last year. 

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

Charities including the Charities Aid Foundation, the Institute of Fundraising and the Small Charities Coalition are backing the campaign.

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