Nearly seven million people ran for charity in the past year, survey finds

Figures from the Charities Aid Foundation show that each runner raised an average of £358 in the year to March, up from £280 the previous year

The number of Britons raising money for charity through running in the past 12 months rose 36 per cent to 6.8 million, with average funds raised by each individual up by more than a quarter over the same period.

A survey of 2,039 people by the Charities Aid Foundation found each runner raised an average of £358 in the year to March, up from £280 the year before.

Medical research was the most popular cause that runners raised money for overall, supported by 48 per cent of respondents, followed by hospitals and hospices (20 per cent) and children and young people (16 per cent).

CAF also found a change in the gender make-up of charity runners: men accounted for 52 per cent of those running for charity, compared with 44 per cent the previous year. Men raised an average of £396, compared with £319 by women. The average age of charity runners was 42.

John Low, chief executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said: "Charities are clearly getting better at making running events attractive to men, a space which has previously been dominated by ‘pink’ events such as Race for Life.

"With issues of male health more in the public eye and higher endurance events such as Tough Mudder gaining popularity, it’s unsurprising that more men are stepping up to the mark and getting involved."

About 75 per cent of the 34,000 participants in yesterday’s London Marathon were running for charity. Charity participants included a man from Enfield dressed as Superman who has competed in every London Marathon since taking up running in 1986, another man carrying a fridge, a marching band from Huddersfield and a host of celebrities. The official charity was the blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan, and more than 1,300 organisations were expected to benefit in total.

Last year’s event raised £53m for good causes.

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