London Marathon Events enabled charities to raise more than £50 million in 2020
London Marathon Events (LME) created a range of virtual events during the Covid-19 pandemic which enabled charities to raise more than £50 million in 2020 during one of the most challenging years in the history of the third sector.
LME was only able to deliver The Vitality Big Half on Sunday 1 March as originally planned before the pandemic hit and it had to postpone or cancel the rest of its 2020 event calendar including the Virgin Money London Marathon, the largest annual one-day fundraising event in the world. As all events across the UK were cancelled, charities lost an estimated £10 billion in revenue at a time when their services were desperately needed.
LME, along with fellow Mass Participation Sports Organisers (MSO), worked together to help save the UK’s charities by creating and delivering The 2.6 Challenge in just 22 days which encouraged people to take on a challenge based on the numbers two and six and donate or raise money for the charity of their choice.
The 2.6 Challenge began on Sunday 26 April 2020, the date when the Virgin Money London Marathon should have taken place and raised £11.2 million for nearly 4,000 charities in what is believed to be the world’s biggest ever collaborative fundraising campaign.
After months of uncertainty, the Virgin Money London Marathon took place on Sunday 4 October, with the elite races taking place on a closed-loop biosecure course in St James’s Park and an incredible world record 37,966 runners across the UK and round the world running the 26.2 miles on the course of their choice, anytime between 00:00 and 23:59:59 BST. The participants raised an amazing £36.3 million.
Prudential RideLondon, the world’s greatest festival of cycling, was also re-imagined as a virtual event with riders raising more than £3 million for the charity of their choice on 15-16 August.
A further £1.2 million was raised by runners in The Vitality Big Half on Sunday 1 March and the virtual Vitality London 10,000 during the October half term week.