London Marathon backs campaign to help plug charity shortfall

London (AFP) –


London Marathon chiefs have linked up with organisers of other mass-participation events in Britain to help charities plug an expected £4 billion ($5 billion) income shortfall due to the coronavirus crisis.

The 2.6 Challenge will launch on April 26, which was the original scheduled date for the marathon, now postponed until October 4.

People are asked to dream up an activity based around the numbers 2.6 or 26 and fundraise or donate.

The only requirement is that the activity must follow the government's guidelines on exercise and social distancing due to COVID-19.

The London Marathon is the world's biggest one-day annual fundraising event, raising £66.4 million for charities in 2019.

"For many of the UK's charities, the day of the London Marathon is the biggest fundraising day of the year," said Hugh Brasher, the event's race director.

"One of the founding pillars of the London Marathon was 'to show how the family of mankind can be united'.

"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."

Nick Rusling, who co-chairs the Mass Participation Sports Organisers group, said: "The 2.6 Challenge can be anything that works for you.

"You can run or walk 2.6 miles, 2.6 km or for 26 minutes. You could do the same in your home or garden, go up and down the stairs 26 times, juggle for 2.6 minutes, do a 26-minute exercise class or get 26 people on a video call and do a 26-minute workout -- anything you like."