Mass participation events unite to support stricken charities

Organisers of the biggest mass-participation sports events have come together to create a new campaign to raise funds to support and save charities across the UK.

The '2.6 Challenge' will launch on April 26th, which should have been the date of the 40th edition of the London Marathon. The Marathon, which has been postponed until October because of the Coronavirus pandemic, is the world’s biggest one-day annual fundraising event and last year raised £66.4million for charities.

Thousands of fundraising events across the UK have also been cancelled with a devastating impact on income that means many charities are facing closure. The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) estimates the UK's charity sector will lose £4billion in income as a result of the pandemic.

Under the 2.6 Challenge, the public is being asked to dream up an activity based around the numbers 2.6 or 26 and fundraise or donate to ‘Save the UK’s Charities’ via The Challenge is open to anyone of any age – the only requirement is that the activity must follow the Government guidelines on exercise and social distancing.

“The 2.6 Challenge can be anything that works for you,” said Nick Rusling, Co-Chair of the Mass Participation Sports Organisers group (MSO) and CEO of Human Race.

“You can run or walk 2.6 miles, 2.6km 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 work-out – anything you like.

“We want people to get active, have fun and raise money to help Save the UK’s Charities by giving money or raising funds for the charity close to your heart.”

Hugh Brasher is Co-Chair of MSO and Event Director of London Marathon Events. He explained: “This is something the marathon is really passionate about and so are the rest of the mass participation sport organisers. Right now, our vulnerable members of society need the help of charities more than ever before. We are asking everyone to create a 2.6 Challenge of their own and raise funds or pledge a donation.”

The event organisers behind the 2.6 Challenge are: Human Race, parkrun, The Great Run Company, Run 4 Wales, Grounded Events, London Landmarks, Virgin Sport, Limelight Sports, Threshold Sports, Running High and London Marathon Events.

The campaign is supported by the Charities Aid Foundation, the Institute of Fundraising, the Small Charities Coalition, the Office for Civil Society, Sport England, sportscotland, Sport Wales, Let’s Do This, Virgin Money Giving and JustGiving. For more information, visit