Virgin Money London Marathon
Originally scheduled for April, organisers of the annual London Marathon have now announced the event – which will mark the 40th anniversary of the race – will take place on Sunday 4th October. While the physical run in the capital will only be open to elite athletes to keep numbers safely under control, amateurs can now enter the ballot for the virtual run.. Set up in a similar way to the usual event, runners can apply via the ballot or compete on behalf of a charity. Participants will have 23 hours 59 minutes and 59 seconds to complete the 26.2 miles, which they can choose to run, walk or jog – making the event the most inclusive London Marathon ever.
Great Run Solo Challenge
With the Great North Run officially cancelled and postponed to 2021, the organisers have now set up the Great Run Solo Challenge, a virtual running event aimed at raising funds for the NHS. There are weekly and monthly challenge options, as well as virtual races designed especially for kids. You can enter more than one challenge, so when you've completed one distance you can take on another. The challenge costs £10 to join and all profits will go to the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Urgent Appeal. Alternatively, you can choose to increase your donation by £5 or £10 by paying either £15 or £20.
The Run 180 Challenge
Many of this year’s biggest running events may be postponed, but there’s one you can still take on to support Marie Curie Nurses. Get involved with the Run 180 Challenge by running for 180 minutes and raising at least £180 to fund one night’s care from a Marie Curie Nurse for a family in need. Run on your treadmill, in your back garden or your local park. Make this challenge your own and complete it over as many days as it takes, as long as you reach your target before the 11th October..
WALKING & CYCLING
The Chiltern 50 Challenge
Now taking place on 26th September 2020, organisers of the Chiltern 50 Challenge have been granted permission by local councils to hold the event, in line with a new Covid-safe framework to keep participants, staff and communities safe. This does however mean that the 2020 challenge will be operated slightly differently to previous events. Places will be strictly limited to 1,200 participants, with staggered rolling starts to ensure crowds are kept to a minimum. The 50km route will now also be two loops of 25km – an ‘east’ and ‘west’ trail – to remove the requirement for two ‘hub’ venues and complex transport set-ups. There’ll also be limited space for supporters, as well as restricted refreshments available.
The Tommy Godwin '100 for 100' Challenge
The Tommy Godwin Challenge was set up in 2013 to honour the memory of 1948 Olympic cycling medallist Tommy Godwin, who would've been 100 years old this year. Since then, the challenge has raised over £90,000 for the Marie Curie Hospice, with the team hoping to reach £100,000 by the end of September 2020. While this year's cycling challenge couldn’t go ahead as planned due to the pandemic, you can still get involved – take a look at this video for more information. For example, you could cycle 100 miles in one go or over several rides, cycle for 100 minutes on the road or on a static bike, or cycle 100 circuits of one mile. Or, if you prefer, do something completely unrelated to cycling, such as walking, swimming, or baking, that has a connection to the number 100.
The Big Charity Run/Walk/Cycle
A virtual challenge that rolls over every month, choose to run, walk or cycle 30 miles, 60 miles, 90 miles or 120 miles before uploading your evidence and waiting for your medal. In aid of one of the UK’s largest children’s charities, The Chailey Heritage Foundation, entry costs just £13, with a minimum fundraising target of £50.
The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning
There’s no reason Macmillan’s annual event can’t go ahead, although this year, the charity is encouraging participants to host virtual coffee mornings to comply with the most recent Covid-19 guidelines. Taking place officially on 25th September, fundraisers can also plan an event on whatever day or time suits them, with free fundraising kits available once you’ve signed up. Alternatively, why not put your lockdown fitness to good use and support people living with cancer with a run, walk or cycle, before raising a mug to someone you love at the finish line?
In support of one of the UK’s most important mental health charities, Brew Monday can be held at any time to raise money for Samaritans. The idea is to get everyone together online (or even over the phone) to socialise safely, and ask guests to donate what they would’ve given for a slice of cake in exchange for the pleasure of your virtual company. By using your virtual get-together to raise money for Samaritans, you'll help give people having a tough time somewhere to turn when they need to talk.
Quit For A Bit
If you need a little bit of extra motivation to cut down on the booze, sugar – or both – try taking part in the ‘Quit For A Bit’ 30-day challenge in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society. During the month of November, the charity is asking people to go on a health kick and get their friends and family to sponsor them to help them stay on track. Once you successfully reach the end of the month, simply donate the money online to help the charity continue its work supporting some of the country’s most vulnerable people. Just £10 could fund a call from one of the charity’s trained dementia advisers, offering guidance and support to a carer or person with dementia when they need it most.
We couldn’t finish this piece without offering a quick word on general donations. We know it’s a difficult time – not least financially – for everyone right now, but if you can spare anything at all, including your valuable time, some of the country’s charities, both large and small, need your help. Here are some ways you can show your support before the end of 2020.
Donate To A Charity Shop
Many of the country’s charity shops have now reopened, and are actively looking for donations. If you still don’t feel comfortable venturing out, you can book a Covid-secure collection via The British Heart Foundation here.
Set Up A Direct Debit
Volunteer Your Time
In-person volunteering was largely put on hold at the height of the pandemic, but as restrictions have been lifted, it might be possible to get involved once again. Age UK has a helpful set of guidelines for you to digest online, as well as a new Neighbourly Volunteering scheme born out of the community spirit seen under lockdown.
Don’t Forget The Environment
In the midst of the pandemic, the beneficial impact on the environment was clear to see. Now that life is beginning to return to normal, it’s important not to forget this incredibly important cause. We suggest joining Team Panda, via the WWF, to keep abreast of all the latest events and info.