Last weekend nearly 40,000 people ran the Virgin Money London Marathon, and between them they are set to raise a whopping £60 million for charity.
With so much money on the line, it’s essential for charities to offer the best support possible to help their runners maximise fundraising in the run up to the race, which is why Macmillan Cancer Support offers a range of advice, events and more for everyone running the marathon on our behalf.
Each year, competition for places in the marathon becomes ever more intense, with over 200,000 people applying to run it in 2017. This makes Macmillan’s charity places which guarantee runners a spot – ever more coveted. Macmillan therefore ask any runners that are given one of these sought after places to commit to raising a minimum of £2,500 to help us hit our £1.5 million fundraising target.
When you sign up
When you join Team Macmillan you receive a big welcome pack, which includes our free running top with personalised name letters, plenty of fundraising tips and access to our online training zone with training guides for beginners as well as more advanced runners.
On top of this, we send out regular e-newsletters filled with tips and important info in the run up to race day and have our unique Team Macmillan app which joins up all the dots and connects runners to our Facebook event and Strava group. All this is to help keep Macmillan at front of mind for our runners and make sure they have all the knowledge and tools they need to conquer their fundraising and their training.
In the run up to the marathon, Macmillan have been sharing stories from inspirational runners – from celebrities such as Matt Johnson, the four person team from Monarch Airlines who ran in a 21kg aeroplane costume, or the incredible Gary Mckee, who completed his 100th marathon in 100 days on Sunday, all to raise funds for people affected by cancer.
Not only do these stories help inspire those taking part, but they help to encourage donations. One runner who featured in The Sun newspaper gained an extra £2,000 in donations, as a result of people reading her story.
We invite all our runners to a training day in January, when things start to get really serious. They get expert advice from the pros on training, fitness and nutrition as well as the chance to meet their team mates and go for a group run.
Pre-race Pizza Party
As a change from the traditional ‘Pasta Party’ – where runners carb-load the night before they take to the streets – this year our partner Pizza Express held a Pizza Party to help our runners top up on plenty of carbohydrates the night before the race. It’s also a great opportunity to catch up with other people taking part, who can offer running advice as well as their top fundraising tips.
On the day
Guaranteed support on the day is one of the biggest incentives for our runners, and we’re very proud to have six cheer-points along the marathon route, each crewed with amazing volunteers who are famous for going crazy for every Macmillan runner.
After the race
After the race, all runners receive a hero’s welcome at our VIP reception with plenty of refreshments and a well-deserved massage at the Macmillan’s Recovery Centre, located only minutes away from the finish line.
Of course, with next year’s ballot opening on 1 May, the race is already on to secure runners for next year’s race. Our hope is that the success of our Virgin Money London Marathon runners will inspire a lasting legacy encouraging others to sign up and fundraise at one of our many running events across the country. You don’t need to be a marathon runner to make a difference for people living with cancer.
Kathryn Cheshire, Challenge Events Team Manager at Macmillan Cancer Support
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