Runners in the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon have been particularly successful in their fundraising, according to Virgin Money Giving. Donations through the platform, which is the official fundraising partner of the event, are up by a fifth on 2018.
By this time last year £24.8m had been raised, with the average amount raised per runner was £2,100. But that is on target to be beaten in Sunday’s event.
In 2016 the equivalent pre-event amount was £23m.
Last year’s final total amount raised was £63.7m, a world record for an annual single-day fundraiser for a twelfth successive year.
Why do people run a marathon?
London Marathon sponsor, Virgin Money, has conducted research to find out what drives people to run a marathon.
It’s a popular challenge of course. Over two thirds (67%) of young Britons have running a marathon on their ’bucket list’ and of those surveyed 24% of men have already run one compared to 11% of women.
The survey of 2,000 Britons, conducted by Atomik Research between 6 and 9 April, found:
• One fifth do it to raise money for a charity close to their heart
• One fifth do it for a personal challenge.
• 22% of men and 14% of women are inspired to run purely for the enjoyment of running
• 12% of marathon runners have taken on a marathon to improve their fitness
• personal goals like weight loss (9%) and mental or emotional health benefits (9%) are also big motivators.
• 10% of marathon runners find motivation in honouring a lost loved one.
What puts people off running a marathon?
For first-time marathon runners, the biggest concerns are:
• not being fit enough (63%)
• the amount of time training requires (27%)
• possibility of failure to complete it (24%)
• 16% thought marathon training would negatively affect personal relationships and their sex life.
What do runners invest in?
The cost of the preparation for the event also raises some concerns, and many runners commit to this in different ways.
• 43% feel that healthy eating is a priority
• buying a new pair of running shoes (33%)
• stocking up on gels and energy drinks (27%)
• buying a heart monitor such as a FitBit (16%).
Over a third of survey respondents were prepared to change their lifestyle in order to prepare for the event.
• 34% are happy to cut down on alcohol, eating sweets or other treats
• 28% would give up late nights
• 17% would give up smoking
• 16% would avoid partying.
Running the Marathon in fancy dress
Running in fancy dress is a key element of the London Marathon. Of those surveyed, one fifth said that they would be more likely to donate to charity if their friends or family members participated in the marathon in fancy dress.
Which fancy dress choice would be most likely to motivate friends and family to sponsor a runner? Here’s what the survey respondents thought:
· Donald Trump
· An adult in a nappy
· Dressing in a tutu
· A nun
· A banana
· A Smurf
Louise Hodges, Head of Consumer Communications at Virgin Money, said: “The psychology of running is fascinating and the reasons people choose to take on a marathon are innately personal and unique. Our research shows however that running with a purpose and cause in mind is the most motivating influence on both the runner’s motivation and the support friends and family offer them.
“We are delighted that this year’s fundraising efforts look set to smash all previous year’s records for the Virgin Money London Marathon. Whatever their motivation we wish each and every runner every success at Sunday’s event and are so grateful to them all for going the extra mile for their chosen charities and causes. These are the heroes of the day and the reason why the marathon is an iconic event every year.”
WATCH: Not about profit: just helping UK charities raise more
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