Yesterday thousands of people joined in the 2.6 Challenge, in an effort to make up some of the money that would have been raised by runners in the London Marathon, the world’s biggest single day fundraising event. In fact, the challenge has the ambitious challenge of saving the UK’s charities!
Yesterday 40,000 or so runners would have run the London Marathon, no doubt raising over £66 million for many charities. But of course it isn’t taking place due to the coronavirus lockdown, adding to charities’ cashflow problems.
But the charity sector has stepped up and supported the organisers of the London Marathon in their virtual version of the event, designed to raise funds for charities now, rather than make them wait until October, the month to which the London Marathon has been postponed.
The 2.6 Challenge is designed for all charities and for almost any supporter to get involved. You simply have to come up with an idea that involves the numbers two and six. Yesterday, the original date of the London Marathon, was the 26th April, and the marathon distance is 26 miles (not forgetting the 385 yards).
Fundraising ideas for the 2.6 Challenge
These are just some of the remarkably varied ideas that people have come up with to raise funds while stuck at home or with only minimal access to outdoor spaces. That clearly has not held people back!
1. Run 2.6 miles
Nothing wrong with the standard run of 2.6 miles. It was a popular choice!
— Liz Rawlings (@lizrawlings) April 26, 2020
2. Run 2.6 miles in 26 minutes – backwards
But of course, there are many variations on running 2.6 miles.
Some last minuite practice #TwoPointSixChallenge
My attempt to run 2.6 miles backwards in 26 mins is all set for tommorow morn & lets see how long that smile lasts ?
— Pete Thompson (@MrPeteThompson) April 25, 2020
Not surprisingly, it’s hard to find genuinely unique ideas:
— Ray Johnson (@RayJohnson64) April 26, 2020
And why not include 26 handstands while you’re doing that distance?
2.6 miles and 26 handstands later, here’s my #twopointsixchallenge to help raise money for the UK’s charities ✅
Create your own 2.6 and donate what you can ❣️ pic.twitter.com/cK3WUmppmk
— CARYS (@CarysssEdwards) April 26, 2020
3. Row 26 miles
The organisers have recommended not trying to run a marathon today due to recommendations about how much exercise one is allowed to take. But Nick Matthews has an indoor rowing machine, so he’s still up for rowing 26 miles for St Peter’s Hospice.
This weekend I’ll be rowing the full marathon distance of 42195 metres (26 miles)!on my indoor rower to raise funds for @stpetershospice if you feel like donating some money to this marvellous cause and adding to my motivation there’s a link here ⬇️ https://t.co/6gpNISGgtB
— nick matthews (@totalbristol) April 24, 2020
4. Bake 26 cookies and deliver them to friends and family
You could always run a little having baked 26 cookies.
Last year I ran the marathon, today I baked 26 cookies and delivered them to my local friends and family. The running comes much more naturally to me, that was s #TeamMacmillan #TwoPointSixChallenge https://t.co/rnot2p2du3 pic.twitter.com/QASE83ge8g
— Abbie (@abbiedavis01) April 26, 2020
5. Wear cricket kit for 26 hours
Some it seems were thinking about a different kind of runs. Simply wearing your full sporting kit for 26 hours was good enough for them!
Preparing supper in the batting gloves was proving difficult!! Just five hours to go in my #twopointsixchallenge raising money for #charity @SingInsideUK wearing my full cricket kit for 26 hours. @LondonMarathon https://t.co/4qX1izuMqA pic.twitter.com/fwurMznSvi
— Nigel Rothband (@NJLR) April 26, 2020
6. Build a 2.6m (or higher!) tower of Lego
How do we build a charity sector for the future? With Lego of course – 2.6 metres of it.
We have completed our #TwoPointSixChallenge by build ing our 2.6M lego tower.
We are trying to keep @Camtrust1 open by raising 2 weeks worth of lost income.
You can still donate here. https://t.co/RlgVnZnLea pic.twitter.com/Kc3cj8rVgQ
— CCVS #NeverMoreNeeded (@CambridgeCVS) April 26, 2020
7. Different people running 2.6 mile segments of the London Marathon route
You couldn’t run the London Marathon route in one go today, but a group of runners did so collaboratively by choosing a different 2.6 mile leg, all the way from Blackheath to the Strand and central London.
Well today these 10 amazing people all ran 2.6 mile legs of @LondonMarathon from Blackheath to The Strand! All for the #TwoPointSixChallenge will you donate and help raise funds for TRC?https://t.co/HDsUTlOZql pic.twitter.com/eweYPGCn2s
— The Running Charity (@Running_Charity) April 26, 2020
8. 26 x 26-minute exercise videos
Rita Chadha, CEO of the Small Charities Coalition, will take part in 26 rotations of exercise routines organised by the Team Body Project. Each routine lasts about 26 minutes meaning she will be committing to completing 13 hours of low and high impact exercising over 24 hours.
Just gone 4.30am, and I am up for my first rotation of the #TwoPointSixChallenge
My mission to complete 26 YouTube excercise routines, each lasting 26 mins – within 24 hours.
Raising funds for @sccoalition
Follow this thread to see how I get onhttps://t.co/ETYNivdjMJ
— Small Charities Coalition – CEO (@sccceo) April 26, 2020
9. Signing 26 letters of the alphabet
Jade Secker, Fundraising Manager at the Haven Hospice, decided to do 26 challenges related to 26! Here’s just one of them – signing 26 letters of the alphabet in sign language.
Actually, 26 challenges on a theme of 26 was quite popular:
View this post on Instagram
Busy day for the Lilly family today, taking on the #TwoPointSixChallenge by doing 26 activities involving the numbers 2 and 6. Here's what we got up to… 1. Say Good Morning to 26 people 2. Cycle 26 km 3. Run 2.6 miles 4. Get 26 at bat & ball 5. Rally of 26 at table tennis 6. Score 26 at Scrabble 7. Do 26 keepy uppies 8. Read for 26 minutes 9. Garden for 26 minutes 10. 26 sit-ups 11. 26 press ups 12. 26 shoulder stands 13. Run up & down the stairs 26 times 14. Daisy chain with 26 daisies 15. Complete a quiz with 26 questions 16. Meditate for 26 minutes 17. Stroke the cats 26 times 17. Catch the ball 26 times 19. Play the PS4 for 26 minutes 20. Hop on each leg 26 times 21. Have a 2.6 minute shower 22. Skip 26 times 23. Wash up 26 things 24. Hula hoop 26 times 25. Play hopscotch 26 times in the garden 26. Donate £26 to charity And now rest…
10. Drawing a 2.6 shape on a running app
— Vix (@VixThatRuns) April 26, 2020
Here’s another map image, based on a 26km cycle ride early this morning:
11. Climb the stairs 26 times
— Clive Whitburn (@CliveWhitburn) April 26, 2020
12. Donate in return for a music request
Fundraising consultant Richard Sved will play your favourite tune on his corner. If you like it, please donate 26p, £2.60 or £26 to his favourite charity Youth Talk.
ALL REQUEST SUNDAY for the 2.6 Challenge! If you have a favourite tune, request it here by 5:30pm & I'll completely ruin it with my rubbish rendition on the cornet! If you like any of my 'versions' please donate 26p, £2.60 or £26 to @YouthTalkSA. Thanks.https://t.co/gMYGRiKXMy pic.twitter.com/Z2G8WXtHB4
— Richard Sved (@richardsved) April 26, 2020
Music offers many options for fundraising ideas:
Getting ready for the '26 Songs in 1 hour' challenge @tivradio for @mariecurieuk @mariecuriesw Listen in at 9pm in honour of all the amazing Marie Curie staff volunteers & supporters who have taken part in the #twopointsixchallenge. Well done everyone!! I take my hat off to you! pic.twitter.com/Tdf1ZI0BfZ
— Premal (@Phonicmango) April 26, 2020
And here are 26 residents with complex disabilities who live at the Queen Elizabeth Foundation’s Independent Living Service and who have formed the QEF Diversity Choir, signing the Andrea Day song ‘Rise up’ for their challenge. Members sing and sign, depending on their abilities, and wanted to to convey a positive and inclusive message to everyone.
13. 26 thousand steps in a day
— Rona Gibb (@GibbRona) April 26, 2020
14. Guided virtual tour
Fundraiser Simon Scriver is taking you on a 2.6 km tour of Dublin, using Google StreetView:
— Simon Scriver #FundraisingEverywhere (@ToastFundraiser) April 25, 2020
15. A 26-minute brush pen sketch
Sarah Lawson offered the result for sale to raise funds for David Shepherd Wildlife, and promised to add a donation herself of £26.
View this post on Instagram
*SOLD* 26 minute brush pen sketch for #twopointsixchallenge! For sale – 100% of the proceeds plus a £26 donation from me will be donated to @dswfwildlife foundation helping them protect endangered wildlife ?? . Message me if you’d like to purchase the drawing and help support the charity and myself as a partner artist to them ✍?? . Drawing with pen is way outside of my comfort zone! Especially when setting a time limit ??! But I’m pleased with how they have turned out and enjoyed doing something a little different ? ? . @dswfwildlifeart #dswf #challenge #pendrawing #elephantcalf #elephant #wildlifeart #drawing #sketch #pendrawing #elephant #elephantart #charity #artforsale #illustration #conservation #wildlife #endangeredwildlife #artistsoninstagram #cornwallart #newquay
And along similar lines here’s an eight-hour doodlethon:
View this post on Instagram
Well that was fun. A huge thank you to everyone for who donated as part of the #twopointsixchallenge for Music in Hospitals & Care and a scathing look to all who didn't (LOLZ) We've raised nearly two hundred quid from my 8 hour doodleathon, which is way above my initial expectations. So again thank you so much for helping out the wonderful charity Music in Hospitals & Care, they do astounding work bringing live music across the county to those who need it most. You can still donate here if your so inclined https://justgiving.com/fundraising/musicaldoodles I'm off to have a beer and soak my hand in a bucket of ice #MusicalDoodles #joythroughlivemusic
16. Learn as you go
You can expand your mind while you’re fundraising too.
Day 1: Challenge 4 – collect 26 leaves from my garden and name them! ✅
Enjoyed this nerdy plant challenge! Pick, collect and name ?
— Nicki Jackson (@BlueDaisyUK) April 26, 2020
Or go on your own Springwatch:
— rosemary@ccggsomersetnorth (@ccggsn) April 26, 2020
17. Dance for 26 minutes
If distance is a challenge for you, you can dance on the spot:
@BBCSport my kids and i just danced non stop for 62 minutes as part of the #twopointsixchallenge. We got the numbers muddled up but had a great time with many costume changes and a variety of dances. https://t.co/MhbHI0bGNR
— Chris Spratt (@runningspratt) April 26, 2020
18. Ping pong
Got access to table tennis table? 676 ping pong bounces could be your target.
13 hours of silence complete – 13 hrs to go! Half way there!Thanks to everyone who has supported me today.
— Speech Stuff – Speech and Language Therapy (@SpeechStuffSLT) April 26, 2020
Whether reading aloud or in your head, you’ve no doubt got some unread books on your home bookshelves, or you can go for extra points by choosing a book relevant to your charity:
I'm fundraising for @CAFOD as part of the #TwoPointSixChallenge. My challenge was to read the Bible for 2.6 hours; starting at the beginning of Matthew I got well into Mark’s Gospel. Check out my JustGiving page and please donate if you can: https://t.co/nJRLcNvTkc. Thank you! pic.twitter.com/nJFpg3XP6t
— Edward Kendall (@edwardckendall) April 27, 2020
Or why not test your family and friends’ knowledge about books and reading?
Calling all #RoaldDahl fans? My 7yo made a 26 question quiz for our #TwoPointSixChallenge. Includes:
?♀️ The Witches
? Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
?George's Marvellous Medicine
Download for a suggested donation of £2 to @RoaldDahlFund https://t.co/5kyhtkx2oB
— Madeleine Sugden ? (@madlinsudn) April 26, 2020
The longer the lockdown continues the more of us will need some kind of home-made haircut. So why not turn that into a fundraising initiative, like TV journalist Rory Cellan-Jones?
— Rory Cellan-Jones (@ruskin147) April 25, 2020
22. Making masks
Given the continued shortage of PPE in the UK even in the last week of April, you can put your time to even more good use by making masks to keep healthcare workers safer:
Anyone that knows our Julie knows she’s not a seamstress but, for her 2.6 Challenge, she’s made 26 masks for women & children that need them. Go Julie! If you’d like to donate or do your own challenge here’s the link https://t.co/gq5XnHmMDm #NeverMoreNeeded #TwoPointSixChallenge pic.twitter.com/oi0DcAhP7i
— The WISH Centre (@WishCentreBDDWA) April 27, 2020
23. CPR – practise saving lives
If your charity focuses on life-saving skills, how about a 26-hour non-stop CPR marathon?
1:15am – #TwoPointSixChallenge ✅
Thank you so much to everyone who has sponsored there is still time to donate if you can to support @RLSSUK and @NHSuk ! ??#CPR @RlssSussex @KingAlfredLSC https://t.co/uTV0bNmSlx pic.twitter.com/bz2lCc06lb
— Gabbi Simmonds (@GabbiSimmonds) April 27, 2020
24. 26 costume changes
Time to explore your wardrobe. Here’s a combination of costume changes with that evergreen choice of climbing the stairs at home:
For her #twopointsixchallenge Jess did 26 costume changes whilst running up the stairs 26 times! ??? oh and she’s 26 years old ?? don’t forget to tag us in your 2.6 challenges or simply donate to UK Youth here ? https://t.co/hVFPOckSqR pic.twitter.com/X6US01piRc
— UK Youth (@UKYouth) April 26, 2020
25. Travel differently
There turns out to be many different ways you can get from A to B.
Here’s going by roly-poly:
Never underestimate a rolly polly. I will never again, that’s for sure. 2.6km covered today and over 1300 rolly pollies done for @airambulancekss #TwoPointSixChallenge here’s my finish. pic.twitter.com/SmbkhfGVkf
— Helene Poursain (@HelenePoursain) April 26, 2020
Or you can go by skates – roller or in-line:
For my #TwoPointSixChallenge
I’ll have 26 days to go from 0 to 2.6miles on roller skates!?
I’m beyond freaked out by this so all support & prayers! welcome?
— Ndidi Okezie? (@Ndidi1st) April 26, 2020
26. Going up in the world
So much of the 2.6 Challenge has been focused on travelling a horizontal distance. You could of course try bouncing:
— The Children's Literacy Charity (@childsliteracy) April 26, 2020
Need more ideas?
If you’ve not started, the 2.6 Challenge isn’t like a normal London marathon where you have to take part all at the same time. You could start yours on another day, like tomorrow.
Here are more 2.6 Challenge ideas:
The NSPCC has a dedicated page for the 2.6 Challenge with plenty of ideas for what to do.
Even better, it has precise suggestions for what 2.6 Challenge-related sums could help them achieve – £26, £260, £,2600, £26,000:
One of the hallmarks of the 2.6 Challenge was that charity staff and trustees were actively involved in many cases. With original events like the London Marathon it’s all down to the fortunate few who secure places. With 2.6 Challenge anyone can join in – and they did!
Our trustees, staff and supporters are all getting involved in the #TwoPointSixChallenge today! We’re doing jumps, runs, keepy uppies and even trivial pursuit challenges! Help us raise vital funds here: https://t.co/UlKajk4tJM
— Camp Simcha UK (@CampSimchaUK) April 26, 2020
The sum raised?
At the end of 26 April the 2.6 Challenge had raised…
?One bonus update before we sign off for the night?
An extra special thank you to everyone who got stuck in to kick off the #TwoPointSixChallenge today, because we've just hit £5 MILLION!
And there's still plenty of time to get involved.
— The #TwoPointSixChallenge (@LondonMarathon) April 26, 2020
Not surprisingly the campaign has attracted and benefited from substantial news coverage:
omg! @JamesWCharity on BBC this morning talking all things #TwoPointSixChallenge and representing @Sue_Ryder wonderfully. Nice work James, and everyone who participated this weekend! ?? pic.twitter.com/k1uMTSVffK
— Jenni Evans (@jennievans_02) April 27, 2020
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