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!
2. Run 2.6 miles in 26 minutes – backwards
But of course, there are many variations on running 2.6 miles.
Not surprisingly, it’s hard to find genuinely unique ideas:
And why not include 26 handstands while you’re doing that distance?
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.
4. Bake 26 cookies and deliver them to friends and family
You could always run a little having baked 26 cookies.
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!
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.
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.
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.
[Link to https://twitter.com/sccceo/status/1254253663218028547 to longer available]
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:
10. Drawing a 2.6 shape on a running app
Here’s another map image, based on a 26km cycle ride early this morning.
11. Climb the stairs 26 times
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.
Music offers many options for fundraising ideas:
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
14. Guided virtual tour
Fundraiser Simon Scriver is taking you on a 2.6 km tour of Dublin, using Google StreetView:
15. A 26-minute brush pen sketch
16. Learn as you go
You can expand your mind while you’re fundraising too.
Or go on your own Springwatch:
17. Dance for 26 minutes
If distance is a challenge for you, you can dance on the spot:
18. Ping pong
Got access to table tennis table? 676 ping pong bounces could be your target.
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:
[Link to https://twitter.com/edwardckendall/status/1254688907163242497 no longer available]
Or why not test your family and friends’ knowledge about books and reading?
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?
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:
23. CPR – practise saving lives
If your charity focuses on life-saving skills, how about a 26-hour non-stop CPR marathon?
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:
25. Travel differently
There turns out to be many different ways you can get from A to B. Here’s going by roly-poly:
Or you can go by skates – roller or in-line:
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:
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!
The sum raised?
At the end of 26 April the 2.6 Challenge had raised…
Not surprisingly the campaign has attracted and benefited from substantial news coverage: