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Before the global pandemic, our fundraising team offered a packed calendar filled with varied challenges throughout the year for our supporters to take part in. We had high hopes of being able to build in more exciting fundraising initiatives, however, with the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, our events came to an abrupt holt. Overnight, we found ourselves investing time in cancelling our plans for the foreseeable future and adapting to uncertainty both personally and professionally.
In the year that has passed, all challenge events have taken place remotely. Like so many of us, the challenges team has changed and adapted to a new way of working. Likewise with our challengers, both the way training is undertaken and fundraising is carried out, changed significantly throughout the pandemic. While the impact on fundraising is evident, there has certainly been a hive of activity in the background regarding #TeamArthur runners.
On average our supporters who take part in the Virgin Money Giving London Marathon, Brighton Marathon and Cambridge Half Marathon, raise a whopping £43,000 collectively each year for Arthur Rank Hospice.
Cambridge Half 2020
Last March, Carolyn Warburton, Events & Challenges Lead, accompanied by Sharon Allen, CEO and Cheryl Elvy, Social Media Officer, were able to cheer on our fifty runners from the sidelines at the Cambridge Half Marathon. This was our last event before the government issued the ‘stay at home’ order. It was a super race and the weather was kind to our runners. It was such a privilege to be able to cheer everyone on particularly towards the end, when encouragement is needed most. Despite the challenging circumstances our runners raised £24,000!
Later in the spring, to recognise and celebrate what would have been the day of the London Marathon on 26 April 2020, the 2.6 challenge was born. Our supporters dreamt up fundraising initiatives based around the numbers 2 and 6. The response was incredible and the challenges were unique. The entire weekend had a real sense of community, a feel-good factor while we were all confined to our homes. Colleagues took part in 2.6-hour workouts, sponsored silences and astonishingly, a 260K static bike ride, starting at 2.06am! In one day, our supporters joined forces and raised an incredible £8,000!
#TeamArthur Runners stay strong!
Throughout the first lockdown and subsequent easing of restrictions, the uncertainty of what lay ahead meant that #TeamArthur marathon runners continued to dedicate time for training and, unbelievably, brought in more fundraising. Both the organisers of London and Brighton made every attempt to bring the famous events back in person, however it just was not meant to be.
Eventually a “virtual” London Marathon took place in October. The London runners were joined by other runners and walkers who motivated themselves to undertake the gruelling 26.2 miles near to their homes in the Autumn. The weather was atrocious with driving rain all day long. What an achievement to those who made it through the day!
Autumn 21 Running Events
Our thoughts are now turning to late 2021 and what lies ahead for our Challenge fundraisers.
With a thirst to take part in live events once more, the Cambridge Half Marathon charity places filled very quickly. A team of twenty-five runners are now starting to think about their training ahead of the Autumn event. Likewise with London, four of our runners will finally be able to take part in the actual marathon, and they are now accompanied by an additional three runners, one of whom is based at our Alan Hudson Day Treatment Centre. Finally, our very patient Brighton runners are gearing up for their race which will be the first of the marathons in the middle of September.
To complete our team for this year, there are five spaces available for the Virtual Virgin Money Giving London Marathon taking place 3 October. This will be the largest race of its kind, ever! There are also three places still available for Brighton 12 September.
Could you be part of an amazingly resilient team and support the return of running events? There is never a more rewarding time to challenge yourself while being able to benefit local families accessing our services. To find out more email firstname.lastname@example.org