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Since the first London Marathon in 1981, runners in the race have raised more than £1 billion for charity, making it the largest annual one-day fundraising event in the world. Running the London Marathon and fundraising for charity has never been more popular - participants continue to raise money for causes close to their hearts.

Purpose and motivation

Running for charity can give purpose to running the London Marathon and serve as a goal to work towards. If you're running just for the sake of it, you may start to doubt yourself and feel tempted to give up when the going gets tough. You'll be more inclined to get up and go training in the cold, wet winter months when you know you're supporting a good cause.

Keep it personal

Remember, when running for charity you're helping real people and changing lives. Why not run for a cause that's close to your heart? Maybe there's a charity that's helped you, or a loved one, through difficult times?

You can make a difference

Every year charities buy places in the London Marathon then give them to runners who agree to raise a minimum amount of money – these are called charity entry places. By using your ballot place to run for charity, the charity gets all of the money you raise and won't have to spend anything on your place. However much you raise, your contribution will make a massive difference to your charity and the people it helps. As well as raising money, running for charity can help raise awareness. You'll be seen by hundreds of people wearing your charity's logo on race day, and everyone who sponsors you will learn more about the charity and the great work they do. Charities rely on this kind of public exposure to build a good reputation and encourage people to donate. If you'd be interested in using your place in the Virgin Money London Marathon to raise money for charity, please check out the official fundraising website for the race.

You've got their support

Charities will usually offer lots of support and guidance to their runners – before, during and after the race. This can be anything from a training plan to a massage at the finish line.
Your chosen charity will do the utmost to look after you from the outset with a complete package to support you throughout both your fundraising and training.
A typical package could include any of the following:

  • A fundraising pack with tips and advice to help you raise more money.
  • A training plan compiled by a running expert. This type of plan usually lasts for around 18 weeks, detailing the type and intensity of exercise you should be aiming for each day. Even if you're completely new to running there will be a training plan to suit you.
  • A training pack with tips and advice on a range of topics like your running kit, footwear, injuries, warming up, stretching and nutrition.
  • Regular newsletters and charity updates. These will usually relate to the time of year and how far you are from race day – for example, it's helpful to get some motivational tips and words of encouragement in winter when you may not feel like training in the cold and wet weather.
  • Some charities will provide email support, so if you've got any queries you can get in touch with their running expert. This is great for getting advice which is more personal to you – for example if you've suffered a running injury.
  • A vest or T-shirt to wear on race day.
  • A runner's goody bag.
  • Support from a charity representative in your local area.
  • Information about online fundraising.
  • A forum to chat with other runners online.
  • A carbohydrate party so you can build up your energy stores before the race.
  • A reception after the race, often including a free sports massage.

Please note these packages will vary from charity to charity, and some will have more ballot place runners than others. But one thing is guaranteed - whichever charity you choose to support, they'll be really pleased to hear from you.

Be part of a team

When you’re running for charity, you're surrounded by like-minded people running for the same reason. There's always a great sense of camaraderie among the charity runners, and you receive plenty of support from the sidelines too.


©London Marathon Events

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