26 April 2020

Celebrities, sports stars and public take part in 2.6 Challenge

26 April 2020

A five-year-old boy who ran 26 miles across 10 days is one of hundreds of people who have taken part in the 2.6 Challenge to support UK charities.

With the London Marathon postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, race organisers launched the campaign to help charities which are facing a large shortfall in their budgets.

The challenge officially started on Sunday – the day the marathon was due to take place – and involves participants completing tasks based around the numbers 2.6 or 26.

Celebrities, sports stars and the public have all been involved in the event, which has so far raised more than £4.1 million.

Those taking part include actor Jason Watkins, who plays prime minister Harold Wilson in the Netflix royal drama The Crown.

The 53-year-old posted a video of himself completing a 26-second handstand to raise money for the UK Sepsis Trust.

He tweeted: “Not many marks for style!! But the challenge is complete! Please make sense of this by donating to the @UKSepsisTrust.”

Meanwhile on Sunday, five-year-old Henry Edwards, from the village of Miskin in South Wales, completed the last of his 10 daily 2.6-mile runs.

His mother, Katey, 39, who completed the challenge with him, told the PA news agency: “I always knew Henry was a good walker, but I never realised he could run the distance so well.

“We started every day at 10am and everyone from the village has come out clapping and cheering from their doorsteps.

“Today was the closest you could get to running the London Marathon without running it, in terms of atmosphere.”

Henry completed his last run in 42 minutes, and their efforts have raised more than £8,500 for the bereavement charity 2 Wish Upon A Star.

Charity worker Sophie Allen, from Romford in London, took part in one of the more unusual challenges of the day, by swimming 2.6km in a 2×3 metre pool in her garden.

The 38-year-old, who has raised more than £450 for London’s Air Ambulance, said it took her one hour and 10 minutes to complete.

She said: “It was long, but good. I think it took me about an hour longer than it takes to swim in a normal pool.”

Sports stars have also taken part in the challenge, including England cricket boss Ashley Giles, who was up early to take on 26 press-ups, asking the coaching team of Chris Silverwood, Paul Collingwood and Graham Thorpe to take on the baton.

Meanwhile, pilots Sam Thompson and Dave Rolfe from the London Air Ambulance Charity have completed a set of “helicopter repeater” exercises, which require them to rotate one arm upwards from the press-up position 26 times.

This year’s Virgin Money London Marathon is now scheduled to take place on October 4.

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