18 June 2021

Marathon challenges planned post-lockdown for charity fundraisers

18 June 2021

More than one in 10 people are planning to tackle a new physical challenge, with a third of them saying they want to embrace life post-pandemic, according to new research.

A survey of more than 2,000 people for Macmillan Cancer Support found 13% of those questioned are planning to take on an epic physical challenge, with almost a fifth (18%) determined to tick something off their bucket list.

More than half (56%) of those planning to test themselves with a challenge said they want to get fitter or more healthy, while a third (35%) said they want to embrace life following the Covid-19 lockdowns.

Nearly three out of 10 (28%) said they have been stuck indoors too much, while a quarter (27%) want to support a charity, and a similar number (26%) want to get out of a rut.

Megan Joyce, 28, from Solihull, is running the Virgin Money London Marathon for Macmillan Cancer Support after her mum Cath was diagnosed with liver cancer (Megan Joyce/Macmillan/PA)

One in nine (11%) said they want to achieve a challenge in memory of a loved one.

Running a distance from a 5km to a marathon is the top choice for a future challenge (37%), followed by hill climbing or hiking (32%), walking (23%) or cycling (16%).

Megan Joyce, 28, a content developer from Solihull, is one of those planning to tackle their first marathon.

After her mother Cath was diagnosed with liver cancer, Ms Joyce decided to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support, which is the Virgin Money London Marathon’s charity for the 2021 event on October 3.

“I started my running journey last year during the pandemic, around the same time my mum was diagnosed with cancer, and I was inspired to run a marathon after watching the 2020 London Marathon on TV,” she said.

“I truly believe it’s going to be the year I achieve one of my life goals by taking on the London Marathon and I cannot wait to join #TeamMacmillan to help raise vital funds for the charity on behalf of my mum and everyone living with cancer.”

Vimal Raghwani, 40, from Wembley, north-west London, is running the Virgin Money London Marathon for Macmillan Cancer Support after a loved one was diagnosed with cancer during the pandemic (Vimal Raghwani/Macmillan/PA)

Vimal Raghwani, 40, from Wembley, north-west London, is also running with Team Macmillan after a loved one was diagnosed with cancer during the pandemic.

Mr Raghwani, who had taken an eight-year break from running, said: “When I heard the news that someone I love had cancer, I felt like the world was crumbling around me. I was so grateful for the support Macmillan provided.

“I started to run more to help clear my mind, and I’m so proud to be taking on the marathon this year for Macmillan. I’m thrilled to have the chance to raise money for a charity that has been a lifeline for us during the pandemic.”

Mr Raghwani, a business development director with his own construction company, added: “Taking on the epic challenge of running the London Marathon is going to be the perfect way to show the world that we’re ready to kick cancer in the ass!”

Claire Rowney, executive director of fundraising, marketing and innovation at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on our income, at a time when people living with cancer need our support more than ever to help navigate through what continues to be an incredibly anxious period.

“We’re thrilled to be the official charity partner of this year’s event – the vital funds raised by our runners and supporters will help us continue to do whatever it takes so we can be there for everyone living with cancer from day one of their diagnosis.”

A total of 100,000 people are expected to take part in this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon – the biggest marathon ever staged – with 50,000 running from Blackheath to The Mall and another 50,000 running the virtual marathon from wherever they are in the world.

To donate to #TeamMacmillan visit https://londonmarathon.macmillan.org.uk/

– Macmillan Cancer Support/YouGov surveyed 2,090 adults online between between June 15 and 16 2021.

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