London Marathon 2019 Set To Raise A Record Amount Of Money For Charity

Three cheers for everyone running this weekend 🙌

If you’re taking on the London Marathon for charity this weekend, you can be spurred on by the knowledge you’re helping to raise a record amount of money.

Donations for the 2019 London Marathon are on target to smash previous years, according to the organisers. Money raised through the official fundraising partner, Virgin Money Giving, is already up by a fifth on 2018, when £24.8m was raised through the platform.

This contributed to the overall event total of £63.7m, which was a world record for an annual single-day fundraiser for a 12th successive year.

The average raised per runner last year through the Virgin platform was £2,100 – and organisers expect that to rise significantly for this Sunday’s event.

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Ahead of race day, sponsor Virgin Money set out to discover what drives people to run a marathon. Raising money for a charity close to their heart is the main motivation for a fifth of those who have run one, and around one in 10 choose to run the course to honour a lost loved one.

HuffPost UK recently spoke to Steve Bland, who will be running in memory of his late wife, BBC presenter Rachael Bland, and raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support. “She’d be just thrilled that we’re doing this and hopefully raising so much money in her name for a charity that was so important to her,” he said. “I’m sure it will be an emotional day, but I think it will be an amazing day as well.”

A total of 12% of marathon runners take on the 26.2 mile route to improve their fitness, while other personal goals such as weight loss (9%) and mental or emotional health benefits (9%) are also motivators.

Running in fancy dress is a huge part of the annual fundraising event. A fifth believe people donate more to the cause if their friends or family taking part are dressed up.

The most popular fancy dress choices people feel would motivate friends and family to sponsor are:

  • Donald Trump

  • An adult in a nappy

  • Dressing in a tutu

  • A nun

  • Lederhosen

  • A banana

  • A smurf.

Louise Hodges, head of consumer communications at Virgin Money, said: “We are delighted that this year’s fundraising efforts look set to smash all previous year’s records for the Virgin Money London Marathon. Whatever their motivation, we wish each and every runner every success at Sunday’s event and are so grateful to them all for going the extra mile for their chosen charities and causes.

“These are the heroes of the day and the reason why the marathon is an iconic event every year.”