London Marathon donations via Virgin Money Giving are down by more than a third compared to last year.
This year’s event was staged virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with only elite runners competing on the route in the capital. All other fundraising competitors were encouraged to take part elsewhere and adhering to social distancing guidelines.
Through Virgin Money Giving a total of £16.1m has been raised so far, down 36% compared to the £25.5m raised after last year’s in person event.
According to Virgin Money Giving’s executive director “while this wasn’t the 40th marathon we’d planned for”, she said it had been, “hugely encouraging”, that 45,000 runners took part globally.
She said: “Every runner and walker has defied the obstacles COVID-19 has brought to this annual event and shown a single minded determination to carry on raising funds for the charities that matter to them. It’s both heartening and inspiring.
“The virtual 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon has provided charities across the UK with much needed funds in a year when it’s never been more important to dig deep and demonstrate support for the incredible work these organisations do."
Among charities to benefit from this year’s event is Virgin Money’s London Marathon partner Mencap. Around 300 runners took part in their own areas to raise more than £700,000.
“While our Team Mencap runners may not have had the race day they had hoped for, we are overwhelmed by their commitment to run the 26.2 miles in their local area,” said Mencap chief executive Edel Harris.
Virgin Money London Marathon event director Hugh Brasher added: "The Virgin Money London Marathon is the biggest fundraising day of the year for many charities and in these most challenging of times, it's more important than ever. I would like to thank every participant who raised funds for their chosen charity and everyone who donated to their cause. This is the true spirit of the world's greatest marathon."
A public ballot to take part in 2021’s event is open until 9 October. All those with a place at this year’s event are able to defer their place to a future London Marathon over the next three years.