Keen runners in Buckinghamshire have the chance to become part of what could be the world’s biggest-ever marathon by joining a team from South Bucks Hospice.
South Bucks Hospice has six ‘virtual’ places in this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon on October 3.
Race organisers are hoping to make history by staging what organisers say will be the world’s first 100,000 person marathon. 50,000 of these will take on the traditional route from London’s Blackheath to The Mall – while another 50,000 will run the 26.2 miles on the course of their choice, any time from 00:00:00 to 23:59:59 BST on October 3, in a virtual event.
South Bucks Hospice’s Corporate and Community Fundraising Manager David Haggart is now in training to take part as one of the six representing his charity. Runners are already signing up for the hospice – but there are still places up for grabs.
David, 40, from Haddenham, explained: “I have a route planned from our re-use shop at Aston Clinton to our shop in Bourne End via our two other shops and, of course, the hospice at Butterfly House.
“And what I love about the virtual London Marathon is that others in our team can run, or walk, anywhere they want, as long as they cover the 26.2 miles on October 3. You can even break the distance down into smaller chunks if that’s more manageable for you – just pause the London Marathon app. All participants will get a London Marathon medal and finisher t-shirt, and we’re asking our team to commit to raising a minimum of £200 to help fund our services for patients with life-limiting conditions.”
David is a veteran of 12 previous marathons, but he stresses that runners at any level and experience can join up, as long as they are fit enough to complete the course.
“I completed the London Marathon a couple of years ago as a guide for Gavin who is deafblind, but there’s no challenge like trying to fit training around a young baby,” he added. "I am really looking forward to helping to make history by being one of the 100,000 to complete this huge event. I suspect others will feel the same, so please contact me if you are interested in joining our hospice team and raising money to help our patients while you take part in this landmark marathon.”
Hugh Brasher, Event Director of London Marathon Events, said when news of the 2021 marathon was first revealed: “With the national vaccination programme underway, we are delighted to announce our exciting plans for the world’s first 100,000-person marathon. The London Marathon is the most popular marathon on the planet, with a world record 457,861 people applying in the ballot for a place in the 2020 event, and the incredible success of the 2020 virtual event shows the huge appetite to be part of the world’s greatest marathon.”
Anyone interested in running the London Marathon on October 3 for South Bucks Hospice should contact David Haggart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01494 552750.