Great South Run organisers launch individual lockdown running challenges to raise money for NHS

WITH sporting events cancelled or postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic, organisers of the Great South Run have launched a series of individual online running challenges.

Wednesday, 6th May 2020, 3:01 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th May 2020, 5:04 pm

The Great Run Company, which hosts nationwide events including the Great North Run and Great Manchester Run, launched the initiative to raise money for the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Urgent Appeal, to help in the fight against the pandemic. The GreatRunSolo virtual challenge is also looking to provide participants with the ‘motivation and purpose’ to keep fit during lockdown.

Chief executive Paul Foster said: ‘There is no doubt that the coronavirus outbreak has resulted in unprecedented challenges for the NHS and we want to do our bit to raise vital funds for the appeal.

‘Lots of runners have seen a major goal for 2020 taken away from them and others might be struggling to stay motivated during these uncertain times. GreatRunSolo is the perfect opportunity to maintain a healthy body and mind, be active and contribute to this extremely worthy cause.’

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[email protected] Organisers of the event have set up a new online running challenge to raise money for the NHS. Picture: Peter Langdown

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Runners can sign up to take part in a weekly 7km run or take on a monthly challenge ranging from a 50km bronze event up to the 280km ultra challenge. Children under 14 can also take part in a daily magic mile event.

Paul added: ‘GreatRunSolo is an ongoing challenge that can be built into your daily exercise routine as indicated by the government, and the range of distances make it accessible for people of all ages and abilities, from children and beginners to ultra runners.

‘We do ask that runners stay safe and follow the exercise and social distancing advice given by the government and Public Health England.’

Once individual running challenges have been completed, participants register their distances online to receive their achievement medal. Each challenge costs £10 to enrol with all profits donated to the charity. The cancellation of national events is anticipated to leave a £4bn shortfall in charity funding.

More than 20,000 people took part in last year’s Great South Run, raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity. This year’s event has not yet been cancelled and is scheduled to take place on October 18.

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