The 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon raised a record-breaking £66.4 million for charity, setting a new world record for an annual single-day charity fundraising event for an incredible thirteenth successive year.
The new record was an increase of more than £2.5 million on the previous record total of £63.7 million raised from the 2018 event. It brings the overall sum raised for charity since the event was founded in 1981 to more than £1 billion.
The total raised for charity by the London Marathon since Virgin became title sponsor in 2010 is now more than £565 million. Virgin Money Giving is the not-for-profit fundraising partner of the London Marathon and donations to charity linked to the race through the online service have reached more than £198 million.
Hugh Brasher, Event Director at London Marathon Events, said: “Every year, the Virgin Money London Marathon inspires thousands to take on the challenge of running the famous 26.2 miles and raise these incredible sums for charity. We salute every runner who has contributed to this amazing world record total of £66.4 million, a truly incredible sum from a one-day event.
“Since 1981, the London Marathon has helped to raise over £1 billion for charitable causes, celebrated by our #ThanksaBillion campaign at this year’s event. It is a phenomenal achievement and part of what makes the London Marathon unique. No other mass participation event comes anywhere near this kind of fundraising.
“We would like to thank every runner, supporter, donator, charity, volunteer, sponsor, spectator, staff member and everyone else who has contributed to this wonderful total.”
Jo Barnett, Executive Director at Virgin Money Giving, said: “Virgin Money Giving works hard to support charity fundraisers who participate in the Virgin Money London Marathon to ensure that as much money as possible is raised, and this year was no exception. Our innovative fundraiser hub offered advice and support from experts and past runners, and it proved a huge hit with runners of all abilities.
“The Virgin Money London Marathon app featured a link to donate through Virgin Money Giving and this was a great new way to drive donations on the day. As a result the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon was our best ever with over £28 million raised through Virgin Money Giving for thousands of UK charities, an increase of 16 per cent on 2018. During the last decade we have continued to break fundraising records and I am absolutely delighted that Virgin Money Giving and the Virgin Money London Marathon have done it once again.”
Charity of the year, Dementia Revolution, which was a yearlong partnership between Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK, raised a record-breaking £4 million, making it the most successful Charity of the Year partnership in the 39-year history of the London Marathon.
Among the Dementia Revolution runners were ‘Barbara’s Revolutionaries’, running in support of Dame Barbara Windsor, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014.
Dame Barbara Windsor said: “I am truly delighted that the Dementia Revolution has now raised £4 million for dementia research! Thank you so much to everyone who has supported the campaign, it really does mean so much to me personally.”
Several charities, including Macmillan Cancer Support and Whizz-Kids raised more than £1 million from the 2019 race.
Kat Cheshire, Head of Sporting Events for Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “It’s been another amazing year for us working with the iconic Virgin Money London Marathon and we’re delighted to have raised a record breaking £1.52 million from the 2019 event. Our runners have put in hours of training and fundraising to achieve this and we’re so proud of each and every one of them.
“Every two minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer and the money raised from the Virgin Money London Marathon will enable us to be there for the 2.5 million people living with cancer.”
Emma Kennedy, National Events Manager at Sense UK, which raised £870,000, said: “The Virgin Money London Marathon is our biggest fundraising event in the calendar at Sense. We’re incredibly grateful to be involved, and thankful to our dedicated runners who go above and beyond to help us raise life-changing funds for children and adults living with complex disabilities. We’re looking forward to making 2020 another record-breaking year.”
Alysia McDonagh, Senior Community & Events Manager at Shelter, which raised £470,000, said: “Taking part in the Virgin Money London Marathon is an unforgettable experience for every one of our passionate Shelter runners – the iconic route, the non-stop cheering and the unique feeling of achievement means it’s a day like no other. It’s always an honour to support our team through all their fundraising, training and to be part of their life-changing marathon journeys. We can’t wait to make more memories with our 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon runners and continue to stand with them to fight homelessness.”
Tennis superstar Sir Andy Murray was the official starter for the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon which saw a record 42,549 people cross the famous Finish Line on The Mall. Eliud Kipchoge won a record-breaking fourth London Marathon while Brigid Kosgei ran the fastest ever second half in a women’s marathon to take the women’s title. British runner Charlotte Purdue took nearly four minutes off her lifetime best, finishing in 10th place in the women’s elite race. American Daniel Romanchuk won his fourth Abbott World Marathon Major in six months winning the men’s wheelchair title, and Manuela Schar completed a fantastic ‘grand slam’ of all six Majors races by sealing her second London win in the women’s wheelchair race.
The 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon takes place on Sunday 26 April. It has already set its first world record after 457,861 people applied for a place via the public ballot – again the biggest number of applications for any marathon in the world. The ballot results will be announced the week commencing Monday 7 October 2019.