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2.6 challengers run and cycle 260 miles in 26 hours
Last weekend, brothers Toby and Seb Symington ran and cycled 260 miles in 26 hours to raise funds for Christian international development charity Send a Cow. In total, they each undertook 2 marathons of running and 3 marathons of cycling, to stave off the lockdown ‘boredom’.
The pair have been long term supporters of the charity for years, running the Bath Half Marathon this year with their mum Hennie for her 60th birthday, but this weekend they have taken their fundraising to the next level.
Raising nearly £2,000 in just over a week, the two of them have raised enough to help train 26 families in rural Africa to build a tip tap, take advantage of rainwater harvesting and build a clean latrine. These measures will help vulnerable families to protect themselves from coronavirus and other diseases, whilst improving their quality of life.
"I saw an email from Send a Cow come through on Friday afternoon asking for people to come up with ideas for the #twopointsix challenge. I went into my brother Sebastian's room and asked him if he fancied doing 260 miles of running and cycling across 26 hours.
“I believe his answer was 'sure'. And so, after stocking up on a few cereal bars, we set off at 5pm on Saturday, and the next 26 hours were: run, cycle, eat, repeat (unfortunately without the addition of sleep). We collapsed on the lawn at around 6.30pm on Sunday, exhausted but proud to have raised over £1,600 for Send a Cow.
“Having done a few charity events for Send a Cow in the past, we both know what amazing work the organisation does and are delighted to have been able to contribute in any way possible."
Meanwhile, their campaign has gained traction online and was even mentioned by @BBCsports on twitter, whilst garnering dozens of supportive messages from family and friends.
The 2.6 Challenge was started by organisers of the London Marathon, which was due to take place this weekend on Sunday 26th April, to ‘save the UK’s charities’. Due to hundreds of fundraising events being cancelled, they have created a “lockdown-friendly event” which is easy for anyone to join in and make a difference, especially for smaller local charities.
Last year, the London Marathon brought in £66.4 million for thousands of charities across the UK, while The 2.6 Challenge has so far raised over £6 million in one day, and there is still plenty of time to get involved. Every small “event” can add up to something worthwhile.
If you’re feeling inspired by Toby and Seb, you can start your own 2.6 Challenge for Send a Cow to help support the most vulnerable people in rural Africa and ensure that Coronavirus has nowhere else to go.
“The 2.6 Challenge can be anything that works for you,” says Nick Rusling, Co-Chair of the Mass Participation Sports Organisers group (MSO) and CEO of Human Race. “You can run or walk 2.6 miles, 2.6km or for 26 minutes. You could do the same in your home or garden, go up and down the stairs 26 times, juggle for 2.6 minutes, do a 26 minute exercise class or get 26 people on a video call and do a 26 minute workout – anything you like. We want people to get active, have fun and raise money to help Save the UK’s Charities by giving money or raising funds for the charity close to your heart.”
Send a Cow’s full response to the coronavirus crisis can be read here
Notes to the editor:
Send a Cow currently works in six African countries: Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia
After working with Send a Cow, 97% of farmers believe they can provide enough food and income for their families’ needs from their farms
Over two thirds of the people Send a Cow supports are women
By selling surplus farm produce, families’ income often increases six-fold
Prince Charles has been President of Send a Cow since 2009
Send a Cow was started by Christian West-Country dairy farmers in 1988.
Send a Cow online: