By Rosie Leyden
Pembroke Athletica is an informal group of running friends, from Chiswick and West London, who meet up each week at parkrun in Richmond Park, run 5 kilometres, and then (more importantly) enjoy coffee and cakes at Pembroke Lodge café. At least they do in normal times. This Sunday they are all taking part in the 2.6 Challenge.
What is the 2.6 Challenge?
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a catastrophic effect on UK charities, with the cancellation of thousands of events and the loss of billions in income through fundraising events. The Virgin Money London Marathon alone, which should have taken place this Sunday 26 April, is the world’s biggest one-day fundraising event, which raised more than £66.4 million for thousands of charities in 2019. Many of these charities have had to reduce or stop services at a time when vulnerable members of society need them most. Thousands of staff have been placed on furlough and many charities will not survive the next few months.
The 2.6 Challenge is raising money to help those UK charities to survive. Anyone can take on the challenge. All you need to do is dream up an activity based around the numbers 2.6 or 26 that suits your skills, and complete it on Sunday 26 April. It can be something simple – like going up and down the stairs at home 26 times, or dancing to some music for 26 minutes, or walking 2.6km round your house in fancy dress (about 3,500 steps), or walking or running 2.6 miles as your daily exercise. Anything with a 2 and a 6. For some whackier ideas, see:
Pembroke Athletica’s 2.6 Challenge
The 2.6 Challenge for Pembroke Athletica is a team running relay of 19 stages, with each stage starting at the house or flat of one Pembroke Athletica (PA) member and finishing at another. The total distance they will be covering is equivalent to 4 marathons (4 x 26.2 miles), with most stages being about 5km. Their team runners will pass through Bushy Park, Isleworth, Twickenham, Richmond, Kew, Chiswick, and Gunnersbury Park. They’ll also be passing a virtual baton to other parkrunner family members in Bedford and Cheshire for two of the legs.
26 members of the PA crew will be taking part – or 26.2 if you include Anastasia, who’s just one year old. They will of course be maintaining appropriate social distancing guidelines – no batons, and no hugs but lots of smiles and self-distancing selfies.
They are aiming to raise £1,000, and are up to £486 so far. If you would like to donate, go to uk.virginmoneygiving.com Or to give via the main fundraising page for the 2.6 Challenge, see:
Enjoy your 2.6 or 26 on 26th!
Rosie Leyden is a Chiswick resident and member of ‘Pembroke Athletica’
Image above – the running group in better times.