The ABP Southampton Marathon has reached a fundraising milestone since the event started in 2015!
The 2019 ABP Southampton Marathon, Half Marathon & 10k saw the event reach a fundraising milestone of £1million! Over 30,000 runners have taken part across the 5 years of the event and a variety of charities have been represented.
The event started in 2015 with a 10k and Half Marathon offering and has grown over the years, not just in number of participants, but also in length! Runners can now run a full marathon in the city and families can enjoy a fun run together in the afternoon.
ReesLeisure, the event organisers, now work with over 30 charities each year to encourage runners to undertake the challenge and put the ‘fun’ back into ‘fundraising’! National charity, Macmillan Cancer Support, have been the lead charity at the event for three years and in 2018 alone raised an incredible £52,000! In 2017 the idea of a lead local charity was born and the Centre of Cancer Immunology, based at University Hospital Southampton, joined the event. This appeal was fundraising for the centre to be built and a huge team of over 110 runners raised £40,000! For the past two years Southampton Hospital Charity have taken on this role and will be continuing this partnership in 2020. Southampton Hospital Charity support over 300 different funds in the hospital and many of the charity runners choose a fund close to their hearts. For example, Phoebe, who decided to run her first marathon for the charity after her brother received life-saving treatment at the hospital - Phoebe’s story. In 2018 the charity raised over £38,000, with a large proportion of this going towards funding for the new paediatric A&E department.
The ABP Southampton Marathon event also helps to highlight the smaller charities of Hampshire, with fantastic engagement from charities such as; Abby’s Heroes, Countess Mountbatten Hospice Charity, Christians Against Poverty, Friends of PICU and Ronald McDonald House Charity.
Many participants use the Southampton races as part of a larger personal challenge, for example, Michael Dobson, who ran the ABP Southampton Half Marathon as part of his ‘52 half marathons in 52 weeks’ challenge for Macmillan Cancer Support – Michael’s story.
Charities are also supported by the Mile Maker volunteering scheme, which offers a donation in return for supplying volunteer marshals at the event. The donations are kindly provided by the event sponsor, ABP Southampton, and out of the 34 community groups that volunteered in 2019, 5 were local charities, including the Raise & Give (RAG) Team at Southampton University, Countess Mountbatten Hospice Charity and Southampton Hospital Charity.
The ReesLeisure events team are thrilled to have reached this fundraising milestone, Kate Warne, Community Liaison Officer commented: ‘This is such a huge achievement, we have some wonderful charity partners and it’s fantastic to be able to showcase them at this event! On event day Southampton really comes together and the community spirit around the route is amazing to see. So many charities, big and small, are represented by our runners and hearing everyone’s reasons for choosing their charity is always inspiring. Let’s keep the momentum up for the 2020 event and continue to make #SouthamptonProud’