The affects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been far reaching – in particular halting all mass participation events like the Virgin Money London Marathon this year. However this didn’t stop 34 superstar runners who took on the Virtual London Marathon at the beginning of October in aid of Shooting Star Children’s Hospices – raising a phenomenal £131,000!

Despite the unrelenting rain and wind on the day, our triumphant team took on their very own 26.2 mile routes, using the special Virgin London Marathon tracking app to ensure every step they took was logged and they’d receive the all important medal and T-shirt!

The lack of cheering crowds didn’t dampen their spirits as they were cheered on (at a social distance and virtually) by family and friends as they battled the elements and the huge distance.

Our team of runners, which included members of families who are supported by us, long-term supporters, community and corporate partners, first-timers and serial marathoners covered all sorts of differing terrain from rural routes running by the river and through Box Hill to keeping it traditional through the capital, seeing some of London’s iconic sights.

Some of the team even organising routes so they could pass by our Hampton hospice, Shooting Star House and Guildford hospice, Christopher’s.

The London Marathon is one of our largest fundraising events, and the postponement and subsequent cancellation was a huge blow to us, and all charities, who rely on the huge amount of fundraising the event brings in.

Alexa Dizon, Head of Challenge Events at Shooting Star Children’s Hospices said, “We’re beyond proud of our amazing TeamShootingStar marathon runners. Although understandably, it was so disappointing to hear the postponement and then cancellation of this year’s London Marathon. So much training and preparation both physically and mentally goes into taking on a challenge such as this, so having the opportunity to take part in a Virtual London Marathon was very welcome. Despite the British weather being typically awful this certainly didn’t dampen the spirits of our super team who headed out under their own steam and raised a phenomenal amount to ensure we can be there for families who need us most. We are so grateful for everyone’s continued support and understanding during this incredibly uncertain time for all of us –  a huge thank you to each and every one!”

If you’d like to take on the London Marathon 2021 we have charity places available – find out how you can apply here and be part of #TeamShootingStar!