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Virtual events win awards

London Marathon Events celebrates Sport Industry Awards for virtual Virgin Money London Marathon and 2.6 Challenge

London Marathon Events (LME) is celebrating double success at the Sport Industry Awards 2021.

LME won the award for (Virtual) Event of the Year for the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon and also was part of the team that shared the trophy for Campaign of the Year for The 2.6 Challenge on behalf of the Mass Participation Sports Event Organisers (MSO).

The (Virtual) Event of the Year title is another accolade for the inaugural virtual Virgin Money London Marathon, which took place on Sunday 4 October 2020 after the mass event had to be cancelled for the first time ever due to the pandemic.

The event saw people around the globe take on the marathon distance of 26.2 miles on the course of their choice, at any time between 00:00 and 23:59:59 (BST), using the Virgin Money London Marathon App powered by TCS to register their runs.

A total of 37,966 people finished the event, which set a new Guinness World Record for the most users to run a remote marathon in a 24-hour period.

The virtual Virgin Money London Marathon will return for a second time this year on Sunday 3 October. General entries for the virtual event are sold out, but there is still a chance to sign up and run for a charity and be part of an award-winning event.

Other nominations in the (Virtual) Event of the Year category included Ascot Racecourse (Royal Ascot at Home 2020), Formula 1 (Virtual Grand Prix Series), LTA & Jamie Murray (Battle of the Brits), Matchroom Boxing (Fight Camp) and UFC (Fight Island).

The 2.6 Challenge also saw off stellar competition to win the Sport Industry Campaign of the Year.

The campaign was the UK’s biggest-ever collective charity fundraising event and provided charities with hope during the darkness of the early stages of the pandemic. It was a groundbreaking collaboration between the UK’s biggest mass participation events organisers, LiveWire Sport and Studio Republic, with the aim of helping to save the UK’s charities from the catastrophic impacts of Covid-19.

Held on Sunday 26 April – the day originally scheduled for the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon – The 2.6 Challenge encouraged people to take on a challenge based on the numbers two and six. People of all ages found ways to fundraise by running, cycling, hopping, skipping, cooking, flipping, cartwheeling, bouncing, dressing up and having fun to fundraise in a uniquely British way.

The campaign was created by MSO, which included mass participation events organisers: Human Race, parkrun, The Great Run Company, Run 4 Wales, Grounded Events, London Landmarks, Virgin Sport, Limelight Sports, Threshold Sports, Running High and London Marathon Events. The design and website were created by Studio Republic and the social media campaign by LiveWire Sport. Both agencies worked pro bono.

Other initiatives shortlisted in the Sport Industry Campaign of the Year category were: Budweiser (Lionel Messi 644), Liverpool FC & Nivea Men (Share the Care), LTA (Play Your Way), Sport England (This Girl Can – Me Again) and The FA (Heads Up).

It was the latest award won by The 2.6 Challenge. Its other accolades include: Fundraising Campaign of the Year (Third Sector Excellence), Community Award (Leaders Sports Awards), Not for profit/Charity (The Drum DADI Awards), Integrated Marketing Campaign (The Drum DADI Awards).

The 2.6 Challenge was also nominated for the Tessa Jowell Community Award, which was won by Harder Than You Think (Rising Phoenix).