A CHARITY that supports adults and children with learning disabilities and autism has a limited number of places available for runners who support it in this year’s virtual London Marathon.

LinkAble, which serves the Woking and Surrey Heath areas, needs to raise money following a difficult year for its fundraising activities.

London Marathon Events plans to stage the world’s first 100,000-person on Sunday 3 October, and LinkAble is inviting its supporters or interested individuals to be a part of it by running to raise funds in its name.

The event will have two elements: 50,000 participants will take on the traditional course from Blackheath to The Mall – an increase of more than 7,000 on the previous finisher record – while another 50,000 around the globe will run the 26.2 miles on a course of their choice, at any time during the day, in a virtual event. 

Event director Hugh Brasher said: “With the national vaccination programme under way, we are delighted to announce exciting plans for the world’s first 100,000-person marathon.

“The London Marathon is the most popular marathon on the planet, with a world-record 457,861 people applying in the ballot for a place in the 2020 event.

“The incredible success of the 2020 virtual event shows the huge appetite to be part of the world’s greatest marathon.”

Rhys Parker, fundraising and communications manager at LinkAble, added:  “With general entry into the virtual 2021 London Marathon completely sold out, we’d love to hear from anyone interested in taking on this challenge with a view to joining team LinkAble.

“I have 3 places to fill. The charity will cover the cost of the entry with a request for the participants to raise a minimum of £300.

 “I’d be happy for individuals to come forward or a team of three. When applicants make contact they will be asked to complete a registration form so we can assess their suitability.

“The funds raised will go towards supporting children and adults with learning disabilities in Woking and the surrounding areas.”

LinkAble points out that each year it costs more than £550,000 to deliver its core services. A grant from Surrey County Council covers part of the costs of its under-18 services but the charity receives no funding for its adult services and relies on contributions from service users and fundraising to cover the funding shortfall of some £150,000 each year.

“Last year was the first year of the virtual format and Kim Owens, who should have been LinkAble’s first runner in the actual event, successfully took on the new virtual format,” Rhys said.

“Kim has raised more than £5,000 so far and is due to continue her fundraising by finally being able to run the actual marathon on the same day all being well.”

For further information, contact [email protected], or call 01483 770037. For more information the charity, visit www.linkable.org.uk.