Staff at RSPCA Greater Manchester Animal Hospital in Salford are doing a 260km run, cycle and horse ride as part of the ‘2.6 Challenge’ starting this weekend. 


The London Marathon would have held its 40th annual event on Sunday (26 April) so a week-long fundraiser is kicking-off to help raise money for charities instead. Participants are being asked to do some kind of challenge around the number 2.6 or 26. GMAH Hospital Manager Ben Faulkner


Every year the marathon raises over £25,000 for the RSPCA and is a vital source of income for many charities. To help raise money in these challenging times the RSPCA is asking kind supporters to take on a 2.6 challenge, maybe something animal-themed, to help the thousands of animals in its care and being rescued every day.


Ten staff from RSPCA Greater Manchester Animal Hospital are completing 260km by running, cycling and horse riding 26km each.


Ben Faulkner, Hospital Manager, said: “This is a great opportunity to raise funds for charities affected by the cancellation of the London Marathon, which of course includes the RSPCA, and we really wanted to take part.


“We have ten staff who have pledged to do 26km each, starting on Sunday. All will be adhering to social distancing guidance, some of them running, others cycling and even horse-riding!


“I did my 26km cycle yesterday – so just 234km to go!


“We’ve set up a Just Giving page and are really hoping that people will support us.”


To make a donation please visit:


Ben and the team at GMAH are also urging RSPCA supporters in the area to come up with their own fun challenge to raise vital funds.


Ideas include:


  • A 2.6k run in an animal onesie

  • As many bunny hops as possible in 26 seconds

  • 26 ball catches with your dog

  • 26 or 2.6 stair climbs with your pet

  • A 2.6k dog walk

  • Running 26 times round your garden dressed as an animal


The RSPCA is continuing to care for thousands of animals during the Coronavirus pandemic and its frontline staff, which have been designated key workers, are continuing to rescue and treat many more.


The RSPCA is facing a huge financial strain as it is already seeing the damaging effect of this crisis on its fundraising income, while the costs of saving, treating and caring for animals continue.


The RSPCA currently has more than 4,000 animals in its care (4,112 as of Friday 17 April). We have taken in more than 600 animals since the lockdown came into effect on Monday, March 23 and expect to take in many more over the coming weeks.


What you need to do


  • Pick a challenge (make sure it’s something you can do safely, while observing social distancing)

  • Go to the RSPCA 2.6 challenge Just Giving Page and set up a fundraising page or make a donation

  • Tell your friends and family about it, maybe challenge them to do their own

  • Post about it on social media to spread the word even further

  • Then get ready to join thousands of others to do your challenge, starting Sunday, April 26!


To help the RSPCA keep rescuing animals like these and keep our animal hospitals and centres running for emergency treatment and round the clock care through these unprecedented times, please donate whatever you can spare at