Birmingham charity launches alternative marathon A local charity has created a new marathon challenge that everyone can get involved in – whether they’re a running novice or a busy, working parent. Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice has launched the ‘i-Marathon’, a new sporting event which allows running enthusiasts to cover 26.2 miles across the month of October. The unique challenge allows participants to choose how far, how often, when and where they run – so long as they finish the marathon distance within one month. So whether that’s one mile on the treadmill for 26 days or six miles in the local park every weekend, the i-Marathon is perfect for beginners who want to get into running, people with busy lifestyles, or those who simply want to get more fit and active. Measuring the distance is easy, which can be done via activity trackers on watches and phones, apps such as Runkeeper, and a paper progress chart which is available in the charity’s free welcome pack. Those runners that cover the 26.2 miles and raise a minimum sponsorship will also be rewarded with their own commemorative medal. Created by Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, the DIY-style marathon will help raise crucial funds for the Selly Park-based charity which provides expert care to individuals and families living with terminal illness. Lucy Watkins, events manager at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, said: “With Birmingham gearing up for its first-ever marathon this October, our very own i-Marathon is the perfect alternative for those who want to go the distance but do so at their own pace. “Marathons are tough but by spreading the distance across the month of October, we hope that more people feel like they can take on the challenge. “As well as the satisfaction of completing such a gruelling distance, participants will also be helping to make a big difference to local families living with terminal illness. It costs £22,000 to run our Hospice each day and so we rely on the generosity of local people to help us continue to provide our services. All sponsorship money will go towards the Hospice, helping us reach even more individuals, families and carers living in Birmingham and Sandwell.” Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice offers a wide range of services in a number of settings, providing free care and support to over 1,200 local families living with terminal illness. Registration for the i-Marathon is free and participants can sign up, here.