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Fitness for Charity: Compare Events in 2019

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Whether you are new to health and fitness looking to find a fitness charity challenge to engage you in sport and recreation or if you are a seasoned trainer trying to find raise money for a worthy cause, our list of the UK’s top fitness for charity events should give you some great ideas and inspiration to pick from. 

We have included fitness charity events from every type of sport and discipline and categorised them into groups to give you as many options as we could possible find on the net all in one place:

1. Walking / Running for Charity Events

2. Cycling Charity Events

3. Swimming Charity Events

4. Rowing for Cahrity

5. Triathlons

6. Extreme Sports

 

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WALKING / TREKKING / RUNNING FITNESS CHARITY EVENTS

In this first section is all the UK's most popular walking or running for charity events put on by some of the most worthwhile causes in the UK. They will challenge you both mentally and physically, but will also be fun, engaging and all for a great cause. Take a look below to see which running / walking for charity event suits you best:

National Three Peaks Challenge – Barnados

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Have you ever wanted to conquer the three highest peaks in Wales, Scotland and England, all within a 24-hour period? With this fitness charity events you can do exactly that!

You will walk and climb Ben Nevis, Snowden and Scafell Pike with experienced mountaineers to help you all the way. Help to raise money for a great cause that helps young and vulnerable children and allows you to view some of the UK's finest scenery.

Brecon Beacon – Cystic Fibrosis Trust

Mixed over different forms of terrain this 40-mile trek up mountains, through forests, around reservoirs and down the Brecon & Monmouthshire Canal, this charity fitness event has it all! Complete it walking, running or however you deem fit. By completing the trail, you would be helping those who suffer from a life shortening genetic condition that affects millions worldwide. Plan your next fitness charity challenge and helps those less fortunate at the same time, win, win!

Stair Running (London 3 Peak Challenge) - Stand Up To Cancer

There are a number of stair running events across the UK, but the pinnacle fitness for charity event would be the London 3 peak challenge, which has three massive buildings in London that you will have to conquer including the Gherkin, Salesforce Tower and 200 Aldersgate, not before having to abseil down at the end too. If you have never done a stair running event before and think it sounds easy, you should give it a go, it will be much harder than you think. This event is organised by Stand up to Cancer, a charity that puts 100% of the money they raise back into research.

South Coast Challenge - Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity

Support a wonderful cause that helps tens of thousands of children across the UK with life changing treatments and with your help they can continue to pioneer medical breakthroughs as they have done since 1852!

The south coast walking event for charity or running if you feel up to is over 25km, 50km or even 100km if you're feeling up to it! Experience the beautiful sea view the Brighton coastline has to offer and walk up and down the stunning South Downs, Seven sisters and Beach head. Complementary food and drink is available, with welcome rest stops and medics on hand for your safety. Join as part of group or take on this fitness for charity event on your own, get involved today it is not to be missed!

Edinburgh Marathon Festival - MS Society

If you're fairly new to running and thinking I want to run a marathon for charity, then the Edinburgh Marathon Festival could be an ideal starting place. Previously vote by Runners World as the fastest marathon in the UK making it perfect for first time marathon runners. The marathon run for charity starts in the heart if Edinburgh which was voted the 4th most beautiful city in 2015 and then out and down to the beautiful East Lothian. This fitness for charity event is extremely challenging, which is why less than one percent of the world's population has ever completed one. 

This innovative charity helps fight MS and each year they're making further strides for treatments, care and support network. Help support them through the Edinburgh Marathon Festival and give yourself a great charity running challenge in the process.

Cotswold Way Challenge - Children's Society

This walking for charity event is an epic journey from Bath to Cheltenham. Join 2,000 other participants and take the whole family if you wish across the hills with amazing views and down via the River Seven. This is very rewarding fitness charity event that is both fun, social, yet physically demanding. Full preparation training, support on the day and there will even be a glass of bubbly waiting for you at the finish! It's a fantastic charity fitness challenge and supports a dedicated charity to helping children in poverty.

Race for Life - Cancer Research UK

Probably the most renown fitness for charity event on this list is Race for Life. Set-up and facilitated by Cancer Research UK, this fitness event generated a whopping £48million in 2016 and continues to grow each year. The fitness charity event is for women only but has been expanded for the whole family to enjoy in recent years. You can either run 5km or 10km depending on your fitness and confidence levels. The Race for Life, "runs", pun intended, in cities all across the UK, making it super accessible for you to get to and make a real difference to helping the critical research that Cancer Research UK perform to help millions across the UK. 

OBSTACLE RACES FOR CHARITY

If you're looking for something a little bit different and fun, but still provides you with a fitness for charity challenge, then taking on some of the outdoor obstacle courses could fit the bill. Take a look through the list of obstacle races for charity below and see if any of these tickles your fancy.

Rough Runner – Free with the British Heart Foundation

Picture your favourite TV show-based obstacle courses like Takeshi castle or Gladiators and put them in once place, that gives you Rough Runner. With 5km, 10km and 15km distances available to pick from, this amazingly fun and obstacle packed day out should not be missed. Rough Runner has partnered with the British Heart Foundation to allow people to run for free, but there are always limited spaces so make sure to be quick. 

Take a look how fun this fitness for charity event could be for you or the family.

The Wild Mud Run - Charity of Your Choice

The wild mud run in the midlands an extremely well organised fitness charity challenge where you will take on literally obstacle after obstacle, with 30 in grand total. If you like getting muddy this is the charity fitness event for you. There are water slides, climbing obstacles and more mud than you can imagine. Based in Derbyshire makes this race accessible for the majority of the UK and you can raise money for a charity of your choice.

As you can see from the video below this fitness for charity event looks like amazing fun!

The Wolf Run Leicestershire

The Wolf run describes their inflatable obstacle course as "wild running" and they have different courses available for the different seasons. This obstacle race is over 10km over different terrain, including woodland, thick mood, lakes and a plethora of different obstacles to try and overcome.  This obstacle race course is designed to test your mental aptitude as you will literally crawl, climb and swim your way through. Voted the UK's number one Obstacle race course (UK) and they call participants "wolf runners" and for good reasons. Complete this fitness event for charity or for just the fun of taking part.

Check this fitness challenge for charity out below on Wolf Runner's introductory video:

If obstacle courses for charity events are your thing, make sure you check out our entire, extensive list of mud runs and obstacle courses.

CYCLING EVENTS FOR CHARITY

If your an avid cyclist or just want to get on that bike to raise money for charity, check out our top cycling for charity events happening this year below:

Prudential Ride London 100 – Meningitis Now

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This fitness event for charity is not just hard work, but also is a fantastic opportunity to seeing some of those sites you wish you went to. The race commences at Queen Elizabeth Olympic park and goes past some of London’s most prestigious landmarks and some of Surrey’s beautiful countryside and finishes right outside Buckingham palace. Get that tour de France feeling by completing it with over 25,000 other cyclists. Orchestrated by Meningitis Now, who have helped thousands over the past three decades through funding research in the UK and helping families to help them re-build after being hit by one of the most unpredictable disease on the planet.

Manchester 100 – The Christie Against Cancer 

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From one bike ride to another, The Christie charity bike ride for charity in Manchester starts and ultimately finishes at Wythenshawe Park. Either do 100km or if you are feeling energetic 100miles, the choice is up to you! The pre-set route takes you along Cheshire countryside and through the beautiful Delemere forest. This event is getting bigger year on year and with your support you will be helping the Christie Hospital in Manchester that helps combat the effects of cancer in the North West.

Palace to Palace - Prince's Trust

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This cycling for charity event is London based, where you will complete either a 45-mile route or if you're feeling up to it, the 90-mile ultra-route! This fitness event for charity starts at Buckingham Palace and finishes at Windsor Castle, where you will be joined by thousands of other cyclists, making it a vibrant day out. Do note, you do need to be 16 or older to participate.

The Prince's Trust helps those aged between 11-30 who are unemployed or struggle academically by offering support with jobs, setting up a business or helping them financially re-train.

London to Brighton Off-Road Bike Ride - British Heart Foundation

If off road mountain biking for charity is more of your thing, then get involved in Europe's toughest and biggest charity mountain bike event ran by the British Heart Foundation. Test your endurance, stamina and bike handling skills across a variety of different terrains, including navigating rocky paths, forests and tricky descents. There is a limit of 2,500 mountain bike enthusiasts for health and safety reasons allowed to ride which always books up so you need to be quick if this is the fitness for charity event for you. Due to the challenging nature of this cycling event for charity you must be 16 or over to participate and those under 18 accompanied by an adult. 

Pedal for Parkinson's - Parkinson's UK

Set-up in 1969 Parkinson’s UK has helped thousands of Parkinson's sufferers. Your charity fitness event sponsorship will help them find a cure and support everyone affected by Parkinson's in addition to having a great day out for the whole family. Explore the welsh countryside and view the beautiful Lake Vyrnwy in all its glory over this 99-mile, 59-mile or 33-mile route. Bike mechanic support is on hand, drinks are provided on route as well as post-race leg massage, which may well be needed after this cycling for charity event. 

Surrey Cycle Challenge - The Children's Trust 

The surrey cycle challenge is back and hoping to be bigger than ever. Choose between a 45 or 65-mile route, with fantastic scenic views of the Low Weald from the North Downs and help support children with Brain injuries. Take advantage of the extensive free training and advice given as well as the post-race massage and regular feed stations. Fitness for charity events are a fantastic way to have fun all in the name of helping others less fortunate, so show your support for the children's trust and get involved today.

Take a look below at the surrey cycle challenge route:

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Image credit: https://www.thechildrenstrust.org.uk/surrey-cycle-challenge

Swimming for Charity Events

Want to raise money for charity, but running and cycling are not your forte? Why not give some of the swim for charity events listed below a bash, either in the comfort of your own your own pool or at a National event.

All Out Swim – Macmillan Cancer Research

Hosted at Pells Pool, the UK’s oldest freshwater pool in the UK, located in South Downs provides a great fitness challenge for charity for all those who want to give swimming a go and more experienced swimmers.  With two races, the 2km and 5km, which can be completed either on your own or in a relay format with friends and family. Organised by Macmillan, who raise millions each year for those who are directly and indirectly affected by cancer each year.

Channel Swim - Aspire

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Image Credit: Aspire

The aspire charity helps those that have undergone traumatic, life changing spinal injuries and helps those who have undergone injuries to move into appropriate housing, having access to the right equipment and provide direct support and advice. Get to your local pool and support this charity by taking part on the channel swim where you or a team will swim 22 miles (the distance of the channel) at a pace and in a time frame that suits you. Suitable for all ages and entry levels to take part, so if you’re looking for a swimming fort charity event that is going to push you, get involved today and sign up!

Swim 22 - Diabetes Uk

Make great waves for people diagnosed with diabetes by completing this 12-week challenge! Swim the equivalent width of the English Channel in your own pool and log your efforts via their online tracker all whilst raising money to help beat diabetes in the UK. This swimming challenge for charity comes around once per year and there are no age restrictions for participation, so get involved today!

Great North Swim - Mind

Virtually all of us have heard of the great north run, but here is the swimming charity event equivalent, the great north swim! Swim to raise money through mental health charity event based in Cumbria, in the heart of the Lake District. It's a mile one mile swim, but the real challenge is that it's open water, which is a total different kettle of fish to swimming in a pool! Enjoy the atmosphere and beautiful scenery of Lake Windermere. You will get plenty of help and support from the Mind fundraising team and a Mind T-shirt for taking part. You do have to be 18 and over to take part and with it being one of the most popular charity fitness challenges on this list, you do need to reserve your place!

Bournemouth Pier to Pier Swim - British Heart Foundation

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 If an open water swim challenge is your thing, the Bournemouth pier to pier swim should really tick the box! You can do either the daytime swim or what we recommend is that you give the brand new sunset swim a bash! 

Help aid the British heart foundation's lifesaving research why registering today. You will swim 1.4 miles from Bournemouth pier to Boscombe Pier with thousands of other dedicated swimmers. Don't panic if you have never completed an open water swim challenge before as a qualified medical team, water safety training and a lifeguard are all present to assist you. Take the plunge and do something truly memorable.

Rowing For Charity Events

50K in a Day - Ahoy Rowing Centre

Encase you have not heard of the charity Ahoy before, they help disadvantaged young people between 8-21, those excluded from mainstream education or suffering from a disability through the medium of water sports and helping develop employable skills. The 50K in day fitness challenge will help support this great charity and you will have a blast in the process. Take up this "oarsome" (sorry) fitness charity event (London) and row 50km with a team of up to 15 people. You will row down the River Thames from the Meridian line to the QE2 Bridge and then back again! This is a great rowing challenge that you can use as a team building exercise or just have fun with friends and family. No rowing experience is required, but you must be 14 and over to participate!

The Devizes To Westminster Canoe Race - Charity of Choice

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This is unquestionably the hardest fitness charity challenge on this list and should not be taken lightly. This fitness for charity event has led to the likes of five-time Olympic gold medallist, Steve Redgrave pulling out and hundreds of competitors unable to finish, which should give you an indication of the level of difficult of this rowing for charity challenge. This event has been running since 1948 and you will row for 125 miles or 201km from Wiltshire to Westminster. You can pick which charity you wish to represent and finishing this race will put you in the elite with the likes of Rebecca Stephens, the first women to climb Everest and professional rowers James Cracknall and Helen Glover.

The Great Row - Cancer Research UK

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Cancer Research UK and Great British Rowing have partnered to create the great row. Head down to your local gym during the month of February to take part in this fitness for charity event. The challenge? Complete a marathon (26 miles) on a static rower over a month duration. Training tips, advice and guides will e provided by Great British Rowing and you can even take advantage of the free gym pass issued by Better Gyms for all participants. 

Triathalon For Charity Events

Triathlons come in various forms, where you can mix three different events into one big one. Take a look at some of the UK's most attened UK triathlon evetns for charity below:

Snowden Triple Challenge – The British Heart Foundation

With the Snowden triple challenge a little clue is in the title, yes you will be in Snowden and you will be doing three events, hiking, cycling and kayaking giving for 36km over Snowden all in one day, so a different kind of triathlon. This fitness charity event is not for the feint hearted and will push you both mentally and physically.  If that is not enough for you, maybe the amazing views and stunning scenery that ales’ highest mountain provides. Expert instruction within each discipline is provided as well as preparation routines and a full itinerary list.

Stratford Triathlon - Cancer Research UK (The Pink Wave)

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This triathlon for charity event is run by UK triathlon and Cancer Research UK, whom have combined forces to put on a fantastic charity fitness event for women (sorry guys). UK triathlon will donate £10 per entry to Cancer research UK as well as dedicating pool space for people wishing to join the pink wave. 10 Pink Wave entries could cover the cost of testing one patient to diagnose early stages of oesophageal cancer so get yourself signed up for the next event. Join as part of a relay, with one person performing each discipline or if you’re feeling extra brave, go solo, either way it is applicable for different ages and abilities. You may choose between doing either the 400m swim, 18K cycle and 5k run or 200m swim, 18K cycle and 2.5k run, the choice is up to you.

Bronwlee Foundatuion Mini-Tri - Triathlon Trust

This triathlon event for charity is set-up by the Brownlee brothers, who just encase you have not heard of are both Olympic medallists in Triathlon and the first British brothers ever to finish first and second at the Olympic games. The Brownlee foundation has team up with the Triathlon Trust to bring a non-competitive, super fun and suitable for kids of all ages. Triathlon is one of the fastest growing sports in the world and the race is a great way to get your kids involved and give it a "tri" (sorry). Held in the UK's capital for sport, Loughborough makes it an easy fitness event for charity to get access and this event is completely free courtesy of the Triathlon trust that supports disadvantaged children through the medium of sport.

The AJ Bell London Triathlon - Charity of your Choice

This triathlon for charity is suited to all abilities and standards of fitness with four different distances to choose from. It is the world's largest triathlon and draws partipants from all across the globe with 10,000 anuualy, as well as over 30,000 fans cheering you on. You can enter as an indivdual or if you want to just run, bike or swim then get a team tgether and take an event each. This award winning fitness for charity evetn has been running fro 22 years and you will run, cycle and run past London's most inconic landmarks and ,not that that you may notice at the time of course. This triathlon event for charity raised over 2million in 2018, so help those less fortunate and sign up today. 

Blenheim Palace Triathlon - Bloodwise

Blood cancer is the 5th most common cancer and is the third most potent cancer in terms of numbers of deaths in the UK each year. Bloodwise is a charity that was set-up in 1960 that is the UK's leading blood cancer research charity and have created the Blenheim triathlon for charity to raise money for their wonderful cause. Whetehr you're fancing giving a triathlon a go for the frist time or a vertean of the sport, this fitness charity challnege is for all. When you raise £400 or more Bloodwise we will even send you a Trisuit that you can use on the day of the event.

Choose your distances:

Choose your challenge:

Golden Bond Super Sprint

Swim 400m | Cycle 13.2k | Run 2.9k

Golden Bond Sprint

Swim 750m | Cycle 19.8k | Run 5.4k

Golden Bond Sprint Team Relay

Same distance as Sprint, with three team members

Golden Bond Weekend Warrior

Complete as many sprint triathlons over the course of the weekend.

Ironman Bolton - Norwood

If you are very physcially fit and I do me very, you might want to consider doing an ironman for charity (UK). An Ironman is a triathlon on steroids, where you will swim for 2.4 miles, bike for 112 miles and then if that is not enough run a marathon (26miles). The Bolton Ironman for charity (UK) is one of the world's most notroious where you will swim across Pennington Flash, cycle a two loope journey swinging out from the twon centre into the countryside and back again. The run starts at T2 at Queens Park, wher you will complete 4 lopps and finishing in Victoria Square. Norwood helps support over 4,000 vulnerable children and their families, adults with learning disabilities and autism, and children with special educational needs.

Sport for Charity

Longest Day Golf Challenge - Macmillan Cancer Support

Not surprisingly, this one is for real golf fanatics! If you've played golf you know it can be a long day walking up and down the golf course, but this golf challenge involves teams of up to four players take on four rounds of golf in just one day! That's 72 holes, making it a genuine fitness charity challenge in its own right. This charity fitness event runs every year in June and has seen participation grow in excess of 3,000 in recent years and raise over one million in 2018. Whether you love golf or just fancy a fun day out with your mates, it all goes to a worthwhile cause, so get yourself signed up today.

 

Extreme Sports:  Charity Fitness Challenges

One Giant Leap - Alzheimer’s Society

Perhaps my personal favourite and one of the charities close to my heart, the sky diving fitness challenge for charity starts at 10,000ft and enduring winds of up to 120mph and is not for the feint hearted! Help support a great cause and experience a feeling that would be hard to forget. Don’t panic you will be strapped in tandem to an experienced instructor at all times, that literally does all the work for you, allowing you to enjoy the opportunity of a lifetime.  With locations UK wide and the ability to aid over 850,000 Alzheimer’s suffers that this charity supports, get yourself booked in today!

Rope for Hope - Make-a-Wish Foundation

The Make a wish foundation has granted over 9000 wishes to young children and their respective families by giving them a day never to forget and for just a £25.00 sign up you could get a little taste of it and help the cause. The Rope for hope challenge is the perfect fitness for charity event and is for those aspiring abseiling enthusiasts, where you will abseil down the UK’s tallest sculpture. The 262ft sculpture is not something to be winced at and is perfect for individuals and small groups.  You will be given full training on the day and no prior experience of abseiling is needed, just some bottle!

Wing Walking Challenge – Charity of Choice

Now this fitness challenge for charity really does take some bottle…..Wing walking! If you don’t know what wind walking is, this is where you walk along the wing of a moving plane! Probably not advisable if you don’t enjoy heights but would be an extremely auxilherrating experience.  Based in Essex you will wing walk with the aerobatic tactics teams in this private airspace and you have to donate a minimum of £1000 6 weeks prior to walking to one of their reputable partnered charities.

Liverpool Cathedral Abseil - Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation

If you're afraid of heights, this charity fitness event will really push your threshold! You will abseil down the world famous Anglican Cathedral ion Liverpool. Many people have seen the Cathedral, but very few have abseiled down it!

You will take the slow 101-metre walk up the cathedral, all to climb over the edge and abseil down it. This extreme fitness challenge takes courage and nerves of steel and will really get your adrenaline going. 

Get that great sense of achievement all in the name of a cause that helps fund research into the early diagnosis of lung cancer, that kills 46,000 people in the UK alone each year. 

London Zipwire - My AFK

There is zip wires and then there is the London AFK Zip wire!! This is the fastest and biggest city centre zip wire in the world, so be forewarned!

With this fitness event (London) you will launch yourself from 35 metres in the air with speeds up to 31 miles per hour all to help the charity AFK. This special charity helps young people with disabilities for life after school and have being doing so for 27 years. Your registration will help this powerful cause and at the same time give your adrenaline a right rush!

UK Bungee Jump - Charity of Your Choice

Bungee jumping is a craze that was first commercialised in New Zealand and has now gone worldwide. If you're feeling daring and have nerves of steel get yourself down to this extreme sport for charity, which operate UK wide. UK Bungee Club have helped over 2,500 charity jumpers and have helped raise over £1 million in the past 2 years for various charities that they affiliate. Getting involved is really simple, just find a charity to represent, book your jump and get sponsored, it will certainly be a fitness charity event that you will never forget!

White Water Rafting - Breast Cancer Care

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If you have never done it before, white water rafting is an extreme adventure sport that can really test your metal. Navigate the rapids and tough currents, all with the aid and guide of an experienced instructor at the helm. One of the great advantages of this charity fitness challenge is that you experience it with friends and family as you will need a group of 8 to take part and you will need to raise £1,000 minimum as a team. Help raise money for a fantastic cause that has been aiding in the recovery of breast cancer patients for close to forty years. 11,500 people die from breast cancer each year and despite survival rates vastly improving, more can still be done and taking part in the white-water rafting for charity event brings us a little closer.

Sailing for Charity Event - Eddystone

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Sticking with the water theme here, we have sailing for charity. Eddystone sailing pursuit helps raise funds for underprivileged children to learn sailing skills and training, that without the support of Eddystone would never have the opportunity to take part in. Last year they raised £6,707 and this is a unique charity fitness idea if you want to try something new and challenging. 

3 Lakes Challenge - Charity of Choice

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We're back in the Lake District for this one and its the kayaking for charity challenge, where you have to paddle the length of Coniston Water, Windermere and then finishing on Ullswater. This charity fitness idea is aimed at complete beginners, so don't worry of you have never kayaked before. Full training, a guide and equipment as well as food and drink will be provided on the day. Take in the beautiful scenery, all whilst having fun and fundraising for a cause of your choice. 

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Written by Luke Hughes

CEO and Co-Founder

Luke is the CEO and Co-Founder of OriGym. Holding a first-class degree in Sport and Exercise and an MSc in Sport and Nutrition, he is also qualified as a Level 4 Personal Trainer with various specialist credentials covering the entire spectrum of health, fitness and business. Luke has contributed to a variety of major industry publications, including Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, Metro, Cosmopolitan, The Mirror, The Sun, The Standard and more.