Virgin London Marathon ballot entries confirmed

Runners accepted into the 2011 Virgin London Marathon have been urged to set up their fundraising pages early to help charities maximise donations.

Analysis from Virgin Money Giving the not-for-profit online fundraising website showed that fundraisers who set up their page between October and December last year raised, on average, £200 more than those that left it until the final few months.

Over 30,000 runners had their ballot places confirmed in early October and with less than six months to go until the 26.2 mile race participants have been urged to start fundraising.

The London Marathon is the largest annual fundraising even in the world and over the course of the sponsorship deal announced by Virgin Money, set to run until 2014, it is hoped that over £250 million will go to good causes.

Fundraisers who used Virgin Money Giving rather than any other fundraising website for their 2010 marathon fundraising helped contribute to charities receiving an extra £347,000.

The 2010 Virgin London Marathon raised £50.6 million for charity, with hopes to exceed this for the 2011 race.

Grant Bather, spokesman at Virgin Money Giving, said: “The London Marathon is an iconic event and the largest annual fundraising event in the world.

“With over 35,000 runners set to take to the capitals streets on 17 April 2011 there are high hopes that runners will be able to exceed last years total and raise even more for good causes.”

Oxfam has been chosen as the official charity of the 2011 Virgin London Marathon.

Virgin Money Giving, the not-for-profit online fundraising site was launched in 2009, following the sponsorship by Virgin, of the London Marathon. To date Virgin Money Giving has raised over £20 million, with over 32,000 fundraisers signed up and close to 2,000 charities.

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