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runners' legs on a road

Virtual Events


Looking to stay fit and motivated, while also helping us? Read on!

With our regular programme of challenge events having been either cancelled or postponed for the foreseeable future, here's some alternative ways to help us while at the same time staying safe and being motivated to keep fit.

This is your opportunity to join forces with a growing ‘virtual’ team of likeminded supporters, who are going the extra mile to complete personal challenges from their own locality.

Whether it's undertaking one of our set-distance runs or building a challenge of your own design, there are several options to choose from:

One Special Challenge

This Autumn, we’re inviting companies and individuals to come together and take on One Special Challenge for SpecialEffect. Everyone that takes part will get a special, limited edition One Special Challenge medal!

All you have to do is devise your own physical challenge – this can be ANY type of exercise, across ANY distance, over ANY duration, as long as it’s completed within September and October. Run a half marathon, organise a walking relay, cycle with friends or complete a month of HIIT challenges – the possibilities are endless.

It’s free to enter, just sign up and then create a JustGiving page!



Montage of 6 images of runners during challenge

One Special Rough Northerner!

When Mark Baldwin of New Star Games learned that both the mass-participation events he’d signed-up for this year had been cancelled because of COVID-19, he decided to take matters into his own hands.

“I was supposed to do two different events this year, the Rough Runner and The Great North Run. So I created my own challenge instead. I called it the 'Rough Northerner Great Run' - a ten mile route that combined road running with cross-country, plus a few natural obstacles thrown in!”

Accompanied by a group of friends who joined him for different sections of the course, Mark successfully completed his challenge in September, smashing his donation target in the process!

Virtual Oxford Half Marathon

The Oxford Half has gone virtual this autumn! Whether you're completing a personal fitness challenge, reaching a charity fundraising goal or just running for the fun of it, The Oxford Half virtual race will keep you smiling for miles!

It’s completely free to sign up and registration will be open until Friday 23 October. Complete your run and upload your finish time before the 30 October to receive a virtual goody bag and join the race leaderboard. So what are you waiting for, sign up today!


"I did it! The back garden 7k"

Ali, who's currently undergoing a major course of chemotherapy, raised over £1000 for our work by running 140 laps of her garden as an alternative to the cancelled Blenheim 7k event.

She had encouragement all the way from her son Tiago, who we’ve supported for many years. “I didn’t have a time in mind, just completing it was a challenge,” she said, “But Tiago cheered me on every lap. It was great!”

Build Your Own Challenge

Alternatively, you can design your own challenge – whether it’s walking, running or cycling. It could be a one-off activity or working towards a cumulative total over a period of time (eg. 5000 steps per day over a month).

You set the distance, time period and fundraising target you want – then set up your JustGiving page as part of our Virtual Event campaign and track your progress using the Strava integration app.

At the end, you’ll receive a special certificate from us!

Email Ellie for more details

"DONE!... It was worth it"

Sam completed a 5K challenge in his powered wheelchair at home, raising over £350 for our work by going up and down the length of his house - all 8.5 metres of it! That meant a lot of laps and it took him 1hr 27 to complete. His mum even made him a finish line to cross over!

Important Notice

Please ensure that you observe the latest Government guidelines around exercise and social distancing whilst completing your challenge. SpecialEffect accepts no liability for injury or damage to property sustained in completing your virtual event.


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