British Heart Foun­da­tion: MyMarathon

Exhibited by
Emily Roff
March 28, 2019
Medium of Communication
Target Audience
Women aged 25-45
Type of Charity
Country of Origin
Date of first appearance

SOFII’s view

MyMarathon allows supporters of British Hear Foundation (BHF) to complete the distance at their own convenience. And they don’t even have to run! Unsurprisingly, and bolstered by an excellent online platform and fitness app, this campaign has proved to be a running (sorry for the pun) success.

Summary / objectives

Not all of us are in the right shape to become regular runners or joggers, but research from British Heart Foundation showed an alarming number of adults couldn’t run more than half a mile in one go. To address this, the BHF launched a brand new fundraising campaign, MyMarathon, and challenged the nation to put their best foot forward and run a marathon over the course of a month.

MyMarathon challenges you to complete 26.2 miles in May. Whether it takes you four hours, four days or four weeks, you can get out there as much as you need to clock your miles over the month.


My Marathon was created by Open Fundraising as a way to harness the surge in fitness tracker apps and wearables and ‘democratise’ marathons – thus unlocking their huge fundraising potential for a mass audience. They brought the idea, the name and a launch plan to British Heart Foundation who commissioned Killer Creative to develop it.

Online films were created for various stages in the campaign, from acquisition through to reward and recognition, scripts for radio advertising, digital Facebook adverts as well as a range of online collateral and downloads including a sponsorship form, mile tracker, certificate and posters.

A comprehensive microsite was also created where participants could sign up to take part in MyMarathon and fundraise. This included pages with resources, inspirational content and social integration.

When MyMarathon launched the concept was new and unique. It is designed to be inclusive and open to anyone - no matter their location, time constraints or fitness levels. There’s a fitness app to track participants’ progress and they are encouraged to fundraise for the British Heart Foundation. 

MyMarathon targeted a new cold audience for the British Heart Foundation and the bulk of participants were women aged 20-40 who were recruited mainly through digital channels. They did test radio and print adverts but saw more success across digital channels.

Influence / impact

Virtual events were pretty much unheard of before MyMarathon. 


MyMarathon was a simple concept which was all inclusive and open to anyone, no matter their location, time constraints or fitness levels. BHF asks participants to do whatever they are able but is still challenging so people are more likely to become sponsors. 


In its first year, MyMarathon ran two events (May and September) and raised £1 million from 31,000 participants. During 2018, just the virtual events made £19 million with three virtual runs featuring in the top 25 mass participation events.