A City of London running event is breaking new ground with the launch of a crowdfunding campaign to help cover its costs.
The annual City of London Mile, first held in June 2014, is completely free to enter, and relies on sponsorship for its funding. The aim is not to fund the entire race via crowdfunding, but merely a portion of it, with sponsorship still the major contributor.
The campaign is being hosted by crowdfunding website pledgesports.org, with three levels of support on offer. At each level, supporters receive far more in return than just an entry in next year’s race.
Race director David Plumer expanded on the thinking behind the crowdfunding campaign: “It shouldn’t surprise anyone that staging a major event here in the City is not cheap. We’ve been toying with the crowdfunding idea for a couple of years, and we’re now putting it into action. As anyone who’s taken part in the City of London Mile will be aware, the event is unique in a number of different ways, and that now includes the way in which it’s financed.”
“A recurring theme of the three editions to date has been the number of people who tell us they enjoy it so much that they’d more than happily pay for their entry. While it’s hugely gratifying to hear the event being given that kind of praise, we have no intention of turning it into a paid-for event. We are fully committed to keeping the race free-to-enter, and therefore to it being inclusive for one and all.”
Winner of the elite women’s race in the 2016 edition Julia Cooke gave the crowdfunding campaign her full support: “I love this event for lots of reasons, but mainly because racing on closed roads in somewhere like London is pretty special. It’s not every day I get to start a race in the shadow of St Paul’s Cathedral and then do a lap of the Bank of England. I really like the idea of giving people an opportunity to ‘invest’ in an event, as well as participate in it, so I wish the crowdfunding campaign every success.”
The City of London Mile is jointly organised by Run-Fast Sports Management and The Running Works, an independent retailer in the heart of the City.