A CHARITY is launching a virtual half-marathon to help raise vital funds.

The Robin Cancer Trust has started the Colchester Virtual Half-Marathon supported by the Running Colchester community.

The charity was due to be the main beneficiary of the Colchester Half Marathon 2021, which was cancelled due to coronavirus.

It meant the charity lost tens of thousands of pounds in donations at a time of financial uncertainty and when its life-saving cancer campaigns are needed more than ever.

Founder Toby Freeman said: “We lost over 95 per cent of our income because of Covid-19. We need your support now more than ever so we can continue to save lives by engaging, educating and empowering young people with our cancer campaigns.”

The Freeman family founded the Robin Cancer Trust in 2012 following the death of son and brother Robin, aged 24, from a late-stage cancer diagnosis.

Gazette: Toby FreemanToby Freeman

Toby added: “We’re really proud to be working alongside the fantastic Running Colchester community to bring this event to the people of Colchester.

“Lockdown is going to be tough for all of us, but thankfully we are still able to get outside and exercise, which is great for our mental and physical health.”

“The Colchester Virtual Half Marathon is for everyone - from dog-walkers, couch potatoes to 5k joggers, to seasoned runners.We’re inviting you all to take on this challenge and support your local cancer charity.”

Once signed up, runners will need to log their progress using a fitness tracker or by uploading a selfie before receiving a medal in the post.

As the UK’s leading germ cell cancer charity, the trust has reached more than 12 million people online and delivered educational life-saving talks across the region.

Entry to the marathon costs £20 or use code RCT10 to get ten per cent off in January.

To enter, visit therobincancertrust.org.