Stop smoking expert to complete 26 challenges in 26 hours for Yorkshire Cancer Research

Date: 23 April 2020

A stop smoking expert funded by Yorkshire Cancer Research will take on 26 activities in 26 hours as part of the 2.6 Challenge, organised to help save the UK’s charities. 

Dr Rachael Murray was due to take part in the London Marathon this weekend, but with the event now postponed until October due to Covid-19, she’s drawn up a list of home-based challenges to raise vital funds for both Yorkshire Cancer Research and a local support centre for homeless and vulnerable adults.

The 2.6 Challenge has been created by the organisers of the biggest mass-participation sports events to support UK charities. Taking place on Sunday, April 26th - the original date of the London Marathon - the campaign invites people to come up with a challenge associated with the number 2.6 or 26 and fundraise for their favourite cause.

Dr Murray said: “Finding out that the London Marathon had been postponed was obviously disappointing after putting myself through so much training, including getting out early in the mornings when it was dark and cold and sacrificing time with my family for long runs every weekend. 

“We all know that the cancellation of big events has undoubtedly saved lives by slowing the spread of coronavirus. But many charities are now facing a fall in their income as a result. The 2.6 Challenge is a great way to come together to support these important causes. This is my way to keep motivated and have some fun at the same time.”

Along with friend Lorri Howatson and other members of her gym, Dr Murray will complete physical challenges like jogging 2.6 miles, climbing the stairs 26 times and completing 26 star jumps. She’s also planning some fun and creative challenges like building a tower with 26 objects, baking 26 cakes and completing a 26-item scavenger hunt.

Dr Murray will start her challenges at 8am on Sunday and plans to complete them by 10am on Monday. After surpassing an initial £250 fundraising target, she’s now promised she’ll bounce the equivalent of 26.2 miles – the distance of a marathon - on her trampoline.

Dr Murray leads Yorkshire Cancer Research’s Yorkshire Stop Smoking Study, which runs alongside the charity’s Leeds Lung Health Check screening programme and has so far supported nearly 1,000 people to try to stop smoking.

She added: “Yorkshire Cancer Research funds lifesaving research in Yorkshire but the impact resonates to the rest of the UK and around the world. I am incredibly fortunate that they fund millions of pounds of research that I am privileged to lead. I work with incredible teams who are changing the face of cancer research and care. I get to see first-hand the incredible impact their funding makes, and this organisation work tirelessly to improve lives.”

To support Dr Murray, please visit You can get involved in the 2.6 Challenge by visiting and choosing Yorkshire Cancer Research as your charity. 


Contact: Nikki Brady, PR Manager, Yorkshire Cancer Research. Tel: 01423 877228.

About Yorkshire Cancer Research

  • Yorkshire Cancer Research was founded in 1925 and is the largest independent regional cancer charity in England (Registered Charity 516898). We are not part of a national charity. 
  • Current statistics show that 594 people are diagnosed with cancer in Yorkshire every week. 
  • Our mission is for 2,000 more people to survive cancer every year in Yorkshire. 
  • There are lots of cancer problems across the region that need to be tackled on a local level. We work in partnership with researchers, clinicians, the NHS, public health bodies and other charities to fund innovative work in four key areas: prevention, early diagnosis, treatment and clinical trials.
  • For more information, please visit or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

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