After having navigated a particularly testing 2009, private equity and infrastructure professionals are busy training for their next challenge: the Marathon of Marathons.
The Marathon of Marathons aims to raise €2.5 million for children’s charities via 250 runners in the 2010 Athens Marathon. The event is the brainchild of John Campbell, co-founder of placement agent and advisory firm Campbell Lutyens, and is being organised by Campbell Lutyens and PEI Media.
“What we want to do is make this a charitable run for private equity, infrastructure professionals and friends,” explained Campbell. “The plan is to get a ‘band of brothers’ together who would each do their very best to raise an average of €10,000 per head, with a minimum commitment of €5,000.”
Private equity and infrastructure GPs, LPs and affiliates from across the globe are expected to participate. “We have booked 250 places and not just for runners – we’re very happy to have walkers who raise money,” Campbell said. “We are inviting a number of patrons to join in, people whose names will be well known to the private equity and infrastructure communities, and also have four tiers of sponsorship for firms.”
This year’s marathon, taking place in October, commemorates the 2,500th anniversary of the first ever marathon, which relates to a turning point in the Greco-Persian wars. When the Athenians triumphed over the Persians at the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC, a herald by the name of Pheidippides was dispatched to carry news of the victory. He ran 40 kilometers from the battlefield to Athens, having no idea his heroism would give birth to a tradition of athletic achievement entwined with philanthropy.
The financial services sector has been shocked and shaken these last two years, but those bufferings are nothing when set against the daily battles faced by millions of impoverished children.
The Marathon of Marathons will principally benefit The United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef), though Campbell noted the event will also aid other children-focused charities, “including some of those associated with the Private Equity Foundation and the Impetus Trust, two organisations today that are really trying to bring private equity’s added values [to the charities they support] rather than just send a cheque”.
As Unicef ambassador Ewan McGregor notes in the related video below, “The financial services sector has been shocked and shaken these last two years, but those bufferings are nothing when set against the daily battles faced by millions of impoverished children”.
Campbell concurs. “We may have had great troubles in the financial sector,” he said, “but don’t forget there are some rather bigger problems out there, which is really what this is about.”