We are not able to grant charity places in full or half marathons to individuals who have been diagnosed with cardiomyopathy or a related condition* or who have an ICD or other device fitted. We have made this decision based on comprehensive medical advice from senior cardiologists and it is in place to ensure that no individual with cardiomyopathy puts themselves at risk whilst raising funds for Cardiomyopathy UK.
Due to the inherited nature of many cardiomyopathies, if you have a blood relative with cardiomyopathy, we have screening requirements as part of our application process for a charity place in half and full marathons.
To grant a charity place in a full or half marathon, we require:
- you to have had cardiac screening (an ECG and echo) within one year of the event with no concerns raised
- you to have had a conversation with your cardiologist (or the healthcare professional who conducts your screening and is responsible for your care) about your intentions to take part in the event and sign off from the cardiologist that it is safe for you to do so.
If you have not had screening within this timeframe, we will hold a place in the event for you whilst you seek screening. This may include carrying over your place to the same event the following year. This also applies to individuals who are on multi-year screening cycles and are not given additional screening upon request.
Our specialist nurse helpline is available on 0800 018 1024 to provide support and advice to anyone seeking cardiac screening or genetic testing.
Why we have this policy
We know that running for #TeamCardio means a lot when you or a loved one are affected by cardiomyopathy and we‘re incredibly grateful for the support we receive. We understand that other charities may not have these requirements in place. Given the nature of our cause it is important that we support our charity runners to minimise any risks to their heart whilst undertaking a challenge event for Cardiomyopathy UK.
Although there are rare cases where someone with cardiomyopathy is able to compete in sports or endurance events at a high level, this is not the case for the majority of people with cardiomyopathy. As a charity for all people affected by cardiomyopathy, it’s important that we promote responsible messages and don’t create misconceptions about the realities of living with cardiomyopathy.
Other challenge events
We have this policy for marathons and half marathons because these require more extensive training and therefore could pose significant risk for someone with cardiomyopathy, a related condition, a device fitted or a hereditary risk of developing cardiomyopathy. We would advise anyone with cardiomyopathy, a related condition, a device fitted or a hereditary risk to speak to their doctor before undertaking any challenge that involves significant physical activity to understand any possible risks and agree that it is safe to go ahead.
People may also pay for their own entry in a marathon or half marathon or gain a place in an event through a public ballot. In these instances, we strongly encourage our supporters to follow the same guidance as we use for our charity places to be sure it is safe for them to undertake the challenge.
*We consider related conditions to include myocarditis, channelopathy, amyloidosis, pericarditis and arrhythmias. We regularly review our policy on the advice of senior cardiologists and therefore this list is subject to change upon clinical advice.