Twenty five charity runners began their ‘6 Nations, 7 Marathons’ challenge at the Millennium Stadium today to mark the first of 15 annual Community Events at the iconic venue.

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Participants literally kicked-off the ‘6 Nations, 7 Marathons’ with 25 balls flying in the air towards the very rugby posts targeted by Leigh Halfpenny when Wales faced Scotland in Cardiff last weekend.

The runners left the home of Welsh sport on their 175 mile journey to Twickenham Stadium less than one week before Warren Gatland’s squad head to England’s HQ for the third round of the RBS 6 Nations Championship.

Raising money for various charities including Help for Heroes and Macmillan Cancer Support, the fundraisers were welcomed to the stadium as part of the Millennium Stadium Community Events initiative which hosts 15 charitable or community organisations free-of-hire charge each year.

Event organiser Mike Hynda paid tribute to the Welsh Rugby Union on their official website: “They (WRU) have kindly allowed us to start from the pitch of the Millennium Stadium after kicking one ball each over the posts. We would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their support.”

General Manager of the Millennium Stadium Gerry Toms said: “The Community Events initiative invites community and charitable organisations across Wales to apply to bring their events to Wales’ premier event venue and enjoy the facilities and expertise of our event managers, without the hire fee borne by commercial organisations.

“It is with pleasure that we hand over the pitch to the organisers of ‘6 Nations, 7 Marathons’ today – as these 25 impressive individuals launch their important charitable project, they are also kicking-off another exciting year of Community Events at the Millennium Stadium.”

Any not-for-profit community organisation in Wales can apply to hold their 2013 event at the Stadium via this link.