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About Penny Marathon

The Penny Marathon is an annual fitness event takes place in cities around the world on a given day in July. Participants run, cycle, swim, paddle, roll (and more!) to raise awareness of the plight of suffering animals and acknowledge the work of those that fight to save their lives.

At a practical level, the Penny Marathon provides financial support to stray, abandoned, neglected and abused companion animals (cats and dogs) through rescuers and rescue groups.

The money raised through donations and sales is primarily used for various stages of the rescue–rehome process, such as medical emergencies, boarding, food and bedding, spay and neutering, vaccinations, travel and other essential costs.


The Penny Marathon was established in 2012 and became a registered international charity in 2015. It is wholly powered by volunteers around the world. 

Penny Marathon


The Penny Marathon started rather serendipitously as an idea of two Greek-Australians. They were not runners, and had certainly never thought to run a marathon before, but they felt compelled to do something to bring attention to the plight of stray animals.


When word spread that they were planning to run the original 42-kilometre run in Greece, they were approached by two seasoned runners who offered to join them. These runners, in turn, recruited some cyclists to help with on-road support.

It was with this spirit of solidarity that the Penny Marathon kicked off in the early hours of 16 July 2012 of what turned out to be one of the hottest days of the year. The team ran and cycled the original route from Marathon to Athens, and were given unprecedented permission to enter Kallimarmaro stadium home of the modern Olympic Games.

Encouraged by the experience, the run – known as the Penny Marathon – has become an annual event with teams participating in cities around the world. The marathon is named after a Greek stray dog whose life, like many others like her, ended tragically.


The Penny Marathon may have started in Greece but what it stands for holds true elsewhere. While countries like Greece have a visible stray animal problem, there are many other countries that pride themselves on their clean streets – a status quo that is maintained by euthanising hundreds of thousands of healthy cats, dogs and other animals every year that simply cannot find homes.

Penny Marathon


Penny Marathon
  • We encourage the foster and/or adoption of animals from the street, pounds and shelters, and discourage buying animals from breeders.

  • We acknowledge the work of volunteers that fight to save the lives of these animals.

  • We promote neutering and spaying.

  • We encourage ethical, responsible and empathetic pet ownership.

  • We encourage the pursuit of a vegan diet.

  • We deplore the indifference, incompetence and/or inhumanity that we see in our government and the community at large.

  • We condemn torture, abuse, neglect and street dumps.

  • We condemn poisoning, shooting, strangulation and other acts of murder.

  • We expect justice to be served to those who commit animal abuse violations by following the full extent of the law.

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