BBC Radio 3 and BBC Sport are challenging members of the public to attempt to run 5K and “beat” the music of Beethoven’s epic Fifth Symphony, performed live by the BBC Philharmonic – raising money for Sport Relief along the way.

Hundreds of people – from complete beginners to seasoned sprinters – will be invited to don their trainers and run five kilometres in the time it takes to listen to the famous symphony, letting the music fuel their feet as they race around Salford’s MediaCityUK to a live performance by the BBC Philharmonic conducted by Ben Gernon on Friday 13 March.

BBC Newsreader Sophie Raworth, English National Opera’s CEO Stuart Murphy and Radio 3’s very own Tom McKinney have also announced they will take part in the race. Radio 3 presenter Katie Derham will host the day in MediaCity.

With the energetic, pulse-quickening music as their soundtrack, runners (and non-runners) of all ages and abilities will be invited to take on the challenge and play their part in Sport Relief, helping to raise life-changing amounts of money to support vulnerable people across the UK and around the world, to live happier, healthier and safer lives.

Starting on the downbeat of some of the most famous opening bars in classical music, Beat Beethoven will be under starters orders at 4pm on Friday 13 March 2020, broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 with highlights filmed by BBC Sport for broadcast on BBC One that evening.

Those who can’t be there on the day can take on the challenge and orchestrate their own running workouts wherever and whenever they like by downloading free audio of the symphony on BBC Sounds and signing up to fundraise in their own time. Links to training resources are available from

Alan Davey, Controller of BBC Radio 3, says: “Beethoven Unleashed is a year-long, comprehensive season that aims to ensure that everyone, from the novice to the expert, can get more from the music of this great composer. I’m delighted to work with Sport Relief and BBC Sport to add this new element which will hopefully introduce the composer to new audiences as well as encourage those who love his work to get fit and also to listen in a new way to a piece of classical that is both complex and motivating in its use of rhythm and it’s unique sonic world.”

Beat Beethoven is part of a of a year-long pan-BBC season, Beethoven Unleashed, to mark the 250th anniversary of the birth of one of the world’s most-loved composers.

For further information, tickets and to find out how to take part, visit

Part of the ticket price of each ticket will be donated to Comic Relief; the remainder will cover the costs of the event. The event will be run and ticketed by RunThrough Events.

Members of the public can set up their own Beat Beethoven JustGiving page and find tips and materials to help fundraise by visiting


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