How it all started

In December 2011, A challenge was thrown down by one friend to some others. “Let’s do the Marcothon in January” said Ray. You can probably guess the response…“What’s a marcothon?” came the collective reply. “You run 5km per day EVERY day in January” explained Ray. After a little more cajoling, five brave souls faced the dodgy Scottish weather on 1st January 2012. While a common school had previously united the five, lives had taken different paths and found them starting their Marcothon from different parts of Scotland, connected only by a commitment to give it a go and, social media, to encourage and occasionally shame each other.

Five days into January and 5 became 2, as New Year celebrations and fine Scottish whisky took their toll on a few of the party! Ray and Kelly remaining standing, or should that be running! The days ticked by, bodies becoming fitter and minds happier. Daily activity was becoming a habit. Although the science and psychology behind the feelings were yet to be discovered, Ray and Kelly found themselves in the position of not wanting to stop on 31st January, the benefits were far outweighing the challenges of finding time and keeping motivated.

What happened next heralds the birth of the 5×50 Challenge as we know it today, “Shall we just keep going for 50 days?” was the passing remark. a resounding AYE the reply.

In the days that followed, a little bit of googling gave the explanation for the feel great factor that both Ray and Kelly had experienced around day 19-20. Do something consistently for 19-21 days and it becomes a HABIT. Ah ha, that explained a LOT.

Around mid February 2012, as Kelly and Ray were midst their challenge, Kelly was running with a small group of friends, who shared an interest in keeping fit, once a week around Glasgow Green when she dropped in the comment “this is day 43 for me”.

A seed was planted — this sounded like a challenge that others might like to take part. The story was told at every opportunity and resulted in a massive response. People told others who told others with the common response “can I try that next time with you?”.

The core team of volunteers was quickly formed with a view to running the first ‘official’ challenge in September 2012. Expectations were that friends and family would take part in various parts across Scotland. An overwhelming 5,000 people took part in the first challenge. The core team were quite simply blown away by the response.

New friendships were formed with common goal of trying to get people fit and active, encouraging people to CHANGE HABITS, CHOOSE ACTIVE, LOVE IT!

How the challenge has developed

The inaugural challenge in September 2012 attracted over 5,000 participants from 43 countries raising over £75,000 for various charities. Year on year 5×50 has attracted new challengers and to date over 23,000 people have taken part and we have helped raise in excess of £300,000 for charity.

Each year 5×50 has responded to the needs and requests of our community, aiming to make the challenge as inclusive and accessible as possible by:

  • Expanding the range of challenge options and activities that can be undertaken
  • Changing the time of the year the challenge is undertaken to make better use of daylight hours
  • Investing in our website to be more responsive to our challenger needs
  • Encouraging the participation of younger challengers through engagement with school and youth groups.

As a mark of the progression achieved, in April 2013 5×50 became a registered charity in its own right.

About 5x50

5x50 Challenge started with a vision to make people who are inactive become more active. Challengers become part of something that inspires, motivates, encourages you to live a healthier lifestyle. 5x50 Challenges are open to all. Individuals or groups regardless of age, health condition/ disability or fitness level can take part.

Get in Touch

10 Newton Terrace
Charing Cross
G3 7PJ

Registered in Scotland.
Company Registration No: SC425530.
Scottish Charity No: SC043921.