Excitement is mounting ahead of the start of Marcothon 2018 on Saturday (1 December). This annual winter challenge is to complete a minimum of 3 miles or 25 minutes running on each of the 31 days in December.
The popular annual test of commitment, around the difficult festive period where temptations abound, was created in 2009 when Debbie Consani christened her husband Marco's festive running streak - Marcothon. Since then 1,000s of runners around the UK and further afield have completed the winter test and given themselves a great platform for their new year running ambitions.
Launching the 2018 challenge Debbie Consani said: "The rules are simple, you must run every day in DECEMBER. Minimum of three miles or 25 minutes – which ever comes first. The challenge starts on 1 December and finishes on 31 December . And yes, that includes Christmas Day.
"This all started in 2009, when Marco challenged himself to run every day in November. I decided to follow suit and run every day in December. I posted the challenge – and dubbed it the Marcothon - and before I knew it there was a group of runners equally eager to embrace the winter conditions of December 2009.
"In 2010, the group was added to Facebook and attracted over 500 runners from across the globe. Last year, we had nearly 6000! Thousands of runners, across the world, all running together for absolutely no reason whatsoever. You'll love it.
"It's not a competition. Just a personal challenge or an incentive to burn off calories."
Most of the 2018 buzz is around the Marcothon Facebook group which has added 1,100 members in under a month. Rob Soutar has posted a motivational calendar, a Marcothon Strava group has been warming up and those lucky enough to secure coveted Marcothon promotional kit have been trying out their new gear.
2018 Marcothon hopeful Catherine Jones is hoping her motivation stays the course: "Looking forward to using this to kick start 2019 fitness plans. Did it a few years ago, last year only managed till 13th and lost motivation, so need to keep focused this time."
Catherine sums up the challenge of Marcothon nicely. Three miles might not seem daunting but as harsh weather, festive parties (and hangovers!), turkey binges, injury niggles and colds and flus kick in, the pressure mounts!
The 10 Commandments of Marcothon:
- You must run every day in ...
- ... December (no other month counts. (You can't run a marathon in July because the weather's nicer)
- Three miles or 25 minutes, whichever comes first, is the minimum
- Yes, it includes Christmas Day
- If you take a day off, you're out. No playing catch-up
- It's a personal challenge - if you think you're cheating you probably are
- If you don't run on a treadmill - don't start. See previous point.
- No cycling, rowing, dog-walking, climbing the stairs (apparently a previous query)
- Run at 5 or 15 minute miles - pace is unimportant
- Have fun and share your experience with other Marcothoners
Check out the Marcothon Facebook page here.