The tree and decorations are probably up, the sprouts are cooking nicely, guests will soon be on their way, and your home is beginning to resemble the fun and calmness of the Christmas Vacation house.

For anyone needing an excuse to make a great escape from the sofa/kitchen/shed, a solution is at hand: the “Festive 50”.

Run by Avalanche Endurance Events, the Festive 50 is an annual – and virtual – marching challenge staged between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

It is perfect training and exercise for the very much non-virtual Winter Fan Dance on January 6, 2024 and it can be done to raise funds for SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity by setting up a JustGiving page.

The objective of the Festive 50 is to cover 50 miles carrying a loaded bergen (rucksack) holding 35lb (Under 45) or 25lb Women & Masters (45+) or 12lb for the Junior category (11-15) over eight days between December 24 and 31, 2023.

The Fan Dance, for the uninitiated, is the gruelling, famed, and legendary 15-mile SAS Selection test march staged over Pen y Fan (summit: 2,910 feet) in the Bannau Brycheiniog/Brecon Beacons.

SSAFA’s Fundraising Officer for Wales, Annie Lawrie, said: “Both of these events are excellent ways of shaking off that Christmas and New Year lethargy we can feel from one mince pie or one episode of a ‘seasonal special’ too many – and you can use the opportunity to raise funds for SSAFA in Wales, which supports serving personnel and veterans, as well as their families, all year round.

“So, for more information on the Festive 50 and Fan Dance events throughout 2024, and how you can show your support for SSAFA in Wales, contact me at, but hurry, as the Festive 50 is approaching fast.”

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