The fittest agency in town…

AAR Fit@40. 10 weeks. 55 teams. 220 people.

70 days of walking as many steps as humanly possible.

We caught the walking bug last year. Inspired by Robin Charney, our digital consultancy lead, we split AAR into three competitive teams, armed ourselves with a step counter each, and collectively walked 15 million steps in 12 weeks. We got fitter and we raised some money for charity in the process.

It just had to be done again this year, but bigger and better this time. We made the challenge part of our 40th anniversary celebrations and invited teams from agencies to join us in the big walk.

Teams of four from 53 agencies joined two teams from AAR and stepped up to the challenge, battling it out day after day for 10 weeks, each walking a minimum of 10,000 (about 5 miles) steps a day. Many walked more. Much, much, more. And it all got VERY competitive.

TMW Unlimited’s ‘The Jet’s got off to a cracking start, dominating the leader board for the first two weeks, with each team member walking an average of 64 miles a week. The Gate’s ‘Walker Gate Scandal’ stole the leader board crown in week 3, besting The Jets by a slim margin of 5,000 steps.

And so it went on.

LIDA’s ‘The LIDA Loafers’ came roaring in and were champions in weeks 4 and 5 but The Walker Gate Scandal were having none of that: they wrested the top of the leader board back in week 6. And then, with three weeks to go, Karmarama’s mighty ‘Nice Treads’ – always a challenger in the Top 5 – put a spurt on and dominated as leader board champions in weeks 7, 8 and 9, thought they were still consistently challenged by The Walker Gate Scandal and the LIDA Loafers.

Whilst all this competitive walking was going on there were four mini competitions which allowed the competing teams to earn bonus steps.

There was the biggest walker – Tessa Barrera of Lexis’ Victorious Secrets walked 114 miles in one week to win that one.

Best team name and best team photo also garnered extra points for the teams. Lawrence Dallaglio and Ewan Paterson on BBH Sport were our guest judges here, selecting Krow’s ‘On your marks, get set, krow!’ as best team name and St Luke’s ‘Ox Trotters’ who triumphed with their Ox feet photo.

Check out all the teams photos below.

We even created three leagues – The Elite, Club and Fun Steppers – so that teams a bit further down the leader board could be champions for a week and win some extra steps.

People were doing the London Marathon as well as Fit@40. One team raised extraordinary sums of money to buy a customized wheelchair for the profoundly disabled daughter of one of their colleagues. Another team did a step work out challenge in fancy dress for charity, filmed by their agency colleagues who chose the tracks that the team worked out to. There were teams of account handlers versus teams of creatives. And the odd minor injury and lots of blisters.

But there had to be a winner.

At the glittering Big Winners Drinks on 9 June at Saatchi & Saatchi’s Pregnant Man pub, Karmarama’s Nice Treads fought off all comers to claim the victor’s crown. Jon Wilkins, Alex Gibson, Sophie Pesenti and Ed Rosie walked 5,343,845 steps – that’s 2,672 miles – in 70 days. An extraordinary feat (if you’ll forgive the pun).

The Lida Loafers were worthy runners-up, with their team of four walking 5,218,014 steps (2,609 miles), and the consistently fabulous Walker Gate Scandal came in at third on 5,073,645 steps (2,536 miles).

Ogilvy & Mather’s ‘Fun Steppers’ and MBA’s ‘M.B.A.wol’ won the Club and Fun League competitions respectively.

And I’m proud to say that one of the AAR teams made it into the Top 10 with ‘AARe We There Yet?’ claiming eighth place, with 4,469,717 steps (2,235 miles).

Take a look at the final results table and some photos from the Big Winners drinks below!

It’s been fun. It’s been emotional.

Thank you to everyone who took part, for signing up and sticking with it, week after week. It has seemingly changed some people’s lives, with many participants saying they’ll keep it up even though the Challenge has finished or that walking is THE thing and they will never darken a tube station again.

Others are signing up for further challenges, with one member of the ‘Krow Forth and Conquer’ team already training for a 50K charity walk in September.

And for some insane reason, quite a lot of you want to do it all again next year…

1st Nice Treads (Karmarama) 5343845
2nd The LIDA Loafers (LIDA) 5218014
3rd The Walker Gate Scandal (The Gate) 5073645
4th FitBit-ches (Havas helia) 4906831
5th Victorious Secrets (Lexis Agency) 4841036
6th One Step Beyond (M&C Saatchi) 4757849
7th All roads lead to Rome (and back) (Havas helia) 4610536
8th AARe We There Yet? (AAR) 4469717
9th Manning Gottlieb OMD (Manning Gottlieb OMD) 4257029
10th Saatchi & Saatchi (Saatchi & Saatchi) 4198179
11th Angel Sam and the Devils (OMG UK) 4161402
12th RAPPid (RAPP) 4129764
13th The Jets (TMW Unlimited) 4107225
14th Tinchy Striders (101) 4067115
15th Team WCRS (WCRS) 4057188
16th krow forth and conquer! (krow) 4053557
17th Ox Trotters (St Luke’s) 4046876
18th adam&eveDDB (adam&eveDDB) 4010455
19th Happy Feet (Ogilvy & Mather) 3993511
20th The Agony of Defeet (OgilvyOne) 3853651
21st The Sharks (TMW Unlimited) 3811479
22nd The Proxy Pumas (Proximity London) 3783970
23rd The Horned Hikers (DigitasLBi) 3776185
24th 50,000 Steps of Grey (Grey London) 3612487
25th The Cut Corners (The Corner London) 3580816
26th The Stepping Zones (Zone) 3567614
27th ‘H’ from Steps (Lucky Generals) 3558061
28th The Proclaimers (BJL) 3422775
29th My walking team has a drinking problem (UM London) 3362614
30th FitStep (PHD) 3361155
31st CHI & Pacers (CHI & Partners) 3357241
32nd AMV BBDO (AMV BBDO) 3355648
33rd AAR T Birds (AAR) 3343964
34th Walk Hard, Play Hard (Lexis) 3315655
35th On your marks, get set, krow! (krow) 3304352
36th George & Dragon (George & Dragon) 3294340
37th M.B.AWOL (MBA) 3294031
38th The Eclipses (Havas helia) 3270271
39th Oldies bar one (Now) 3235466
40th Trot On (J. Walter Thompson) 3178237
41st Jamie & The Pacemakers (Fallon) 3162018
42nd UnWingéd Creatures (Creature of London) 3074374
43rd The Hustlers (Doner) 2980608
44th Blister Sisters (DLKW Lowe) 2920964
45th El L Cool Js (Omnicom Media Group) 2891373
46th Publisteppers (Publicis) 2818428
47th Here Comes The Hotsteppers (BJL Group) 2639970
48th PRedators (Lexis) 2477975
49th The Burnett Blazers (Leo Burnett) 2416847
50th Lcarus (Havas helia) 1880057
51st Critical Mass tones its Ass (Critical Mass) 1232652
52nd Dodgy Knees, Sore Heels (Lexis Agency) 1149375
53rd Sole Sisters (Lexis Agency) 1015648
54th Treacherous Trekkers (Lexis) 801942