THOUSANDS of people have downloaded a new fitness app created by two York graduates to keep people active during the pandemic.

Michael McCreadie and Toby Cannon initially developed Myles Challenges, their free virtual fitness app, to motivate each other during the coronavirus crisis.

The pair, who are recent graduates from the University of York, had both signed up for marathons last year which were among the casualties of Covid-19.

After they were cancelled, the duo wanted to create something to help each other keep up with their running training.

They then launched the app which now has 3,500 users in 12 countries, and has already attracted the interest of the NHS and The British Army.

Users can sign up to run, cycle or walk any of the challenges at their own pace and across multiple days or weeks.

There are challenges for all abilities, starting at a 16KM hop across London, going up to a 5,000km-plus coast-to-coast route of the USA.

The app allows users to track their virtual location on the map along with detailed information about their progress.

Toby said: “It’s amazing to see the positive impact the app is having on so many people’s fitness motivation during these difficult times.

“We’re constantly releasing new features on the app that really help people to stick to these goals.”

The Myles Challenges app is available on iOS and Android and has been generating positive reviews including: “The app is very easy to use and is a great way to boost your motivation to get out and exercise.

"It’s also great if you’re a bit competitive because there’s an option to compete with friends and family.”

The app aims to motivate users to complete their fitness goals and also integrates with existing fitness tracking apps.

A number of organisations have now set up their own challenges on the platform including Capital One, The NHS and the Armed Forces.

Chris Hiscox, enterprise officer at the University of York, said: “We encourage entrepreneurs at the university to have a ‘problem first’ approach to founding a business. The exponential growth in users points to an exciting future for the Myles team, and shows the advantage of working on a problem many of us will recognise.

"The app is available to the public free of charge and it’s hoped the continued growth it’s seeing will help a large number of people in making fitness goals fun."