The sun has come out of hiding, the evenings are getting longer. It's time to dust down those running shoes and get the bike out of the shed, the First Monster Challenge is back!
Saturday 12 September 2009 will see the return of the First Monster Challenge to Loch Ness. The event, now in its third year, is a 120K team relay duathlon around the shoreline of the famous Loch and has become one of Britain's most talked about events.
In teams of four, with one running leg (approx 10K) and one cycle leg (approx 20K) for each person, it is a tough eight-legged event but one that has attracted some famous faces. Nell McAndrew, Kyran Bracken, Alastair Campbell, Ben Fogle, Gavin Hastings and Liz McColgan are all 'Monster' veterans.
For more information or to guarantee your place in First Monster 09, register now at www.firstmonster.com.
In 2008, First Monster Challenge competitors raised over £140,000 for charity. This year organiser FirstGroup is again encouraging Monster competitors to raise money for its charity partner, Save the Children and other good causes. Like everyone, charities have been badly affected by the current economic climate and so it is even more important to raise as much money as possible.
In the meantime, make sure you reserve your place at Britain's most famous duathlon. September 12 is not that far away!
There are also Scottish First Mini Monster Challenges taking place in Aberdeen and Glasgow this summer.
Based on the Monster team relay concept, the Mini Monsters are aimed at everyone, regardless of age or fitness, with competitors again encouraged to raise money for good causes. Each event comprises two relay races, one for families and one for adults. The family race will see teams of four complete two running sections, each 1.5K long, and two 5K cycling sections. In the adult event teams of four will also take on two runs and two cycles - the run will be 3K and the cycle 10K. In both races, each team member will complete one leg only.
Entry is only £5 per person, with 25% of the entry fee going to Save the Children. They are great fun and could form part of your training programme as you build up for the Monster in September. For more details or to register for any of these events visit www.firstmonster.com.