14 Aug

Nell's Third Monster

The UK's fittest celebrity, Nell McAndrew, today confirmed that she is to compete for the third consecutive year in the First Monster Challenge, a 120km team relay duathlon around the shores of Loch Ness. Nell McAndrew will be joined on September 12 by Scottish sporting legends, Gavin Hastings and Liz McColgan and one mystery person to form the 'Monster Celebrity' team. Each member of the team of four will complete two legs of the eight legged event - one 10km run and one 20 km cycle. "I am very excited about taking on the Monster this year," said Nell. "With over 250 teams registered (over 1000 people), it promises to be bigger and better than ever."

Nell McAndrew (35) was the first celebrity to finish the London Marathon of April this year in a time of 3hrs10, and explained that she is confident of securing a Top 10 finish this year. "I have been Monster training since completing the marathon doing regular sessions on the bike and going out running so I am feeling pretty fit. Plus, with Liz McColgan as our team captain, we must have a good chance!

Nell McAndrew with Loch Ness Monster

“My track record at Monster is pretty good, finishing 3rd in 2007 and 17th in 2008. In what is sure to be a high quality field, a Top 10 finish would be a great achievement."

Organisers FirstGroup are encouraging all competitors to raise money for its national charity partner, Save the Children. Nell McAndrew added: "Save the Children is a wonderful charity and targets the children that need help most. Let's hope that we can top the £100,000 raised in 2008."

Demand for this year's event has been overwhelming. The original target was to secure 250 teams (1,000 participants) - however, that goal has been surpassed and recently extra places have been made available. There is only room for a few more teams before the event is a 1,200 competitor sell out. Anyone interested should log on to www.firstmonster.com and sign up as soon as possible.

FirstGroup is also catering for the UK's fittest athletes. The transport giant expects around 25 individuals to take on the 'First Iron Monster Challenge' which sees competitors attempting the entire 120km course (40km running and 80km cycling) solo.