Hearts players McGowan and Templeton launch Maggie's Monster Bike & Hike 2012

Thursday 23 February 2012

Hearts Players Launch Monster Bike & HikeHeart of Midlothian Football Club helped Maggie’s to launch their annual fundraising event, Monster Bike and Hike by encouraging people to get out the city and into the country for a bank holiday weekend to remember.

Registration for Monster 2012 is now open and Defender Ryan McGowan and Midfielder David Templeton were on hand, and on bikes supplied by event partners Alpine Bikes and Tiso, to encourage people to sign up. Participants taking part experience a 31 mile cycle, followed by a hike of 8.5 miles to Invermoriston, 23.4 miles to Drumnadrochit or 41.2 miles to Inverness – bronze, silver or gold finish points respectively.

Maggie’s Monster Bike and Hike is a fantastic team challenge which takes place on the bank holiday weekend of Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 May. The event takes in some of Scotland’s most awe inspiring scenery, starting under the shadow of Ben Nevis in Fort William, before participants head out along the Caledonian Canal and the Great Glen Way taking in views of Loch Ness en route to Inverness.

Hearts were keen to get involved to promote Maggie’s ninth Monster Bike and Hike - the Edinburgh-based club has chosen Maggie’s as their 'Big Hearts' charity of the year. With the club having seen staff and friends affected by cancer, the partnership was an obvious choice.

Event Manager Georgina Bushell said: “It takes a great deal of determination to take part in Monster but by all accounts it is a hugely rewarding experience both physically and mentally. It’s the kind of determination that Hearts footballers bring to the pitch every week, and I am so pleased they are encouraging their fans to sign up for the event.

"We pull out all the stops to make sure that Monster is a bank holiday weekend to remember for all participants and volunteers. It is inspiring to see the teams coming over their chosen finish line and the satisfaction and joy in their faces. We would love to get over 1,000 people signed up for Monster 2012 so I would encourage you to log on to our website to view last year’s event film, rope in some friends and colleagues and get signed up.”

Maggie’s Monster Bike and Hike has raised over £4million for Maggie’s Centres since the event was first run in 2004. Over 5,000 people have taken part in the event in teams of friends, families and colleagues. To find out more about Monster 2012 and to register your place visit the Maggie's Monster Bike & Hike website, call Maggie’s Supporter Care Team on 0300 123 1801 or e-mail monster@maggiescentres.org.

Alpine Bikes and Tiso, who are a partner of Maggie’s Monster Bike and Hike, supplied the bikes for the photo-shoot.

Photos courtesy of Thomas Haywood Photography.