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Maggie's Monster Bike and Hike

Every year during the month of May, the opportunity to take part in one of Scotland's biggest and most entertaining fundraising team challenges arises. Known as the Monster Bike and Hike, this 24 hour challenge takes place along the Great Glen Way in the Scottish Highlands. The various legs of the race are completed by different team members and the ultimate goal of the race it raise money and awareness of the plight of those struggling with cancer. The Monster Bike and Hike is seen as being one of the country's biggest outdoor charity challenge events and the proceeds from the event go a long way towards helping those who have cancer and who have to make use of Maggie's Centers.

The first Maggie's Center was opened in 1996 in Edinburgh at the Western General Hospital. It was the brainchild of Maggie Keswick Jencks who was struggling with cancer herself at the time. Maggie saw how difficult it was to get good information and support to help cope with the disease and she wanted to provide a good support system to the people who were struggling with the burden of cancer.

Today there are also centers in Glasgow, Inverness and Dundee with more on the way. These centers are for anyone who has had or who does have cancer. It also helps their families, friends and care-givers to cope with the emotional strain of the disease. The ultimate goal of the centers is to help those with cancer to have a healthy outlook on life and to try to keep them as healthy as possible. This will further help them to cope with their medical treatment and aid their recovery. It also provides the knowledge they need in order to explain the disease to others and to understand the medical realities of the disease. The centers have a friendly, caring environment and they are situated close to the major cancer treatment centers around the country so that they are easily accessible.

Maggie's Monster Bike and Hike provides massive support for these essential care centers. The trail comprises of a 30-mile mountain bike trail, followed by an 8-mile, 22-mile or 43-mile hike. Teams can consist of 2 or more people and you need to be eighteen or older to participate in the event. This year's event is set to take place on the 5th and 6th of May 2007. It will start on Friday with a Pasta Party at Fort William and ends on Sunday morning in Inverness. So give the challenge and try and support this worthy cause!


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