FirstGroup’s ‘Mini Monster’ event returns to Inverness

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FirstGroup, organisers of the hugely successful First Monster Challenge, the 120km team relay duathlon around the shores of Loch Ness, is to hold an extra event for the second year running on Monster race day, September 3rd.

The ‘First Mini Monster’ event, which is free to enter for all competitors, is aimed at families and children.

The race consists of a simple mile run/jog/walk or cycle – competitors can use their feet, cycle, scoot or be pushed.

Organisers FirstGroup, the UK’s largest transport operator, were promoting the event at Hilton and St Joseph’s Primary Schools yesterday.

Margaret Lisle, Acting Head Teacher at Hilton Primary School said:

“Encouraging our pupils to keep active and participate in sport is a key aim of the school. Around 100 of our pupils took part last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. I expect even more will take on the Mini Monster this year.”

Meanwhile Depute Head at St Joseph’s Primary School, Miriam MacDonald, said that many of her pupils are already in training.

“The pupils of St Joseph’s love a challenge and the Mini Monster is so accessible to them. They love nothing more than a chance to get out and have fun with big smiles on their faces!”

She added: “It’s great for the city to host a family friendly event such as the Mini Monster – judging by the interest amongst our pupils, I expect St Josephs to be very well represented on Saturday.”

Niall Dowds, FirstGroup’s PR Manager said: “Interest in the 2011 Mini Monster is extremely encouraging.

“We aim to attract 500 young competitors and smash last year’s total of 300, particularly if the weather is good.

“The First Monster Challenge has sold out – I think the First Mini Monster will be just as successful.”

Niall went on to explain why the Mini Monster was created:

“Many of our First Monster Challenge teams are cheered on and supported on race day by their friends and family.

“We thought that whilst our Monster competitors are burning up the 120km course, it would be a good idea to host a Mini Monster for families, friends, spectators and indeed anyone in the area.

“It’s open for anyone to take part and is the perfect introduction to the real Monster.”

FirstGroup introduced the ‘Mini Monster’ element to its race day proceedings in 2010 drawing some 300 children, despite wet conditions.

Starting from under the First Monster Challenge gantry at Queens Park Stadium, the one mile course leads out of the park and includes a loop of the rugby club fields.

Entry is free and all participants will receive a T-shirt and medal. Registration opens at 9am in Queens Park Stadium and the race starts at 11am.

The First Monster Challenge, which has been officially accredited by the British Triathlon Foundation, consists of teams of four.

Each competitor is required to complete two legs of the eight-legged event – one 10km run and one 20km cycle. The 2011 event, which takes place on September 03, is sold out.

Sporting legends Sally Gunnell and Gavin Hastings will be competing in the First Monster Challenge 2011.

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