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Cycling business leaders from the Highlands aim to raise more than £200,000 next month by tackling Maggie’s 500 Cycle – a five-day challenge for Maggie’s Highlands cancer support centre – as £20,000 donation takes them past latest target


By Val Sweeney

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Maggie’s 500 charity cycle group with event organiser Willie Gray and sponsor Garry MacKintosh, director HIS(centre). Picture Gary Anthony
Maggie’s 500 charity cycle group with event organiser Willie Gray and sponsor Garry MacKintosh, director HIS(centre). Picture Gary Anthony

Highland business leaders embarking on a gruelling 500-mile cycle ride next month have hit a revised fundraising target.

Participants in the Maggie’s 500 Cycle – a five-day challenge for Maggie’s Highlands cancer support centre – were aiming for £200,000 after exceeding previous targets of £150,000 and £175,000.

A £20,000 donation from Garry Mackintosh, director of Highland Industrial Supplies, pushed the total beyond £200,000.

The 40-strong team will depart Inverness on September 6 after the event was postponed for a year due to the pandemic.

Riders will tackle a series of challenging routes through the Cairngorms National Park planned by Paul Easto and his team at Wilderness Scotland.

They will climb 30,000ft – more than the height of Everest – including several demanding ascents. The most challenging ‘Queen’ stage is a 104-mile circuit climbing more than 8000ft over the UK’s two highest roads.

Willie Gray, managing director of Ark Estates, is a participant and co-organiser. He said reaching the new target showed the incredible generosity of the Highland community.

Ex-Commonwealth Games cyclist Kenny Riddle, of Bikes of Inverness, who is a co-organiser and participant, said: “Taking on a 500-mile challenge like this in just five days in an incredible act of endurance for an amateur cyclist, let alone a professional.

“Doing 100 miles in a day is do-able but to get on your bike every day for the next four days and do another 100 miles each day in some of the most challenging road cycling terrain in the UK will take a great degree of determination.”

Sponsors are Highland Industrial Supplies, Handlesbanken, O’Brien Homes, McLeod and Aitken, Focus Vehicle Rental, Graham and Sibbald, Wilderness Scotland and IBI Joiners.


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