A MONUMENTAL fund-raising effort over the weekend has raised thousands for Montrose boys Rhys Allan and Riley Murray.
A combined “bike and hike” to Fort William and to the summit of Ben Nevis was completed by 25 supporters, eight cycling 144 miles to Fort William with a further 17 joining them to brave the wintry conditions on the route to the mountain peak.
The event was organised by Gary and Penny Allan to raise funds for the continuing care of the two boys, who both have cerebral palsy although work commitments meant that Gary had to withdraw from the trip. His place was taken by brother-in-law Paul McKenzie.
Setting off at around 7am on Friday, the cyclists’ route took them to Forfar, Kirriemuir and Blairgowrie then on to Pitlochry and Blair Atholl where they stayed overnight at Blair Castle Caravan Park, which had provided free camping pitches. On Saturday they followed the A9 to Dalwhinnie before cutting across to Fort William.
They were then joined by the walkers on Sunday for the hike up the country’s highest mountain.
Dale Murray, Riley’s dad, said everything had gone according to schedule although the weather on the trip had been mixed.
He said: “It was tough going, although day one was perfect biking weather, with some welcome drizzle and a light breeze. The second stage was a bit more hilly, with more rain and wind but everyone battled on, helped by back-up from our support team.
“We set off up the mountain at about 9am on Sunday and the weather wasn’t the greatest, wet and windy and there wasn’t much of a view from the top.
“Some of the quickest times were about four hours, two hours up and two down, although others came in at about seven hours.
“We don’t have all the money counted up yet, but it looks as if we’ve raised somewhere between £4,000 and £5,000.
“We’d like to thank everyone who supported us including Montrose company Jamie’s Transport, which took all the walkers to Fort William and back free of charge, Taylor’s Vending who supplied energy drinks and boost bars, Johnston’s Bakery which donated filled rolls and sausage rolls for packed lunches and Lloyd’s Pharmacy which put together first aid kits for us.”