AN ANSTRUTHER man who was given just a year to live two years ago completed a monster adventure over the bank holiday weekend.
Sixty-one-year-old Ian Gillon, who has undergone treatment for oesophageal cancer, his son, Raymond, with friends Steven Webster and George Glen were among a group of Fifers led by Maggie’s community fundraiser Tumong Edwards.
Over 650 participants, including Monarch of the Glen star Alistair MacKenzie, took on the 30-mile bike ride from Fort William to Fort Augustus before deciding whether to hike eight miles (bronze - Invermoriston), 22 miles (silver - Drumnadrochit) or 43 miles (gold - Inverness), with over 50 per cent of participants making it all the way from Fort William to Inverness.
Maggie’s hope to raise up to £500,000 from the event.
Ian told the Citizen: ‘The support given from Maggie’s Centres has really helped me and my family through difficult times and Monster is our way of giving something back.
‘‘I still don’t know how long I have got and I am just living from scan to scan.
‘‘However, I have had an amazing weekend with my son and our friends - everyone has been supportive, staff have been brilliant and the scenery up here is second to none.’
Alistair MacKenzie, who played Archie MacDonald in the hit series Monarch of the Glen, added: ‘I was invited by my good friend to take part in this event.
‘‘I thought it was a great chance to give something back to Maggie’s, a charity that has really helped to support my friends as they deal with the effects of a diagnosis of cancer and the subsequent impact it had on their lives. ‘‘Monster has been marvellous: great people, amazing scenery and a good challenge with distances for everyone. I’d encourage everyone to sign up for Monster in 2012.’’