A charity operating in the Highlands hopes to receive a six figure fundraising boost as places at a major cycling event have sold out in record time. Etape Loch Ness, a 66-mile closed road sportive that circles the world’s most iconic loch, filled all general and charity spaces in record time. Many participants have pledged their support to official charity partner Macmillan Cancer Support, which hopes to raise £200,000 at the event.
General entry to Etape Loch Ness sold out in just 51 hours, with Team Macmillan places selling out soon after, breaking all previous event records and guaranteeing that a large sum of money will be raised for charities operating in the Scottish Highlands.
Event director Malcolm Sutherland says, “To see so many people supporting Macmillan Cancer Support is really heart-warming. Riders at Etape Loch Ness have always proved generous with their fundraising efforts, and we are delighted to see that the desire to help good causes is growing, all the while enjoying the amazing scenery and closed roads here in the Highlands.
“To have filled every space at Etape Loch Ness in such a short time is quite incredible, and we are very proud of the reputation that the sportive has gathered since launching just a couple of years ago.”
Macmillan Cancer Support has been Etape Loch Ness’ official charity partner since the event began in 2014, and so far over £245,000 has been raised to help people affected by cancer. The money raised in 2016 will help fund Macmillan’s services including specialist nurses, financial support for cancer patients, and a nurse-run support line.
April Davidson, Regional Challenge Events Manager for Macmillan Cancer Support, says, “It’s really phenomenal to be working in such close partnership with Caledonian Concepts on the Etape Loch Ness. They really deliver first class events and everyone wants to be part of that.
“There is a high demand for closed road events. It means it is safer and it really opens the road up for cyclists. On top of that, the scenery around Loch Ness is fantastic so people come from all over the UK to take part.”
Participants at Etape Loch Ness are being encouraged to #ridehappy following Inverness’ nomination as the happiest place to live in Scotland, and it is hoped that the services provided with the funds raised will help to raise a smile for those who are aided by Macmillan Cancer Support.
Beginning in Inverness, the Etape Loch Ness route follows the A82 along the northern side of the loch, before passing through Fort Augustus onto the south side for the most challenging leg of the course – the King of the Mountain – a 4.8 mile climb which rises to 380m in height. The route then continues around the southern side of the loch before returning to the Highland capital.