Quesnel bikers organizing Monster Run

Ross Adams

Ross Adams

Muscular dystrophy  is a group of hereditary muscle diseases that weaken the muscles.

In high school, Stew Castle befriended a young man suffering from MD who, at various stages in his young life, had been told he would die from the disease.

Castle was there for his friend through the good times and the bad, always aware of the toll the disease exacted.

Leonard Yalowega is now an adult and thinks his friend Stew is crazy for embarking on a MD fundraiser that will take him and those bikers who chose to join him on a 1,800 km, 30-hour Monster  Run.

However, Castle said Leonard is proud and appreciates the support.

“I want to support the organization that supports my friend,” Castle said.

The route begins in Quesnel, July 8, runs to Prince George, McBride, Valemont, Clearwater, Kamloops, Salmon Arm, Vernon, Kelowna, Osoyoos, Oliver, Keremeos, Princeton, Merritt, Spences Bridge, Cache Creek, 100 Mile House, Williams Lake and back to Quesnel.

Castle has been planning this Monster Run for the past three years, ever since he acquired his Harley Davidson motorcycle in 2007.

Another long time friend, Ross Adams, has been working closely with Castle on organizing the event.

“Most bikers use any excuse to hit the road,” Adams said.

“And this is a win/win situation where you have a long ride and raise money for a good cause.

“I’m here to support the cause.”

Castle went on to emphasize the Monster Run is an endurance ride, not a race.

Bikers are encouraged to collect pledges to generate donations for Muscular Dystrophy Canada, but those who just want to participate, a minimum $75 donation is required.

According to Mapquest.com, the route takes 22 hours, 16 minutes to complete, but Castle said they’ve factored in an additional seven hours, 44 minutes if riders need to rest.

“The safe return of every rider is our first concern,” he said.

“If you get tired on the trip, do the smart thing and take a break.”

The Monster Run package includes information on how riders can also qualify for the Iron Butt Association qualification.

Riders, in addition to signing the registration/waiver form, also receive a pledge form/route map, witness forms (for both the start and end of the event) and a log sheet to record all stops. Collecting receipts and your log help verify your trip.

Although riders may choose to travel in a group, this is really more of an individual challenge.

“Group stops at gas stations could become time-consuming,” Castle said.

“The question becomes how long will you help your buddy out if he breaks down?”

As far as Castle knows, this is the first nonstop fundraiser endurance ride in the province and he expects riders from across B.C. to be interested in the Monster Run.

His goal is to raise at least $5,000 for Muscular Dystrophy Canada, which fully authorizes and recognizes the Monster Run.

Each rider receives an embroidered patch and a T-shirt for participating and at the conclusion of the ride a celebratory barbecue is planned for July 10, a day after the 30-hour ride so riders

get some well-deserved rest.

Registration deadline is June 1.

To find out about the Monster Run call Castle at 250-983-6325, e-mail, ular@quesnelbiker.com or visit the website, quesnelbiker.com.