The ride is coming

2nd Annual Monster Run is ready for sign ups for the July event

Redesigned 2012 Monster Run patch.

Redesigned 2012 Monster Run patch.

Maybe this is your year to tackle the Monster Run?

Yes, Stew Castle has been working very hard all winter long, creating another amazing long-distance, endurance motorcycle event July 13 – 14.

As with last year’s inaugural run, this year’s run begins in Quesnel, with riders heading out to Prince George, Jasper, down to Lake Louise, cut over to Edgewater, Golden, taking in Vernon and Kelowna, then back up to Merritt, Kamloops, over to Cache Creek then the home run back to Quesnel. In case you were wondering, that’s 1,900 km, about 100 km more than last year and yes, the deadline is to complete in 30 hours, or should you really feel the exhiliaration of the challenge, try to complete the route in 24 hours and qualify for the Iron Butt Recognition.

But this isn’t just a great tour of B.C., the Monster Run is dedicated to raising funds for muscular dystrophy, a debilitating disease which Leonard Yalowega, one of Castle’s best friends, is afflicted with. Last year’s run raised more than $8,000 for Muscular Dystrophy Canada, far exceeding organizers’ expectation and Castle hopes to duplicate that this year.

In that first run last year, Rhonda McCabe was the only woman to accept the challenge of the 1,825-km run. When she slid her leg over her Kawasaki Vulcan Custom motorcycle, she had no idea what she was about to face.

“You feel every emotion on the run, I had no idea what the ride would be like,” she said.

She described pounding rain for about a quarter of the ride.

“Then my rain-soaked leathers froze around Princton,” she said with a big grin.

“But I was committed to the run, I was the only woman on the run and quitting wasn’t an option.

“Despite everything, you’re driving down the road with a huge smile on your face.”

She admitted she would have fared better if she had put her pride aside and donned her rain gear earlier.

Castle described some of the stressors on a long-distance run including wildlife, getting lost, having more stops than anticipated and the wear-and-tear on the human body to cover the distance in 30 hours.

“I even got a speeding ticket near Vernon,” McCabe said.

“I figured it would be totally doable in the time alotted but so many factors affect the ride.”

To her credit, McCabe is totally looking forward to this year’s ride, in fact, her goal is to make the Iron Butt qualifer 1,610 km in 24 hours.

“Having done the ride, talked about the ride and bragged about the ride, many of the fears are dispelled,” she said.

“We who have ridden in the run can now help others prepare.”

But McCabe and Castle, as well other riders already committed to the Run, are hoping for good weather, which doesn’t necessarily mean rain-free, just not the torrential downpour they experienced last year and invite other riders to download a pledge sheet (or contact Castle at, 250-983-6325, e-mail ular@shaw.ca or visit quesnelbiker.com) and sign up for this year’s Monster Run.

Castle was emphatic the Monster Run’s primary concern is safety of the riders.

“Safety is paramount. This is an endurance ride, not a race,” he said.

“There are about 6 – 7 hours built into the run time so people are encouraged to take what breaks they feel they need.”

Last year’s run saw two of the 11 riders complete the run in the required 24 hours and earned their Iron Butt qualification.

Every rider completed the run with no casulties, despite some slower rides.