Monday, 4 May 2009

Haggis king's really got the stomach for charity bike ride

THE haggis king of the Capital has embarked on one of the toughest cycle endurance events the country has to offer, to raise money for charity.

James Macsween and Peter MacGregor began their journey from Land's End on Saturday and, with legs of 100 miles a day, hope to reach John O'Groats by early next week.

Mr Macsween, well known in the Capital for his haggis manufacturing business, lost his father John to cancer in 2006, while his accomplice Mr MacGregor – who will be undertaking the challenge for the third time – was also affected when his wife Jackie died of the disease the year before.

The two decided to generate cash for Cancer Research UK through the cycle, and have already met their fundraising target of £5000, with more money expected during and after the event.

Mr Macsween, 37, director of the family-run Macsween organisation which recently struck a lucrative deal to supply supermarket chain Morrisons with the Scottish delicacy, said: "We'll need to cover 100 miles each day – so it will be a fairly tough schedule.

"In this year of Homecoming we'll be looking forward to crossing back over the Border and cycling through Scotland.

"We have already raised more than £5000, which is fantastic."

He and Mr MacGregor, who works for British Waterways, began discussing the idea of a fundraising cycle three years ago, and last year intensified talks and agreed this was the year to do it.

"I've never done anything like this before," he added. "I'm quite sporty but this will be the most difficult thing I've done in my life.

"It's the best part of 1000 miles to cycle the length of the UK. We've been breaking it down psychologically, saying to ourselves that it's only five blocks of 20 miles per day.

"I've been blown away by the generosity of people to donate money. It's not just friends and family either, it's people who I've worked with in the past and others too. The original goal was £2500, so to double that has been fantastic."

The two will be supported by another member, friend Alistair Williams, 40, who completes what is being tagged as the Haggis in High Gear team.

Mr MacGregor, 48, added: "Through this trip we hope to commemorate Jackie's and John's lives, and raise money."

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