Nessie spotted in Salford Quay

06 May 2009


Visitors to Salford Quay were left open mouthed when they spotted the Loch Ness Monster lurking in the waters.


The 12ft creature was discovered after taking what seemed to be a wrong turn on its way into Manchester. The monster had travelled from Loch Ness, Scotland, and was heading to Philips Park, Manchester, when it got lost.

The spoof 'Nessie' was on its way to the park to help launch a charity sporting event called the First Mini Monster Challenge. The duathlon relay event will see competitors of all ages and fitness run and cycle around Philips Park on Sunday 28 June in aid of charity.

The event is hosted and organised by transport giant, FirstGroup, who own Manchester based train operator First TransPennine Express and First Bus.

Vernon Barker, Managing Director of First TransPennine Express, said: "The Philips Park course is ideal for everyone to enjoy, young or old, fit or unfit. Situated in the Sports City area of Manchester it seems a fitting venue for this fun, sporting event. The Mini Monster will not only be an enjoyable day out for the family and a great excuse to keep active and healthy, but also a fantastic opportunity to raise money for a great cause."

Entry to the Manchester First Mini Monster Challenge is only £5 per person (or £20 per team). FirstGroup will donate 25 percent of the entry fee to Save the Children. To register a team or for more information log on to

Caroline Underwood, Director of Philanthropy and Partnerships at Save the Children said: "We have a wonderful relationship with First and its highly successful Monster events. Indeed Monster competitors raised more than £110,000 for Save the Children in 2008.

"All the money raised for Save the Children from the Manchester event will be spent on our work across the UK with some of the most vulnerable children to ensure they get the best start in life. I hope everyone enjoys the First Mini Monster and helps raise vital funds for Save the Children."



Notes to Editors:

The First Mini Monster Challenge comprises two relay races, one for families and one for adults. The family race will see teams of four complete two running sections, each 1.5km long, and two 5km cycling sections. In the adult event teams of four will also take on two runs and two cycles - the run will be 3km and the cycle 10km. In both races, each team member will complete one leg only.

Manchester will be one of five cities throughout the UK to host a First Mini Monster Challenge. Other cities are Leeds, Glasgow, Bristol and Aberdeen.

The First Mini Monster Challenges are inspired and based upon the First Monster Challenge, FirstGroup's annual 120km team relay duathlon around the shores of Loch Ness.

The winning team of either the family or the adult Mini Monster event will be offered free entry to the First Monster Challenge in Inverness on September 12. For more information or to register a team for the First Monster Challenge visit,

FirstGroup plc is the world's leading transport company with annualised revenues of some £6 billion. We employ approximately 137,000 staff throughout the UK and North America and transport some 2.5 billion passengers a year.

Save the Children

Save the Children is the world's independent children's charity. We're outraged that millions of children are still denied proper healthcare, food, education and protection. We're working flat out to get every child their rights and we're determined to make further, faster changes. How many? How fast? It's up to you.





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