winners2014THE winner of the 2014 Cetco Ythan Challenge was race debutant Ronald Gauld.

 The Portlethen-based runner took an early lead and powered through to take top spot in 50 minutes and 35 seconds. Ronald, a member of Stonehaven Running Club, decided to take part after hearing rave reviews about the Cetco Ythan Challenge. 

 The 36-year-old said: “It was my first attempt at this kind of adventure race and I will definitely be back. It was great. I normally do half marathons and other road races so I didn’t know what to expect. I thought I would give it a bash and I was quite surprised.”


Four-time winner Kevin Harper had to give this year’s event a miss due to other commitments but Ronald hopes he makes a return next year.  He added: “I hope he comes back next year to spur me on.”


Tom Brian, of Metro Aberdeen Running Club, took second spot with a time of 51.47, finishing ahead of Barry Gibson, also of Metro, who finished in 53.37 for third place.


Victoria Bailie picked up her fourth win in a row in the women’s category with a time of 59.51. And the Edinburgh-based runner was delighted with the changes to the course.  She said: “It was brilliant. It was more of a runners course but no one expected a bouncy castle at the end.”  Victoria, 36, of Edinburgh, lost out in her personal battle with husband Dermot, who finished a couple of minutes ahead of her. And she’s looking forward to coming back to defend her crown once again. Victoria also praised the course volunteers. She said: “The marshals in the river were fantastic and really cheery.”


Lisa Stephen, of Fraserburgh Running Club, finished second with a time of 1.02.19 and Gillian Strachan, from the same club, came third in 1.04.23.


Graham Mcfarlane, of Metro Aberdeen Running Club, won the Veteran Men's category, while David Ewen, of Westhill, was the first Super Vet and William Watson won the men's Vintage category.


Sinead Stenhouse finished first in the women's Veterans category and Isabel Stuart took top spot in the Super Vet.


The Metro Moaners won the overall team prize, with a combined time of 2.45.20. In the corporate category, event sponsors Cetco picked up the trophy with a combined time of 3.02.22, while Scottish Fire and Rescue Service won the uniform category in 3.08.13


Alison Chalmers, chair of the Cetco Ythan Challenge organising committee, thanked all of the sponsors who have supported the event, the committee and volunteers for the making the event a success.  She said: “A lot of hard work goes into organising the Cetco Ythan Challenge throughout the year and it’s great to see it has paid off. We had a record number of entries once again and everyone seemed to have a fantastic day.  “We always make changes to the course but the new inflatable obstacle at the end went down really well. “Thank you to the members of our committee, the marshals and everyone who helps make the Cetco Ythan Challenge a great family event.”


You can see the individual results here, and the team results here.



CETCO Energy Services powers Ythan Challenge

The Bog

The CETCO Ythan Challenge 2014 is on course to be another record-breaking event after entries sold out less than two and half hours of going on sale.

A sell-out event with waiting list every year, the organisers had increased the capacity for 2014 to help meet the demand and this year 650 runners will compete in the event on Sunday June 15 – the largest contingent ever.

Now in its 14th year, the multi-terrain obstacle race, which takes place at Ellon in Aberdeenshire, was the forerunner of endurance races such as the Tough Mudder and the Beast at Banchory.

CETCO Energy Services, produced water and production services specialists to the oil and gas industry, is the new principal sponsor of the event and the company will be fielding a group of 40 staff and clients who have signed up to take the 11K challenge.


As always with the Challenge they, and the other runners, will be in for a few surprises.  “We are making a number of changes this year which will remove some of the race bottlenecks we experienced last year,” said Alison Chalmers, chair of the organising committee. “We’ll also introduce some new elements and obstacles for 2014. A lot of the old favourite obstacles will be here again – but runners shouldn’t expect to them to find them where they left them last year. “We’re delighted with the response again. We coincide with the Tough Mudder this year but it is great to see that we maintain our support from across Scotland and that we will once again have a capacity event.”


The Challenge has 28 different team and individual categories up to vintage (age 60+) male and female. Money raised at the event is shared between local community and sports groups.


 “Sponsoring the Ythan Challenge gives us the chance to support a very worthwhile community event which raises money for local causes,” said Paul McAlister, CETCO Area Managing Director.  “It also fits in with our commitment to support our employees and our clients in their keep fit activities. The company has a very strong health and fitness culture, with more half of our staff of 30 actively involved in fairly intense exercise regimes.”


Other sponsors this year include McIntosh Plant Hire, NECE, Aker Solutions, AGT Risk Management Ltd and Ellon Academy Bus Fund.


The CETCO Ythan Challenge is organised by the community groups which benefit most from it through an organising committee comprising representatives from The Meadows Sports Centre in Ellon, Ythan Amateur Swimming Club, Ellon Boys’ Brigade, Ellon Ladies Hockey Club, the Middleton Trust, and 1990 Ellon Squadron Air Cadets.

2014 IS HERE

The Bog

The Bogmeister is back from holiday and preparations have commenced for the 2014 Ythan Challenge.  

We have great pleasure in welcoming a new main sponsor for 2014 in Cetco Energy Services


The course is due for a significant revamp this year following feedback from previous runners and to remove some of the race bottlenecks.  However, some of the old favourite obstacles will remain - just don't expect them to be where you left them in 2013.


We have a new face book page HERE where we will post all the latest news leading up to race day, as well as the photos and video shortly after the race itself.


We're also doing some work this year to make the event more attractive to prospective sponsors from 2015 onwards.  More to come on this.






EVENING Express columnist Scott Begbie kindly agreed to run the 2013 race strapped with a video camera. Click on the links below to see two videos of his Ythan Challenge run.


Highlights of the obstacles - http://www.eveningexpress.co.uk/Article.aspx/3281315 


Extended version - http://youtu.be/GX2kFTHy0r0 



KEVIN Harper picked up a record fourth win in the 2013 Xodus Ythan Challenge.winners2013


The Cosmics club hillrunner came out in top in a field of 472 runners.  Last year he equalled Robert Taylor's record of three wins in the event but in taking the top spot, with a time of 51:42, he now holds the record on his own.


Kevin, 35, of Aberdeen, said: "It's a great course again and it was really good to win. I was worried about the competition from the Metro guys this year and it was really fast at the start so it's great to win it for a fourth time."


balesKevin praised the volunteers involved in the race and said he enjoyed the changes to the course.  He added: "It felt a lot harder this year, with changes made in the middle of the course and a lot more up and down spots. But the course is fantastic and the volunteers who run the event do a great job.  There are two or three marshalls at every obstacle and it's good to see a lot of work from the Ellon community."  And Kevin said he plans to return next year to defend his title.


Tommy Macgowan came in second in the men's event, finishing the 12km course around Ellon in 52 minutes. Ben Abrahams, of Cosmics, came in third in a time of 52:41.


The winner in the woman’s event was Victoria  Bailie, of Edinburgh Athletics Club, who finished with a time of 58:21 to scoop the title for the third year in a row.  But Victoria, 35, lost her own battle with husband Demot. She said: “I beat him last year and he wasn't very happy about it but this year he finished ahead of me."  She added: "I wanted to win the race and I'm really happy I did. I liked the fact the course was mixed up a bit from last year. This is my favourite race of the year and I'll be coming back next year."




Tammy Wilson, of Garioch Road Runners, was the second woman over the line with a finishing time of 59:07 and Lisa Stephen, of Fraserburgh Running Club, came in third in 1:02:53.







start 2013Alison Chalmers, chair of the Ythan Challenge organising committee, said: “Once again, we've had a fantastic event. We're delighted the Xodus Ythan Challenge is so popular and we increased the number of entries to try to accommodate even more runners this year".


"I need to thank all of our sponsors because the event would not happen if it wasn't for them and our committee of volunteers."


First male veteran (over-40) winner was Bruce Ferguson in 54:14, followed by Richard Craig in 58:15 and Ian Mitchell with a time of 59:14.


The male super veteran (over-50) winner was  Robert Taylor in a time of 57:01. Behind Robert  in second place was Alastair Findlay in 1:00:05 and Ian Ellis was third with a time of 1:00:17.


Norma Beaton, in 1:06:54, was the first female veteran (over-40), with Jane Eaton second in 1:07:59 and Fiona Anderson in third in 1:08:12.


The first female supervet (over-50) was Carolyn Milne in 1:04:07 followed by Jayne Watt in 1:16:15 and Gillian Watt came third with a time of 1:17:57.


Leading vintage male (over-60) was Richard Burton in 1:15:58, with Chris Newcombe second in 1:21:26 and James Mortimer third in 1:23:08. Patricia Stephen was the leading vintage female with a time of 2:20:25.



The Open Team prize went to the Metro Moaners, with the Xodus team coming out on top in the Corporate Team category. Grampian Fire and Rescue Service won the Union Team prize.


Our headline sponsor for for the 2013 race was once again Aberdeen-based energy consultancy Xodus Group who generously supported us in the third of a three year deal.

Our thanks go to Xodus and to our other sponsors, North East Corrosion Engineers Ltd, McIntosh Plant Hire Ltd, EMEC and especially to our first sponsor and partner The Running Shop, who supplied the prizes once again this year in association with Mizuno...

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mizuno_logo emec 10 logo square hr





The 2012 Xodus Ythan Challenge has seen £3,000 handed out to North-east groups.

The £3,000 was split between 11 organisations which were involved in the successful running of the race, which starts at the Meadows Sports Centre in Ellon with runners following the course onto the Esslemont Estate.

The event, held on Sunday, June 17, saw a record 439 people take part in the multi-terrain adventure race.

Alison Chalmers, chair of the Ythan Challenge organising committee, said: “It’s great to be able to give something back to these groups who have helped us so much. This year’s event was the most-popular yet and it wouldn’t be the success it is without the support of the organisations.”

James Knipe, lead engineer at Xodus Group, said: “This is the second year we have sponsored the Xodus Ythan Challenge and we are proud to be associated with such a popular and challenging event.

“It’s great that £3,000 of the money raised from the race will benefit a number of groups in the Ellon and surrounding areas. We’re looking ahead to next year’s event and hope it’s as successful and enjoyable as this year’s.”

Money was given to the Meadows Sports Centre, the 1990 (Ellon) Squadron Air Training Corp, 1st Ellon Boys’ Brigade, Ellon Hockey Club, Ythan Amateur Swimming Club and the Aberdeen Surf Lifesaving Club. The Alan Middleton Trust, Aberdeen Coastguard Rescue Team, the Scottish Ambulance Service, Victoria Hall  and Ellon Meadows 15s FC also benefited from the event.

The Xodus Ythan Challenge is organised by the community groups which benefit most from it through an organising committee comprising representatives from The Meadows sports centre in Ellon, Ellon Rugby Club, Ellon FC, Ythan Amateur Swimming Club, Ellon Boys Brigade, Ellon Ladies Hockey Club, the Middleton Trust, and 1990 Ellon Sqn Air Cadets.


Latest News

The 2014 event will be held on Sunday 15th June 2014

Entries are now closed for the 2014 event.

Your 2013 Feedback

We've posted your feedback from the 2013 Ythan Challenge HERE

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