BARRY Gibson improved on his third place last year to come out on top in the 2015 Cetco Ythan Challenge.


The Westhill-based runner, a member of Metro Aberdeen Running Club, was part of a leading pack of four for the first half of the Ellon race, with the lead changing hands a number of times.

However, when the men came out of the Esslemont Estate the race for home was on and Barry found himself in second spot, with another competitor running out in front.

He said: “He had a bit of a lead but I chased him down and managed to get him with about 2km to go. I just kept pushing and pushing and the course has a lot of twists and turns so you can see behind you quite easily and I knew I had a bit of a gap.”


The 32-year-old finished the race in 51.13 minutes, with defending champion and team-mate Ron Gauld second and John Souter third.

Barry said: “Ron is just coming back from injury so it was a bit of an unknown quantity. I suspect on his best form I might not have been victorious.”


Barry also praised organisers for the changes made to the course, with an additional dip in the River Ythan.

He added: “Throwing in the second river right towards the end of the race was a surprise because you’ve usually got a clear run at it after the estate.

“It was tough because that was about 10km in and the river just drains you.”


Garioch Road Runners member Tammy Wilson picked up first place in the women’s category after finishing second two years ago. Injury forced her to miss last year’s event, however, she was delighted to walk away with the title.

The 34-year-old, of Kintore, said: “I had a torn hamstring so couldn’t compete and I was really excited about coming back.

“I’ve had two bad injuries in the last two years so it’s great to win.”

Tammy finished in a time of 58.01m, with Lisa Stephen in second place and Leigh Strachan in third.


Tammy added: “The course was brilliant. There was more running with the obstacles closer together but it was brilliant – and the Ythan was really cold. The marshalls were ace and having the bouncy castle obstacle at the end was great, it’s a really good, run, challenging course.”


Some of the biggest winners of the challenge are the local organisations which benefit through grants and donations. Last year a total of £8,500 was donated to a variety of causes which range from a new defibrillator for Ellon Meadows and funding to help Ellon Guides restore the water supply to their Guide Hut. 





The final runner list for the 2015 Cetco Ythan Challenge can be viewed HERE.

Our race day info can be seen HERE

Swaps are now closed for 2015






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, Ellon Boys’ Brigade, Ellon Ladies Hockey Club, the Middleton Trust, and 1990 Ellon Squadron Air Cadets.



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