All go for the Ythan Challenge

The finishing touches are being put to this year's Ythan Challenge, which will be held in Ellon on Sunday, June 17.
The finishing touches are being put to this year's Ythan Challenge, which will be held in Ellon on Sunday, June 17.

The finishing touches are being put to the course for a popular Aberdeenshire adventure race.

Organisers of this summer’s Xodus Ythan Challenge in Ellon have warned competitors some changes are in store.

The 11.5km race starts at the Meadows Sports Centre with runners following the course through the town’s Esslemont Estate and tackling a series of obstacles.

Alison Chalmers, chair of the organising committee, said: “We’re preparing for what is sure to be the best Xodus Ythan Challenge yet.

“But people who take part in the event every year won’t be able to rely on their memory this time.

“We’ve made some changes to the course on the Esslemont Estate so everyone will need to have their wits about them.”

Entries for the 12th Xodus Ythan Challenge, which takes place on Sunday, June 17, reached capacity in record time this year, with all 500 spaces filled up in only four hours.

As a result of last year’s event, a total of £2,800 was split between 13 North-east groups who were involved in the successful running of the race.

The race in 2011 took place in heavy rain for the first time - previous events had been blessed with sunshine.

Organisers said the wet conditions underfoot had made it even more of a challenge, but feedback had been positive and there were only a few minor injuries.

Defending champion Kevin Harper, 33, retained his crown arriving home in 48 minutes and 21 seconds, nearly three minutes ahead of closest challenger, Greg Simpson.

The first woman to cross the finishing line was Victoria Lomax, 33, who finished 15th overall in a time of 57 minutes and 39 seconds. The Edinburgh Athletics runner described it as her favourite race.

A total of 332 runners finished the race, with the last one completing the course in two hours, three minutes and 55 seconds.

The event was sponsored last year, and for the next two, by Aberdeen-based energy consultancy Xodus Group.