Competitors taking part in this summer’s Ythan Challenge are set to face an even stiffer test.
The course builders have just completed their first visit to identify the route of the gruelling event - and the obstacles the runners will encounter.
The multi-terrain challenge in Ellon, which has CETCO Energy Services as principal sponsors, is expected to attract around 650 competitors on Sunday, June 15.
Organising committee secretary Bill Cowsell said: “All the old favourites will be there. We also have a few new surprises planned this year.
“Competitors who have run the course before will find that it’s completely different this year, so past experience won’t help them.
“The one thing that I can confirm is that the bog will be part of the race again - and that’s about the only thing that’s in the same place.”
Now in its 14th year, the Ythan Challenge was the forerunner to endurance races the Tough Mudder and the Beast at Banchory.
This year has attracted the event’s biggest field.
CETCO area managing director Paul McAlister will be one of a contingent of 40 CETCO staff and clients taking part in
the 11K challenge.
He said: ““The only certainty about the route and the race is that it will be different from last year.
“We have no idea what we will be up against and that’s what makes it really interesting.
“It’s a great event to be involved in, not just because of the race itself but because of the benefits it brings to a wide range of groups in the local community.”
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.
Other sponsors this year include McIntosh Plant Hire, NECE, Aker Solutions, AGT Risk Management Ltd and Ellon Academy Bus Fund.
The organising committee comprises 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.