Competitors up for the challenge as race is rated toughest yet

A foam-covered bouncy castle caught out come competitors.
A foam-covered bouncy castle caught out come competitors.

Competitors taking part in the CETCO Ythan Challenge on Sunday rated it the toughest and one of the best.

A record field of 720 runners set off in the gruelling Ellon event over a longer course and facing new 
obstacles.

After the foam came the bales of hay.

After the foam came the bales of hay.

The Challenge also produced a new champion when Barry Gibson, a member of Metro Aberdeen, crossed the finishing line ahead of last year’s winner Ron Gauld. The women’s prize went to Tammy Wilson of Garioch Road Runners.

Barry, who was taking part in the race for the fifth time, finished third last year and fourth the previous year. He praised the organisers for keeping runners on their toes.

He said: “Throwing in the second river crossing 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 10km in and the river just drains you.”

Tammy, who missed out last year because of injury, also praised this year’s event.

She said: “The course was brilliant. There was more running with the obstacles closer together but it was brilliant – and the Ythan was really cold.

“The marshals were good and having the bouncy castle at the end was great. It’s a really good run and a challenging course.”

The day also brought success for principal sponsor CETCO who won the corporate team trophy for the second year in a row.