2009 Results

Results (overall) - download (PDF format)

Results (categories) - download (PDF format)

Results (teams) - download (PDF format)

Local man Craig the Ythan winner!

Local runner Craig Walker won the 2009 Dominion Gas Ythan Challenge adventure race on 28 June, leading a field of 351 runners home on a humid morning in his first attempt at the race.

Craig, 33, from Ellon, who finished in 47 mins and 45 seconds, only took up running a couple of years ago after retiring as a Scotland badminton international. He said: “This was my first Ythan Challenge, and I really enjoyed it. The hills were very tough but I’ll definitely be coming back.”

Behind him was veteran David Armour, 48, who is based in Stirling but runs for Forres Harriers, in a time of 48:27, with Simon Nichol, 34, from Aberdeen, third in 49:05. Fourth in 49:12 was Metro Aberdeen runner and three-times winner Rob Taylor, 51, who retained his male supervet’s crown. The first vintage male was Forfar Road Runners’ David Douglas, 61, in a time of 1:08:16.

First woman home and 14th overall was 2005 winner Eleanor Reid, 33, from Inverness, in a time of 52:33. She said: “It was warm, really warm, but a great race. It’s a unique event, and that’s why I came back – winning it again is a bonus! The hay bales at the finish were a bit of a surprise, though – getting over them right near the end was like climbing Everest.”

Behind her in 53:04 was Edinburgh AC runner Victoria Lomax, 31, who for the second consecutive year was runner-up, and Amanda Blackhall, 39, from Fort William, third. She runs with Lochaber AC and finished in 54:48. First veteran woman was Janette Rainey, 43, who runs with Arbroath Footers in a time of 59:12, and first supervet woman in 1:10:08 was Ann Jessiman, 55, proprietor of event sponsor The Running Shop.

The last runner came home in 1:59:47, and two dropped out.

The winning open team was the Metro Moaners, comprising Rob Taylor, Keith Fraser and Malcolm Valentine; first corporate team was Acergy NEC Highlanders (Kevin Tulloch, Andrew Crichton, Farquhar Mitchell); and first uniform team was Grampian Police Plod Squad (Stephen Morrison, Mildren Robertson, Stephen Cole).

The prizes were awarded by Dominion Gas managing director Doug Crighton.

The 2009 race was the ninth consecutive running of the race, from which all proceeds go back to the local youth groups which benefit most from the event. Represented on the organising committee are The Meadows sports centre in Ellon — where the event starts and finishes — and Ellon Rugby Club, Ellon FC, Ythan Amateur Swimming Club, Ellon Ladies Hockey Club, the Middleton Trust, and Ellon ATC many of whose cadets acted as marshals on the route.

The event as usual started and finished at the Meadows, with runners setting off at 11am and then heading along the side of the Ythan onto the beautiful Esslemont Estate, usually closed to the public. Here the adventure really began, with a variety of obstacles to slow down the runners and the river Ythan to navigate before they head back.

For the first time this year, runners were confronted with a further series of obstacles when they reached the Meadows, making for a tough final sprint to the finishing line.

All runners received technical t-shirts for the first time in 2009. They were supplied by Mizuno through The Running Shop who together also sponsored fantastic prizes for all the category winners along with spot prizes. Also new was our partnership with SportCam, a photography service run by runners and specialising in covering running and cycling events. They had two photographers covering the event, and runners can check out their gallery for a lasting memento.

Organising committee chair Ann Howley said: “The race was another great success, and we received lots of positive feedback from those who took part. The weather stayed fine – if a little warm for the runners – and there were only a few minor bumps and bruises, along with a few trainers lost in one of the boggier bits of the course! This year for the first time we had a supply of spare trainers from the Meadows lost property box on hand!

“Next year will mark the tenth staging of the race, which attracts runners from all over Scotland and further afield and is still among the toughest of its kind. As a measure of its growing popularity, the event was full by the end of March this year, at least two months earlier than ever before.

“Our main sponsor was for the fourth consecutive year Dominion Gas, whose generosity meant we could again use Aberdeenshire Council’s excellent computer chip timing system to separate the entrants into three waves. This once more reduced bottlenecks on the course and we were also able to offer a swift results service.

“We would like to offer our congratulations to all the category winners and also give a huge vote of thanks to Dominion Gas, to all our other sponsors and supporters, to Charles and Angela Wolrige Gordon for allowing us to use Esslemont, and to the many volunteers who helped out on the day.”