Gallery 2011

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Here's this year's official Xodus Ythan Challenge video, with thanks to Rory Rait @ Raw Format

Full results here!

Results of your feedback here!



Two in a row for defending Ythan champion Kevin!

Xodus Ythan Challenge winners Victoria Lomax and Kevin Harper

 Winners Victoria Lomax and Kevin Harper. Photo: Raw Format


Pouring rain failed to dampen anyone's spirits at the 2011 Xodus Ythan Challenge, which was decisively won on 26 June by defending champion Kevin Harper.


He comprehensively stamped his name all over the race, winning in 48 minutes and 21 seconds — nearly three minutes ahead of second-placed Greg Simpson. 


Hill running specialist Kevin, 33, also took 26 seconds off his 2010 result, despite an extended course with extra obstacles, and was a member of this year's winning open team, Metro Moaners. 


Greg, 33, of Perth Road Runners — also runner-up last year — came home in a time of 51 minutes and 20 seconds. Third was Edinburgh Athletics Club runner Dermot Bailie, 33, in 52:27. 


Another Edinburgh Athletics runner took the women's prize — Victoria Lomax, 33, finished 15th overall in a time of 57:39, again with a three minute advantage.


Behind her was Lisa Stephen, 33, who runs with Fraserburgh Running Club, in 1:00:33, and third was Angela Park, 30, of Perth Road Runners in 1:01:25. 


First male veteran (over-40) was Andy Bain, 41, of MAROC, followed by Robbie Youngson, 46, of Fraserburgh Running Club, in 57:00, and Ellon runner Bruce Ferguson, 45, in 57:10. Ahead of all three was male super veteran (over-50) and previous Ythan Challenge winner Rob Taylor, 53, in 54.20. 


Behind Rob in 57:31 was his Metro Aberdeen team mate Richard Kennedy, 50, followed by Fraserburgh Running Club member Stephen Milne, 53, in 57:52. 


Aberdeen runner Irene Malone, 46, was first female veteran (over-40), with Carole Massie, 48, of Fraserburgh Running Club second in 1:07:35, and Kirsten Saville, 40, of Aberdeen, third in 1:09:17. 


The first female supervet (over-50) was Metro Aberdeen's Marion Lindsay, 56, in 1:07:33, followed by Jayne Watt, 50, of Fraserburgh RC, in 1:13:31 and Tarves runner Carol Middleton, 51, in 1:18:04. 


Leading vintage male (over-60) was Willie Watson, 66, of Inverurie, in 1:09:25, with James Mortimer, 63, who runs with JogScotland, second in 1:22:15, and Bert McIntosh, 67, from Stonehaven Running Club, third in 1:22:32. There were no vintage women runners this year.


Winning corporate team was Trilogy Services Scotland, and winning uniform team was Ellon Firees and a Doc. A total of 332 runners finished the race, the last home in 2:03:55. Full results here! 


Handing out the prizes was Stephen Jewell, Xodus Group Director of Wells and Subsurface and a supervet who had earlier finished the race in 1:10:13.


As usual, the race — the 11th staging of the event — started and finished at The Meadows sports centre in Ellon, with runners following an 11.5-kilometre course onto the Esslemont Estate, which is usually closed to the public. This year the race featured two spells in the river Ythan — which gives the race its name — together with new obstacles on the estate and in the final metres at the Meadows. 


After the race, winner Kevin Harper said: "It was really hard compared to last year, especially coming back up through the estate. There were heaps of marshals out, though, and they were really good support. I'll be back again next year!" 


First woman Victoria Lomax said of her significant winning margin: "At the river, I could see Lisa right behind me so I knew I had to put a bit of distance in. It was hard — I was almost swimming in the river." 


She added: "It's my favourite race, I absolutely love it. This was my third time here, so it's third time lucky for me." Read Victoria Lomax's race report here! And read Red Wine Runner Rhona Mitchell's report here!


Second woman overall Lisa Stephen said: "That was harder than in previous years — and the water was quite deep. The obstacles were tough and the inclines were very slippy because of the rain, but it was brilliant." 


First supervet Rob Taylor — a true Ythan veteran with three overall wins to his name — said: "That's the toughest course yet with the new obstacles ­— it was really hard! But I thoroughly enjoyed it." 


Alison Chalmers, chair of the Ythan Challenge organising committee, said: "We're delighted with how the race went — despite the pouring rain, which was a first for us as we're usually blessed with sunshine! 


"The wet conditions made it even more of a challenge underfoot, but the feedback has all been really positive and there were only a few very minor injuries." 


Headline sponsor for for this year's race and the next two is Aberdeen-based energy consultancy Xodus Group who are generously supporting us with a package worth £6000. With their support and that of our other sponsors, we were able to add new obstacles this year and are already planning further improvements for the future.


Our thanks to Xodus and to our other sponsors:


talisman logoMPH logoAxis logo


    The Xodus 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 Rugby Club, Ellon FC, Ythan Amateur Swimming Club, Ellon Ladies Hockey Club, the Middleton Trust, and 1990 Ellon Sqn Air Cadets.


Entries for the next race will open in January 2012.


Our continued thanks to Charles and Angela Wolrige Gordon for allowing us to use Esslemont for this the 11th consecutive event.

Also to:

  • Sangs of Banff, who for the 11th consecutive race provided our runners with water on the course and at the finish line

  • Costcutters of Ellon for their continued support in supplying finish line snacks

And (in alphabetical order):

  • Aberdeen Surf Life Saving Club, for marshalling the river obstacle
  • George Chalmers, for donating and delivering straw bales on the Esslemont Estate

  • HM Coastguard Aberdeen, for organising and marshalling the river obstacle

  • Alan Irvine, for donating and delivering the straw bales at The Meadows

  • St Andrew’s First Aid Grampian

  • Grant Smith, for once again making the day with his superb race day commentating

...and to everyone else who gave up their time to help in the run-up and on race day.