Preparations underway for final Ythan Challenge

Preparations are under way for a long-running obstacle race which is taking place for the final time in the north-east.

Organisers of the R&R Corrosion Ythan Challenge have said this year will be their last – after nearly 20 years.

The committee took the decision due to a decrease in runners taking part and other obstacle races being available in the north-east.

The 13km (eight miles) event takes place around the Ellon area, following the River Ythan to the Esslemont Estate.

A series of obstacles, including hill climbs and straw hay bales, will put competitors to the test.

Runners come from across the country to take part in the race, which raises cash for local organisations and groups.


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The first Ythan Challenge took place in 2001 with thousands of pounds raised.

Ellon firm R&R Corrosion have signed up as the main sponsor of the event for the second year running.

 

Alison Chalmers, chairwoman of the event, said: “We are hoping with this being our last Ythan Challenge that people will come and take part.

“If they have never done it before or haven’t done it in a few years we would love to see them sign up and take part.

“This is the 19th year we have done the Ythan Challenge and when we started, the event was probably the first of its kind up here.

“There are quite a lot of other adventure races available now.

“The first race we had probably just under 100 runners and at our peak around 800. Unfortunately we have noticed a decline the last few years.

“The committee also feel they have done all that they can with the resources we have available to us.

“It led to the tough decision that this would be our last Ythan Challenge. The committee have loved planning all the races, challenges and obstacles along the routes.”

Last year more than £5,050 was shared among good causes.

And a small team of seven committee members has helped raise £44,150 for groups since 2011.

Alison added: “The committee is very thankful to the owners for allowing us to use Esslemont Estate the last 19 years and let hundreds of runners go through the estate.”

The Ythan Challenge takes place on Sunday June 23, starting at the Meadows Sports Centre.

Runners can sign up to the race at bit.ly/2U89E3P

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