Monday, June 28, 2010

Perth World Record Kilt Run

When I first heard about the Perth World Record Kilt Run, I thought it was a really neat idea. It was perfect timing to give me a small break during summer and be part of a Guinness world record. I couldn't resist signing up before the quota was filled. According to organizers, 1210 registrants were allowed to register, honoring the year of the founding of Perth, Scotland.

The weather was a bit iffy, calling for rain, but eventually cleared up and remained fairly good for the duration of the race. We even got some sunshine after the race. The required Kilt was provided as part of the race kit:
A colleague of mine asked if it was a real kilt. Apparently the real deal are quite heavy (30 lbs) and feature a leather pouch at the front. Of learning of what the organizers provided us, he jokingly referred to my kilt as a plaid skirt ;) The kilt was remarkably comfortable to run in and only got a bit hot on the second half of the course.

What stroke me at the start line was the sheer diversity of runners. All genders, sizes, ages and fitness levels were represented. This felt more like a block party than a race. The McKenna clan in particular was well represented with members all wearing an identifying shoulder strap

Lots of people wore costumes. Someone even carried a sword the whole way. I really hope it was hollow, these flashy guys were quite the crowd pleaser
My strategy for the race was to go hard but not burn up. I'm not used to 8km as a distance. I felt really good after 2 km
The course was really beautiful while we were in downtown Perth. That town has a lot of character with the older buildings and small town feel. The course then winded down to the Golf course where we ran on somewhat muddy grey paths. This would have been very scenic and pleasant if the paths were not so muddy :) I wish there would have been more water stops during the golf course portion
At the Golf course, I got chicked. If you've been reading for a while you'll know that while I respect girls and I know that a lot of them are faster than me, being chicked is not something I really take to. I proceeded to tail her for about a kilometer and passed her the first opportunity I got. She kept tailing me and challenging me throughout the race but I finished about 10 seconds ahead of her :) I did shake her hand at the end and thank her for challenging me and ensured a pretty speedy 36m35s finish (4:31m/km pace!) I am really happy with this performance. We stuck around a few minutes to cheer the other racers in and take in the fair-ish atmosphere that overtook downtown Perth
Overall this race was a really neat experience for me. From the running in a kilt to the beautiful details taken to welcome runners. See this beautiful start / finish castle for example
It felt like the whole town came to play with cheerers virtually everywhere. Lots of storefronts were displaying this kitschy banner
There will not be official word from Guinness for a few more weeks, but if the record is recognized and there is an attempt to break it again next year, I will definitively try to make it!


  1. Looks like a fun run. I have a red plaid running skirt I'm hoping to wear if I ever get back to Scotland to run the Edinburgh marathon. Did you get to pick which tartan you got to wear?

    Ah, so you're one of those anti-chicked people! I rarely chick anyone, but do think it is funny when the guy is obviously bothered by it. At the Idaho Bear Lake Marathon a guy who was about 50 feet ahead of me the last few miles thanked me at the finish for motivating him to keep moving. I sort of wanted to give him this face: :P

  2. We did have a choice between 4 colors!

  3. What a wonderful report! You have been very kind, and as the Race Director for this event, I am very proud to forward your link to our very hard working committee (Shannon, Mary, Pam, Dave, David, Steve, Danielle) and to the Mayor of Perth, Ontario (On Monday our Mayor left for Perth, Scotland to participate in their 800th anniversary. Oh, and regarding the kilts - they are "real"! The front is the requirerd flat "apron", the back pleated, the tartan choices (Stewart, Black Watch, McCleod, Scottish National) are all real, length correct (pending your height!), and held with belts (per Guinness record requirements for real kilts!). These were of course lighter 4-5 yard versions which retail at $89, vs the full "9 yards" costing $890!. All of our committee ran the race too (which I think is a little rare - but I had required it from the beginning) My favourite running section was likely going between the Bag Pipers on the bridge into the Perth Golf Course ... or maybe it was the look of the race winner when he saw his prize - a real long haired sporan ... it was spectacular, and he was not likely aware it retails for $300. (Per your earlier comment, kilts do not come with front pouches - the sporans are a separate item (All the age group winners also got sporans in Stewart Plaid. As you can see, I had a lot of fun .. and we are glad you did too! All the best, Terry Stewart (

  4. You my friend look amazing in a kilt! :)

    Woah 4:31m/km pace! Never heard of being "chicked" before :P

  5. Ok - After much deliberation.... we have decided to hold the race again in 2011. It would have been easier if we had decided last summer - but it was geared as a one time affair. So the 1st step was to establish an official Run club (The Running Goats Club), and then strike a sub-committee for the kilt run. The year, Dave Eggleton (aka The Duke of Richmond) takes over as Race Director. The run is scheduled for Saturday JULY 2, 2011 (6pm). It was not our first date choice - as it is the long weekend .... but the Town of Perth is hosting the Lord Provost of Perth Scotland on July 2 weekend, and wanted him as our special race starter! The website is active now, and later the Running Room. Your blog was excellent. Thanks Terry Stewart

  6. In New Brunswick, we run and BIKE in Kilts!