When you speak of the
Scottish Highland Games, the image that comes to mind is that of a man in
a kilt, as broad as he is tall, running while supporting in his cupped
hands, something that resembles a utility pole, propped on his shoulder in
a vertical position, until he plants his feet and flips it end over end.
This is the caber toss, and it is just one of several events that comprise
Scottish heavy athletics competition. The official website for the
Scottish American Athletic Association, (or SAAA), dedicated to "serving
the Scottish Heavy Athletics Community around the world," is
But some of us are built
more like "greyhounds" than "draft horses" and would love the opportunity
to participate in the Scottish Highland Games.
The Kilted Mile is, quite
simply, a mile run in a kilt.
It can be run on a cinder
or composition, one-quarter mile track, as a four-lap foot race in a
middle school, high school, or college stadium, to optimize spectator
The Kilted Mile will
compliment Scottish heavy athletics, which require the shot-put ring, pole
vault pit, and infield found in a middle school, high school, or college
If there is no stadium, it
can be run on grass as four (4) one-quarter mile circuits, or as a
one-half mile "out-and-back," or as a double one-quarter mile "double
As a matter of safety,
runners should not be sent into roadways, and organizers will do well to
keep runners off asphalt and concrete, so as to avoid injury.
The Kilted Mile should
cover a rut-free path, but a course that is run up and down a hill, or
"mountain," will create added drama, so long as the runners remain in
Awards can be age-graded;
for example, Youth (to age 17), Young Adults (age 18-40),
and Seniors or Masters (age 41 and above).
If entrants are few, time
is limited, and/or volunteers are spare, it is enough to recognize the
First, Second, and Third Place finishers with ribbons and/or medals.
The Kilted Mile is probably
the simplest, and least complicated, event that can be organized for the
Scottish Highland Games.
And if it is the first year
for the event, no one is likely to complain, because the attendees will
have nothing to compare it with, and the organizers of the event have no
way of knowing what can or cannot be done, or how enthusiastic the
participation is likely to be, until it has been tried.
Carson C. Smith FSA Scot
Events that feature the Kilted Mile
Charleston Scottish Games and Highland
Gathering September 20, 2003
Dunedin Highland Games April 12, 2003
Gatlinburg Scottish Festival and Games May
Glasgow Highland Games May 29-June 1, 2003
Grandfather Mountain Highland Games July
Indiana Highland Games June 6-8, 2003
Kentucky Scottish Weekend (Consideration
Loch Norman Highland Games April 11-13,
Milwaukee Highland Games June 7, 2003
New Hampshire Highland Games September
Ohio Scottish Games June 28, 2003
Portland Scottish Highland Games July
Round Hill Highland Games June 28, 2003
Stone Mountain Highland Games October