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The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library Family Tree
The Family Tree - June/July 2003
The Kilted Mile

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 involvement.

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 stadium.

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 out-and-back."

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 view.

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 16-18, 2003

Glasgow Highland Games May 29-June 1, 2003 

Grandfather Mountain Highland Games July 10-13, 2003

Indiana Highland Games June 6-8, 2003 

Kentucky Scottish Weekend (Consideration for 2004) 

Loch Norman Highland Games April 11-13, 2003 

Milwaukee Highland Games June 7, 2003

New Hampshire Highland Games September 19-21, 2003 

Ohio Scottish Games June 28, 2003

Portland Scottish Highland Games July 17-19, 2003 

Round Hill Highland Games June 28, 2003

Stone Mountain Highland Games October 18-19, 2003

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