The excuse for visiting Perth was their 10th anniversary 5-mile kilt race. While there we picked up their Things to do booklet. They have something to do, multiple somethings to do, every single weekend. Their main street is filled with local restaurants and shops. The visitors center has a staff of people willing to help you.
If the town was in New Jersey, and the property taxes were reasonable, we would move there in a heartbeat.
Enough about the charming town of Perth, this post is about their kilt race.
We can't remember how we heard about this race, which is too bad because the friendly people of Perth genuinely wanted to know. We have done other kilt races -- including the 2016 race in a field in Mercer County Park and a two-mile race down the shore two years earlier where they were trying to earn a Guinness World Record.
The Perth race had them beat.
|Sue the race organizer|
First of all, it was five miles (what did I sign up for?), and had over 1,000 participants. There was also the Royal Mile option, which I'm assuming was a mile long. Prior to the adult races, there were races for the wee little ones. It was absolutely adorable watching them run in their kilts. I was laughing too hard to take any pictures.
Secondly, they added a third of a mile March to the Start with the Caledonian Highland Band, which I skipped to take pictures.
Thirdly, they added a Warrior Challenge section, which I am still trying to figure out. Fifty of the runners started in the front and stopped at various points to throw logs and do other sorts of physical challenges. I don't know what was involved with signing up for that.
We gathered at the civilized hour of 4:45 pm. Also happening this weekend was Freedom Festival, a Christian-music festival. Almost as if they were tying the two events together, the Kilt Race began with someone playing Amazing Grace on the bagpipes. This was followed by the third of a mile walk (according to Don's GPS) through the park. The race began at 5:15 pm with very little pomp. Once we all made it to the star line, we started our race. I caught up to Don and we started about 2.5 minutes later because of the crowd.
I was surprised both by the variety of kilts (long, short, different plaids, different weights, sports kilts, dress kilts, etc.) and how many groups wore the same pattern. Don and I wore what we had -- mine was from the 2014 Kilt Race, which I sometimes wear to work in the fall, and his is a sports kilt with pockets. Yes, I am jealous of the pockets, I wore shorts under mine with pockets. You need to keep the car keys someplace.
The race took us past many of the historic sites we had walked past that day.
The weather was lovely. It had rained earlier in the day, and though a little muggy by Canadian standards, not bad for this Jersey girl.
|Love seeing French!|
Along the race we met Wendy and Heather. Their goal was not to FDL (Finish Dead Last), they can correct the acronym if they actually do read this blog. We gave them our email address. We managed to finish a few people ahead of them, but there were still a couple of hundred people behind them, so they met their goal.
As for us, Don and I managed to stay together. My GPS stopped working (fortunately it worked today), and I hadn't trained, so I took it easy and took many photographs. Decided to go for fun instead of a PR. It is also a challenge running in a kilt not meant for racing. Our overall time was about 67 minutes (ouch).
Each kilometer had bagpipers to encourage us. One had dueling bagpipers playing as they faced each other. Love a race with kilometers are markers, makes the experience feel faster.
The crowd support was awesome. I lost count of the number of water stations, most manned by local churches. Easily at least eight -- one per kilometer.
We then headed across the street for dinner. We asked for a seat where they wouldn't mind us being too smelly and they put us on an enclosed porch with others who completed the same race. Meanwhile, inside people dressed up for dinner dined without being offended by our aroma.
See why I love Perth?