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10 June 2024

Get the Inside Track on The Kiltwalk


We've all heard of The Kiltwalk. After only 9 years it's already Scotland's most recognisable mass participation fundraising event. Low entrance fees, thanks to the generous support of Sir Tom Hunter's Foundation and a group of big name corporate sponsors, and an achievable challenge for those who strive hard, have made it the Scottish public's first choice.

But what's it like to actually take on those 20+ miles? We caught up with #TeamCapability's Elaine, who completed the Edinburgh Kiltwalk last year.

"When asked to be part of our Kiltwalk team last year, I felt a mixture of excitement and apprehension, but I leaned to the former and signed up anyway. I knew I wanted to be part of the team and I knew I wanted to raise money and awareness for Capability Scotland. Simple. That was enough for me to JUST SAY YES.

My initial, short-lived concern was being unable to raise enough money. I am a keen hiker and I worried that some of my friends would think me a bit of a ‘fraud’ for taking on a relatively flat 22 miles. It turned out that this was totally unfounded and my friends and family admired the feat, thought I was a bit mad (pretty accurate) and gave generously. We also set up a team JustGiving page and fundraising target which removed any pressure of having an individual one. Straight away and from the very start, we were one team. Whether taking part individually or as a team, it really doesn’t matter how much you raise but you will be amazed at how many of your friends, family and acquaintances will be impressed by your efforts (as they should be) and keen to give to a good cause, and to sore legs.  

Across our team we had a clear, collective motivation to raise funds for a charity we love dearly. We see first-hand the difference that generous donations make to the lives of the people we support everyday at Capability Scotland and we wanted to be part of that. But there were other motivations too. Goals of getting fit. Making families and loved ones proud. Celebrating a milestone birthday. Seeing more of a much-loved city. Spending time and getting to know colleagues better. The list truly, truly goes on...

For me, having the time to get to know colleagues in an uninterrupted environment of (what felt like) endless hours and miles, was the real highlight. Not the usual quick “hi” in the staff kitchen but decent, really meaningful time well spent together. Getting to know people on a deeper level. Helping each other through and honouring everyone’s challenges and abilities. Also knowing when to be silent and just be there as you trudge through those tougher miles together. And then you’re having a laugh again in no time at all.

Cheering each of my colleagues over the finish line and hugging it out at the end (there were also a few tears) we all felt a sense of euphoria and pride for what we had achieved that Sunday afternoon. Now it was time to pop on our medals, head to the bar and celebrate with thousands of other elated Kiltwalkers, and some of our loved ones who had shown up to give their support. The atmosphere at Murrayfield was electric! I am sure Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee after-parties are just as good, before anyone comes at me to defend their city - quite right too! One of my colleagues joked he would never take his medal off. That is how much the challenge meant to him. His sense of achievement was a joy to be part of, well above my own and equalled only by the thousands of pounds we raised for Capability Scotland.

My own medal is hanging proudly in my office. I chuck a glance at it every now and then and it brings a wee smile to my face and a huge sense of pride, even now, nine months on. I don’t think that will go away any time soon, if ever.

I would recommend anyone considering taking part in the Kiltwalk to JUST SAY YES!"

For more information visit The Kiltwalk website.