It all started back in 2015 when one of our RDs dared another Tring parkrunner, and fellow Scot, to come dressed in their (real) kilt to do a parkrun.
Then in 2016, the word went round a few other of the regulars with Caledonian connections to do the same. By the following year, this event had become a permanent fixture on the Tring parkrun calendar when we were all invited to be “honorary Scots” for the morning of the parkrun day nearest to the feast of St Andrew, clad in a in a kilt or something tartan, or sporting something else pertaining to Scotland.
What better excuse could there be for a parkrun in fancy dress. Tring’s kilted parkrun has become a bit of a signature
dish event for the Tring parkrun community. Its fame reaches far and wide in parkrun world (at least as far as Sheffield, at any rate). As much as it is a nod to the Scottish diaspora living in and around Tring, it is a also a celebration of the ingenuity and sense of fun that Tring parkrunners bring to the party whenever the occasion demands.
And so this year, as the anniversary of the kilted parkrun drew nearer, I was delighted to read that our good friends from neighbouring Wendover Woods parkrun had offered to host our Tring kilted parkrun! This was enthusiastically directed on the day, by one of Tring’s founding RDs: Ken (Braveheart) Douglas, and ably assisted by Tring’s founding Event Director, Andy (“Quiet Hero”) Evans. Many more of the Tring Core Team were to be found that morning, guarding the VIP tent, or having a wee dram of the “Bru”!
And many familiar faces from the Clan o’ Tring (parkrun) were present to gather in honour of St Andrew and in remembrance of many happy years passed at Tring parkrun.
Each year we have been doing the kilted run, the instigators, Ken and Chris, have pushed the boat out further and further. Last year we had live ceilidh music played on a fiddle and piano accordion. This year we had a piper, no less, to lead us to the start line and to then pipe us back in again as we approached the finish funnel.
I just love this. I’ve been pipped to the post on many occasion, but being piped to the start, is a new experience. And I have to say, wearing a tartan blanket round your waist whilst running in near zero conditions certainly keeps the chills at bay.
Thank you to Wendover Woods parkrun core team for indulging us in our little bit of Scottish-ness, so far “south of the Border”. It turns out that none of the parkruns in Scotland could take place on this day, due to inclement weather, so it was fitting that the Saltire was flying at a parkrun somewhere else in the UK.
A brief history of my kilted parkruns so far…
Oh, in case you are wondering…I was born and raised way south of the border in the fair county of Middlesex, (now part of Greater London); although I can claim some Scottish Ancestry: my paternal grandmother was born in Anderston, (now part of Glasgow city). Oh, as to what you were really wondering but were too polite to ask…The answer is my running shorts – I am, after all, a Sassenach!