Yup, it’s true. Kiltwalk 2013 well and truly in the bag. And what’s more, we have witnesses!! And the aches and pains too. But what a day. Despite the fact I couldn’t get out of bed yesterday other than to throw up, I still had a great time. And I do believe I speak for the rest of team In It To Gin It, Geraldine (@ginorgym) and Mark (@gymguymark). Alas Michelle (@tartancat) and Amanda (@nowaffle) were invalided out (probably something to do with their age or incontinence), but it did mean we didn’t have to listen to Michelle’s singing for 8 hours – although she did phone and threaten it !
Our last training walk hadn’t gone well, it was a manky, rainy day so we went to the gym rather than walk outside. I am convinced I have an allergy to gyms, they really don’t agree with me. We managed 4 miles on the treadmill before we gave up and headed back to Michelle’s to whinge and eat soup. All in all not a great last training session !
However, we are made of strong stuff. Geraldine and I did a spot of #wilmastraining on Friday, had some lunch and a stroll round the shops in the West End. Then it was early nights all round on Saturday, Ian (@cribfather) was monitoring the Kiltwalkers on social media sites and forcing us to get the lights out and off to bed, so we didn’t argue. Well, not much. I was painting my nails tartan at the time, so was difficult to type back to him🙂
The alarm was set for 630am on Sunday, gear was all looked out and bag packed. It was pishing
with rain in true Glasgow fashion, so I was delighted with my £2.50 fluorescent jacket and my Bonnie Bling hat (@bonnie_bling) to keep the rain off. I’d talked my Dad into driving my car back from Hampden, so he came along to take photos and see what it was all about. So much so that he’s considering the 13 miles next year ! However, the highlight of his day (and by the look of it, lots of other people’s too) was meeting Boaby the barman from Still Game – the legend that is Gavin Mitchell (@gavsterno1). I’d asked Gavin to come along and join in our Kiltwalk warm up of the slosh as “he lives his life through the medium of dance” – and top boy that he is, after a bit of chat with Cat Harvey, a huge Kiltwalk supporter (@realewenandcat) he decided to do the full walk!
Slightly tense moment for Duff at Hampden when Cat said “if you just turn round with your back to the crowd when you’re doing the slosh” … Brilliant – almost 3000 people looking at my backside while I slosh on the terrace at Hampden. Managed to position Cat’s pal Anne and Gavin in front of me, so hoping the footage of that isn’t too bad. Shaun Ward (@shaun_ward) was there taking photos with his team, who were on the route and at the finish line – have seen some fab ones already, watch out for the feature in the Sunday Post on 28th. Shame that STV were asked to come along to Hampden and declined, clearly reporting on football and giant burgers were of more interest than people raising £500,000 for Scottish charities.
We trooped out of Hampden in the rain with the pipes, including the award winning Spud (@spudthepiper) and drums giving it lady, and the banter started. We kept up a steady pace, in fact if it wasn’t for Mark’s incredibly small bladder we’d probably have been a lot quicker ! The chat was great and everyone was well up for it, nice and friendly. There was a great game of shag, marry, throw over a cliff going on at one stage – with some shocking answers, but comedy gold. Am naming no names…
The stewards were all nice, happy smiley and encouraging and the charity pit stops full of goodies. Was lovely to see so many people out supporting, including the couple who kept popping up at various points along the way and were at the finish line too. As predicted by Dougie Baird (@bairdtravels), the sun came out when we got to Clydebank and stayed out the rest of the way – lovely walking conditions. Loads of great people watching – loved the guy in full drag queen make up and wig. And an amazing array of kilts, along with leg colours – mainly Scottish pale blue, but some spectacular fake tan mistakes which kept us well entertained.
We got to the finishing line at Lomond Shores without any real pain issues, the ibuprofen on the way round was an excellent idea – and were greeted by the Coleman girls and a top notch In It To Gin It banner, complete with fairy lights! They were more emotional than we were. So many supporters cheering everyone on at the finishing line – was great to see.
And then time for a beer. It was special Kiltwalk beer, so it was our duty. Was great to catch up with the others in the marquee, Darren (@jeangebbie) and the Beerhunters were on good form, Gavin was ready to do another walk, Ashley (@ashley4d4mson) had sped round so fast she’d been there for hours, Kayleigh who was having bum issues and we missed the MacRoberts team, who’d headed to the pub already ! Loved that Jill had foot trouble and had to go buy some old lady shoes, which were not the most attractive, but the tequila rose that Trish had helped ease the pain. You have to try this stuff – Tequila and Baileys, tastes like strawberry milkshake.
The atmosphere in the marquee was fab, great music from a range of people, including a live performance of the cracking version of ’26 miles’ by Gary and Maiya Speirs, the crowd loved it and there were plenty of tears too.
Despite the walk, there were plenty of us throwing shapes on the dance floor, in my case thanks to the beer, gin and wine consumed. And we lasted til the 1030pm bus, which was most impressive. Carey outdid us by getting the last bus, but then again he probably hadn’t done much all day! Couldn’t resist that🙂
So, it’s all over. Yesterday was a painful day, but bearing in mind how unfit I am, was totally expected and deserved. And today I’m grand, so all is well. And more importantly, we’ve raised over £2000 for some very worthy charities. We’re keeping our page open for a bit longer, so if anyone wants to make a donation they still can, and we’d really appreciate it.
Have a look at the Kiltwalk pages on Facebook and read some of the stories about the kids and families that the money raised will help – heartbreaking and inspiring.
Huge plaudits to the Kiltwalk team, Carey, Ian and all the others for the huge amount of work and organisation it must have taken – I hadn’t realised the scale of it until Sunday. Top boys.
And on a final note – registration for 2014 opens on 1st May – go on, get a team together and do it. If I can do it, and even enjoy it – so can you !!