Perth’s World Record Kilt Run

The citizens of Perth tartan up and do the home crowd proud
  • May 31, 2014
  • 426 words
  • 2 minutes
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How many people can you get to put on a woollen kilt and run eight kilometres on a summer day? Quite a few, if you’re the organizers of Perth’s World Record Kilt Run in Perth, Ontario. And apparently, all you have to do is ask.

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Inaugurated in 2010 to earn this picturesque eastern Ontario town a spot in the Guinness Book of Records, the 2014 edition of the Kilt Run aims to hang on to the record it earned in 2012 with 1,764 participants. The now annual event garners a huge amount of local support, which is a good thing, since there’s an ongoing rivalry with its sister town in Perth, Scotland. In fact, the spirit of kilt competition is alive and well in places as far-flung as New Jersey and New Zealand, and nobody is saying “uncle” yet.

Yes, there are kilts, and regardless of clan affiliation, they’d better be knee-length, pleated in the back and flat in the front with at least one buckle. There are separate events for the wee lads and lassies and for the regular-sized lads and lassies. There’s also an event for the warrior class, men and women, which involves a shot of scotch and an obstacle course that reprises the tasks of battle (there’s something for youth warriors as well, without the scotch). And at the end of the race, in addition to prizes to the victors, a free ration of beer is awarded to each adult participant.

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But the run itself is really the culmination of an action-packed Saturday that pays respect to all things Scottish. There are two stages offering entertainment for all ages, including fiddling and celtic dancing. There’s the Canadian Haggis Hurling Championships and the Canadian Shortbread Contest and the Famous Grouse Scotch Tasting and Ye Olde Dunking Tank (does one naturally follow the other?). For kids: a medieval camp, a bouncy castle, face painting, a wandering musician and a very tall Scot who also happens to be a juggler. In short, Perth pulls out all the old-country stops in this family- and community-friendly event.

Dubbed by many as “the prettiest town in Ontario,” Perth was established as a military settlement in 1816. Early settlers included Scottish stonemasons, but on June 21, you’ll swear that every single proud Perth resident hails from the Highlands. Even better, the event has raised thousands of dollars for its main charity, the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada.

For more information, please visit

Photos courtesy The Perth Kilt Run


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