The Portland Highland Games return to Mt. Hood Community College on Saturday, July 21st, and one of the highlights will be the Kilted Mile. Since 1991, athletes have competed in a mile race on the track, running in Highland kilts. The overall winner receives the coveted Memorial Sword, and awards are also presented to age group winners. All entrants receive a T-shirt.
While this year’s Kilted Mile will be the 25th one contested at the Portland Highland Games, the tradition extends all the way back to the reign of Scotland’s King Malcolm III (1058 – 1093):
“He decreed that a foot race be held, beginning at the current site of Braemar Castle, and finishing at the top of grim and forbidding Creag Choinnich.
According to [legend], young MacGregor was late starting the race, but sped like a deer and climbed the crag without a stumble. As he overtook the leaders, his elder brother tried to hold him back by grabbing his kilt. Knowing his brother’s strength, and being himself uninhibited, he slipped off his kilt, and so gained the victory.”
Please note that neither of these strategies are allowed at Portland’s Kilted Mile, as both kilt-grabbing and kilt-doffing will be strictly verboten, … er, nae permitted. “Runners today are required to wear their Highland kilts for the entire race”.
In addition to the Kilted Mile, a Youth Run for kids 13 and under will also be held, no kilt required. Age groups include: Baby to 4 years old, 5 to 7, 8 to 10, and 11 to 13. All participants will receive a prize. Sign up for the Youth Run at the Kilted Mile tent at the north end of the field on race day between 3:00p – 3:30p. The Youth Run starts at 3:45p.
And if the Kilted Mile alone seems a wee tame, adults are also welcome to compete in the Heavy Athletics events, including the Portland Stone, Scottish Hammer, Weight for Distance, Stone Throw, Weight for Height, and Caber Toss. Other lighter competitions include Piping, Drumming, Dancing, and Fiddle.
When: Saturday, July 21st
Where: Mt. Hood Community College track, Gresham
What time: TBA (Check the schedule page for updates as the event approaches)
Registration: TBA (Check the registration page for details as the event approaches)