A charity walk set to turn Aberdeen tartan has officially opened registrations for this year’s event.
Thousands of people are expected to turn out to take part in this year’s Kiltwalk on June 3, after the runaway success of the previous year.
In 2017, 1,800 hardy people from the North-east took part, walking either 26, 15 or 8 miles through Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen city centre and were successful in raising £212,072 for various local charities making it the biggest year ever for Kiltwalk.
This amount was then topped up by 40% by Sir Tom Hunter with The Hunter Foundation, to produce a grand total of an incredible £296,900.
CEO of Kiltwalk Paul Cooney said: “Thanks to the unique fundraising formula from Kiltwalk backers The Hunter Foundation, for every £100 raised by a walker, your chosen charity receives £140, ensuring the Kiltwalk offers one of the most effective fundraising models of any mass participation event.”
Last year, more than 14,000 people participated across the four Kiltwalks – in Glasgow, Dundee, Edinburgh and Aberdeen – and together helped to raise more than £1.9 million. With The Hunter Foundation’s top-up, more than £2.6 million was raised for more than 780 charities across Scotland.
This year’s event in Aberdeen will feature a twist on last year’s route – by getting flipped upside down.
Paul added: “This time we’re turning things upside down … after hearing feedback from our Kiltwalk Heroes who have walked before in Aberdeen, we have decided to flip the Aberdeen route for the first time.
“Reversing the route means we still get to enjoy the stunning surroundings of the Aberdeen countryside and provide a Kiltwalk challenge for Mighty Striders and Big Strollers while making the overall experience far more enjoyable.
“The Wee Wander is now much more manageable at just under 5 miles and sets off from Cults at 12pm. People who have taken on the Wee Wander in Aberdeen before will be delighted to hear that they no longer have to face the climb from Banchory to Potarch.We are sure that reversing the Aberdeen route will be a huge improvement on what was already one of our favourite events and we are already looking forward to seeing our Kiltwalk Heroes take on the brand new Kiltwalk Aberdeen Route.”
Walkers can choose from three distances to suit people from all ages and abilities. Pit stops will be available throughout the route, to supply walkers with water, snacks and much-needed encouragement, and this year will be hosted by two charities, Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS) and the Team Jak Foundation.
Team Jak is a charity that aims to provide practical, social and emotional support to children and young people with cancer and related illnesses as well as their families, friends and those bereaved. It now supports more than 100 families across Scotland and provides outreach services via hospitals.
Hazel McLinden, from Team Jak, said: “We are delighted to be returning, and look forward to helping you refuel and be entertained during your walk.
“We were well received last year and made to feel very welcome by the people of Aberdeen – the event certainly raised awareness of our cause and the money raised through the Aberdeen Kiltwalk have helped us to reach more than 25 families affected by childhood cancer and provide music therapy, goody bags and outreach services to children in hospital in Aberdeen.”
Those hoping to take part in either The Mighty Stride, The Big Stroll or The Wee Wander, are encouraged to register online at: https://bit.ly/2E3sKot
Event offers choice of routes to suit all ages and abilities
Those taking part in this year’s event in the North-east have three walks to choose from.
The Mighty Stride would best suit the energetic and active types, covering a marathon length of 26 miles. The route for this course has been flipped this year, seeing walkers set off from Potarch bright and early at 9am, with registration opening at 8am.
The Mighty Stride will lead participants through the stunning Aberdeenshire countryside towards the city centre. Entrance for adults and children is £31.65.
Those hoping for something a touch less strenuous can take on The Big Stroll, which Kiltwalk describes as “the perfect squad challenge”. This course runs from Milton Park, Crathes to the Kiltwalk Village in Duthie Park with a total distance of 14.1 miles.
The Big Stroll sets off at 11am with registration opening from 10am. Entry for adults and children is £31.65.
The Wee Wander route also sees a few changes from previous years at Kiltwalk. It is now much more achievable at just under five miles, and avoids a challenging uphill route through the forest. Entry for adults costs £12.66, £6.33 for children and the course is free for children aged under five.