SEVEN was Edinburgh’s lucky number today as a massive 7,000 Kiltwalkers took to the streets of the capital to fundraise for 710 different Scottish charities. September 17th goes into the history books as the city’s biggest ever Kiltwalk.
The Hunter Foundation underwrites Kiltwalk, and Sir Tom Hunter was at the start line and on the route to praise the walkers: “The good people of Edinburgh and the East love Kiltwalk. We had 1,700 Kiltwalkers in our first Edinburgh Kiltwalk seven years ago, today we have over 7,000 heroes walking for 710 charities.
“It’s incredible and every penny raised here at the Edinburgh Kiltwalk will make such a difference to charities who really, really need a hand up, not a handout in these tough times.
“I’m proud of every single person who took part and crossed the finish line at Murrayfield, be they a Mighty Strider, a Big Stroller, or a Wee Wanderer. I am so grateful for their generosity.
“I’d like to say to each one of them, thank you for your Kiltwalk Kindness.”
Among the famous faces taking part in Scotland’s favourite mass participation event were David Marshall, Hibs and Scotland goalkeeper who stepped out on behalf of the Hibernian Community Foundation, which was also the biggest fundraising team at today’s Kiltwalk. New manager Nick Montgomery was also there as a late addition to the 330-strong squad.
An impressive 3,000 Kiltwalk heroes undertook the Mighty Stride from Bingham Medway taking the 21-mile route through Portobello Promenade, Leith Shore and Gypsy Brae before triumphantly crossing the finish line at the Scottish Gas Murrayfield Stadium.
The Big Stroll saw 2,000 Kiltwalkers walk 15 miles from Musselburgh to the home of rugby, while 2,000 Wee Wanderers walked five miles from Gypsy Brae to meet their fellow Kiltwalkers and receive their medal at the finish line.
Kiltwalk slashed the entry fee from £32 to £20 this year to make it even easier for people to help the charity they care about. This is made possible by the generosity of The Hunter Foundation underwriting Kiltwalk.
Walkers donned their tartan and laced their boots in support of a remarkable variety of charities, both large and small.
Mass Participation Events Manager for CHAS, Fiona Leslie, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been part of Edinburgh Kiltwalk and would like to say a massive thank you to every walker who took on the challenge for CHAS.
“We are blown away by the 208 people who signed up to walk for CHAS and all the funds raised will make a huge difference to the children with life shortening conditions and their families that we support across Scotland.”
Community and Events Fundraising Manager at SAMH, Chloe Watson, said: “We had over 100 SAMH supporters taking part today, and it was so touching to engage with them at our pit stop and hear their stories of why they chose to raise much needed funds for Scotland’s mental health. A huge thank you to our supporters – the need for our life-changing services continues to grow and your support is helping us transform lives.”
Kiltwalk’s headline sponsors are Royal Bank of Scotland and Arnold Clark.
Support from Royal Bank of Scotland has facilitated additional sustainability measures, funding fully compostable food cartons at Pit Stops to ensure zero waste goes to landfill.
Judith Cruickshank, Chair, Royal Bank of Scotland’s One Bank Scotland Board, said: “The Edinburgh Kiltwalk is the flagship end to the Kiltwalk series of 2023, as a bank with its historic home here in Scotland’s Capital, Royal Bank of Scotland was once again delighted to partner this fantastic event.
“This year is the most successful Edinburgh Kiltwalk in history and it has been fantastic to see such a turnout throughout the weekend, with many of our colleagues joining the thousands of walkers and volunteers who have helped make it a success.
“The Kiltwalk makes such a positive difference to communities across our country, helping organisations and charities thrive.
“Everyone who has got involved this year should be proud of the difference their efforts will make.”
Arnold Clark offered walkers the opportunity to win £30,000 credit towards their choice of car, with each Kiltwalker automatically entered into the prize draw.
Nicole Watson, Edinburgh Airport rental assistant manager, said: “Here, at Arnold Clark, we care about our local communities, so we’re delighted to continue to support the Kiltwalk. We’re extremely proud of everyone taking part, including our branch team, and can’t wait to cheer everyone on! We’re also very excited to find out which lucky individual will win our amazing prize of £30,000 towards their dream car.”
Dates and locations for Kiltwalk 2024 will be announced soon on the Kiltwalk social channels and website www.thekiltwalk.co.uk.