How it feels to walk 15 miles in a Jilli Blackwood Kilt
By Naomi Clark.
On Sunday 29 April 2018 I woke up with a big challenge to accomplish: walk the Glasgow Royal Bank of Scotland Kiltwalk. I opted to do the 15 mile Big Stroll, the happy medium between the six mile Wee Wander and the 23 mile Mighty Stride.
This was the first mass participation event I’d ever been a part of and I needed to don something special to mark the occasion and spur me on along the way. And who better to kit me out than Textile Artist and designer of the 2014 Team Scotland Commonwealth Games opening ceremony uniforms, Jilli Blackwood.
I wore the “Philabeg” kilt which was created in 2004 for Tartan week in New York. Wearing it made me feel invincible, I put it on and I felt my confidence levels sky-rocket. I looked the part so I was able to feel the part. Standing at the starting line I felt the adrenaline coursing through my body as I was surrounded by thousands of Kiltwalkers – the atmosphere was electric, with everybody getting ready for the event to begin. Someone standing behind me commented on my kilt saying it was quite something! That helped to put the butterflies at bay and reminded me that I could do this.
I love walking, I opt to walk over taking the car whenever I can. One of my favourite past-times is to go for long country walks. The 15 mile Kiltwalk from Clydebank to Balloch felt like a mega walk, I had definitely never walked for that length of time without a proper rest in my whole life!
Jilli Blackwood’s kilt was the perfect thing to wear for the 15 mile route, not too heavy or too warm, it felt effortless to wear and its movement as I strode out made me feel like a million bucks. Along the way I got so many compliments and with each my heart would burst with pride and I’d get an extra boost to keep on going.
Crossing the finish line I felt an amazing sense of achievement and a sense of being a part of something so much bigger and far-reaching. The 10,000 Glaswegians who had set aside a day of their lives to walk many miles to raise awareness and funds for charities close to them paid tribute to the incredible people of Glasgow and their infinite capacity for kindness.
As I stood at the finish line with my colleagues I had walked with we couldn’t wipe the grins off our faces. I loved every minute of the Kiltwalk and I couldn’t have done it without my tartan armour, my Jilli Blackwood kilt, making me feel invincible on the day.