Edinburgh Tattie Run entrants get to carry spuds home

RUNNING for a mile with a 20kg bag of potatoes on your shoulders is a test of endurance guaranteed to work up an appetite.

Friday, 3rd June 2016, 5:39 am
Updated Friday, 3rd June 2016, 6:47 am
Stevie Lockhart, Kerry McLean, Christy Guild and Paul McMurdo from Tesco Davidson's Mains get in some practice. Picture: Ian Georgeson

And so organisers of the city’s first Tattie Run are allowing entrants to take their spuds home with them after crossing the finish line in case they feel peckish later.

Inspired by similar challenges elsewhere in the UK, the unusual free event on Sunday, June 26 in Holyrood Park is the latest addition to the much larger Great Scottish Walk and Run Festival.

And with several potato-related relay events lined up for the same day, competitors have been urged to keep their eyes peeled for teammates who will show determination when the chips are down.

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Finalists in each of the categories will be presented with an Albert Bartlett bespoke medal and a goody bag.

Terry Crossley, director of Great Scottish Events, said: “There is a little village in Norfolk that does it. We saw it on YouTube and thought ‘What a great idea!’. There is also a race with bags of coal in Yorkshire.

“This will be a fun afternoon with entertainment and refreshment. The fire service is putting teams in.

“So are the army, navy, air force, Tesco and Hibs.”

Organisers have stressed that people don’t have to run or carry for a charity, though they can if they wish.

The one-mile individual race for over-18s will see men run several circuits of the grassed grounds outside Holyrood Palace carrying a 20kg bag of potatoes on their shoulders, while female entrants will be challenged to run the same distance carrying 10kg.

There will also be several one-mile relays for men, women, mixed teams and also for children.

The day will feature a spud and spoon race which will see nine to 11-year-olds run 200 metres, six to eight-year-olds run 100 metres and the under-sixes run 50 metres.

According to the rules, all runners must complete the race they have entered with the same weight of potatoes they started with.

Burst bags must be replaced and relay teams must pass the bag over to the next runner within marked change-over boxes.

Carrying potatoes around is thirsty work, so craft brewer Ethical Ales will also have a bar at the event.

It is hoped that as many as 500 people may take part in the Tattie Run, which has attracted more than 100 entrants so far.

And it looks set to become a regular fixture in the city calendar if it garners the support organisers expect.

Other events which are part of the Great Scottish Walk and Run Festival – also on June 26 – include the 5k and 10k Summer Runs, the 10k and 20k walks, the Golden Mile Walks for those less able to walk longer distances and the Toddle for children under six.

To sign up for any of the events visit www.greatscottishevents.org.uk.