Walking the walk: My Kiltwalk challenge!

Emily Young

Emily Young

Marketing Director

09 August 2023

The Dundee Kiltwalk is fast approaching on Sunday 20 August and with Glasgow and Aberdeen already under our belts, our team of Chartered Akiltants are raring to go in the City of Discovery! Taking on the challenge for the very first time this year is Marketing Director, Emily Young, who will be Mighty Striding 20 miles from St Andrews to Dundee. Here, Emily shares what inspired her to sign up this year and, crucially, what tunes are on her playlist to keep the team motivated!

Emily, how has your training been going?

I’ve always worked better with a focused deadline, so my training only started properly about three weeks ago! I’ve been starting off with small changes that have been big for me – going out for walks at lunchtime, using the stairs over lifts, and then once a week I make time for a longer, more challenging walk. Like this week for instance, I’ve set myself the challenge of walking around Loch Leven (21km) with Cairn, my Border Collie. So that will be a real test of how my training is going.

Who are you walking with?

I’ll be walking with five other members of the Marketing team, and I can’t wait. Not all of the team are able to take part on the day, but those that can’t will either be there at the end to cheer us on or will be on the WhatsApp group sending us motivational gifs!

What inspired you to sign up and take part?

A couple of things inspired me. Firstly, my team. We’ve been sponsors of the Kiltwalk for seven years now, and between us, the Marketing team has worked at every event since - cheering on all the fantastic walkers at pitstops, and racing to the end to congratulate all of the JC teams. We’ve always said we would walk it as a team someday, and that day is now here. Over the years we’ve encouraged and supported so many of our colleagues to take on the Kiltwalk, and it’s no mean feat signing up for the challenge, whatever distance you choose to walk, so we feel we’ve “talked the talk” for some time, and it’s now time to “walk the walk” - which is aptly our team name!

And secondly, my little boy has inspired me this year. He’s now two years old and full of energy and fun - mostly energy! - and I want to get my fitness back up to where it used to be so I can keep up with all his adventures. Having the Kiltwalk to train for has really given me the kickstart I needed to get out there and train and make more time for me too, and in turn I’ve found it’s had a really positive effect on the way I think and feel.

As Marketing Director, why do you think JC’s involvement with the Kiltwalk is so important?

The Kiltwalk is incredibly important to us at JC. If you’ve ever been to a Kiltwalk event and soaked up the atmosphere, spoken to the volunteers or chatted to anyone taking part you’re truly humbled by what can be achieved when like-minded people come together, for one day, to make a difference. Hearing first hand why people are walking and what it means to them, or hearing directly from the hundreds of charities that benefit from the Kiltwalk reminds you of the important role these events play across Scotland. For us at JC we’re humbled and honoured that we can play a part in making these events what they are, and in turn help to support the communities in which we live, work and love.

What are you going to pack in your Kiltwalk bag? Do you have any must have items?

This is a really good question. I’m going to lean heavily on the advice from Fiona and Sophie in my team on this as they’ve both walked the Kiltwalk before. Fiona is actually about to record a TikTok video, packing her Kiltwalk bag, so I’ll be looking out for that. In the meantime, I think I’ll pack light, I’ll probably have a couple of bottles of water, perhaps some track bars and then some motivational sweets for me and the team – Haribo and Jelly Babies potentially - I’ll need to do a vote first! I’m not too concerned about the rain (famous last words) A few years ago I walked the West Highland Way and a large portion of that was in the rain, it was quite refreshing…

Which incredible charity have you chosen to walk for, and why?

I’ve chosen the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH). I think over the last three years I’ve started to understand more about looking after your mental fitness and when sometimes life can just get too much, for all of us, you can always find your way back again. You should never feel bad about not feeling great. SAMH is a charity I’ve always admired and has had a real impact for people close to me, so I’d like to do my small bit in helping support SAMH support us. 

Do you have any playlist or Podcast recommendations which you’ll be listening to?

Another good question, and it just shows how much planning you need before the big day. I’m going to give this a great deal of thought, but off the top of my head I think 90s pop has to be in there somewhere, it’s the right energy and positivity levels I think you need when you’re facing a challenge. Who doesn’t want to hear the Spice Girls, Bewitched and Hanson when you’re on the last leg, walking over the Tay Bridge? Like I say, I might need to give this a bit more thought…!

Sign up for 2023

It's not too late to get involved this year! Full details can be found on the Kiltwalk website for the Dundee and Edinburgh walks - put your best foot forward in 2023 and walk with us! We look forward to seeing you there!

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