In the 10th annual Scotland Run 10K, a sea of 7,748 runners—many of them kilted—donned blue-and-white knit hats emblazoned with the Scottish flag to try to keep warm on an extra-chilly April morning. For First Minister Alex Salmond, however, it was just fine Scottish weather for his first trip to New York City for Scotland Week in five years and his first visit to the Scotland Run.
“I had heard it was spectacular, but it has exceeded all my expectations,” Salmond said, beaming. “It’s the first day of summer , a sunny morning in Central Park, Tartan Day—what could be better than 7,000 folk running for Scotland in the greatest city in the world?
Summer? “Maybe for Scotland,” chuckled Cameron Letters, 50, a native Scot who moved to the East Coast 10 years ago. “Summer only comes one day a year in Scotland!”
After the race, Salmond presented New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg and Scotland Run founder Jim Molloy each with a quaich, a traditional Scottish “loving cup,” in recognition of the race’s 10th running. He noted that more than 60,000 runners have completed the annual 10K, and Wittenberg thanked the crowd for helping bring the race from humble beginnings to its current status as a major event and a constant link between NYC and its strong Scottish heritage.