For the second year in a row Bikes n Beers attended the Smoky Mountain Highland Games. If you’ve never attended a Highland Festival and wondered what it was like, just imagine a family (Clan) reunion with thousands of people dancing, telling stories, playing music, animal competitions, and of course taking a wee sip of scotch or ale. Clan tents re commonly set up around the athletic fields as the heavy athletics are commonly the center of the festival.
In their original form Athletics and Sports were central to Highland festivals and while other
activities were always a part of the festivities, many today still consider Highland athletics to be what the games are all about. On Saturday the Pros and Amateurs competed and provided some exciting moments as a few world records were challenged. Unfortunately the weather started to turn in the afternoon, so we decided that the beer tent would provide the most sensible cover. As the weather did not get any better we decided to call it a day and prepare for our competition on Sunday.
Sunday is the Masters Class (40+) and Women Division competitions. While it would seem sensible to compete with men your own age, we discovered last year that the “Masters” are guys with many years experience and are sometimes even pros who have retired. We probably would do better in the Amateur division but our experience last year taught us the Master are a great group of guys. Discovering quickly the we were no threat to them they are gracious and quick to offer tips on our woefully lacking technique. Heck we just like throwing heavy shite. We were slated to compete in all nine events; Hammer Throw (x2), Weight for Distance (x2), Stone Put (x2) Caber Toss, Sheaf Toss, and Weight for Height. Unfortunately, the skies open up during the caber competition. We attempted to carry on but lighting strikes while you’re holding a 20′ tall tree in an open field is a little dangerous. For the sake of the competitors the competition as called short but a great day was had nonetheless. We did convince one of our good friends (Heather) to come out and compete in the women divisions this year and she not only did great but had a great time to boot. Heather has a great story and you can find out more about her here: http://www.brokentobeastmode.com/
The Games always provide great video footage and we’ve put together a small sampling of
the fun and excitement that is the Smoky Mountain Highland Games below. Until next time keep the rubber side down and keep supporting your local craft breweries.