IT WAS an “emotional” day on Saturday when about 70 people laced up their trainers to complete more than 68,000 steps around the county in aid of a Tranent-based charity.

The Walk With Scott Foundation’s ninth annual walk set off from Haddington Rugby Club at 8am on Saturday, and concluded with a special piped walk along Cockenzie High Street to Cockenzie Royal British Legion.

The Scotters also passed through East Linton, North Berwick, Dirleton, Gullane, Aberlady and Longniddry.

Karen Kidd, secretary of the Walk With Scott Foundation, said: “It was really good: the weather was nice, though it rained in dribs and drabs – it was quite refreshing, really.”

Walkers completed a total of 29.6 miles – more than the marathon length (26.2 miles) originally planned.

East Lothian Courier: Picture: Brian Mackie

Picture: Brian Mackie

Karen added: “The route was very challenging but rewarding, as a lot of it was uphill, but it meant we more or less walked together for the most part.

The foundation was set up by Tranent after-dinner speaker and community fundraiser Scott Glynn to mark his 50th birthday nine years ago. Scott passed away on New Year’s Day 2020 after being diagnosed with cancer.

Since its inception in 2013, the event has raised more than £300,000 for local charities and good causes.

Karen’s fundraising-mad daughter Mary, 11, was one of the youngest ‘Scotters’ to take part.

The Port Seton resident added: “To me, the most special part of the day was being piped home. It was so emotional.

“Grant Walker pipes us home every year and was accompanied by three pipers and a drummer from Cockenzie and Port Seton Royal British Legion Pipes and Drums.

“As always, Scott’s family were there supporting the walk.”

East Lothian Courier: Picture: Brian Mackie

Picture: Brian Mackie

Afterwards, the annual Scotter of the Year was handed out to charity supporter Derek ‘Staz’ Stevenson. He said: “It was a total honour. I was totally lost for words knowing the board have so many amazing Scotters to choose from each year.”

Karen said: “We started this award for people who go above and beyond.

“This will be the fourth year we have handed it out.

“Derek has been our backmarker since the walk began nine years ago, making sure everyone makes it back safely.

“He also wears Adidas Samba trainers, and has done every year, and has never had one hot spot or blister! He is so deserving of this award.”

Carol Glynn, Scott’s wife, said in a statement: “The greatest gift Staz has is to encourage people who are at the back of the pack to keep going, that it does not matter whether you are at the front or the middle but turning out to walk and take part.

“We have fixed the world, discussed the ingredients of food with the food guru Alan Bell, where the best fish supper in town is, and where we were going to get it at the end of the walk. A good friend and the biggest heart, you so deserve this recognition.”

East Lothian Courier: Picture: Brian Mackie

Picture: Brian Mackie

Thanks were given to the pipers and drummers, Haddington RFC, North Berwick RFC, stewards, marshals, Our Community Kitchen, Scottish Water and Tennent’s, Paul at Digital Disco, and East Lothian Roots and Fruits.

Karen added: “Every blister and sore bit is worth it when you see the difference you have made across our communities in taking part in something which was super special. Thank you to everyone who helped make our ninth walk a success.

“Scotters old and new, thank you again for taking part, supporting and your sponsorship. You’ve been amazing.”

An extra special thank you was passed along to some important newcomers, Ukrainian refugees Lilia and Temor.

Karen said: “This added a whole new level to the Scotter family and we loved that they took part.”