About Texas Women's Highland Games

Our Purpose:

To increase awareness and involvement of women in the sport of the Highland Games. Promoting a fun, active, family friendly and competitive sport by providing information and resources to all those interested in joining us in our continuing adventures!

Please see our FAQ page for all those burning questions you have about how you participate, what to do, who to talk to and where to go!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Th' Gatherin' - Recapping

There is no more unique way to experience Highland Games and the culture that surrounds it than to explore Th’ Gatherin’ of the Ancient Festival O’ Beltane.  Held in the town of Wakeeney, Kansas, in late April Th’ Gatherin’ is a full weekend affair. Think Burning Man meets Highland Games, and you have a pretty good idea of the feel that the Wakeeney Games carry.  Camping opens on Friday night and campers start setting up early to claim the best spots. Many of the gamers will spend the weekend trekking back and forth from the field to the campsites.
The competition itself is a rare team event; teams of four compete in the Open Men’s Class, Lightweight Men’s class, Women’s Class and a Locals Only Class. There are no entry fees, no shirts, no judges, no score keepers and no set order of events. Everyone is on the honor system to help call throws, fouls and keep things moving.
For the Women’s Division this year there were 3 teams and a spare. Fun was had by all, and we moved through the events as quickly as we could manage, but still ended up the last throwers on the field at the end of the day! With the downhill slope a lot of ladies had some BIG personal bests. There were several sets of unforgiving uprights using beautifully painted 2x6s for cross bars. The Team of “Magically Malicious” (sporting two Texas Ladies!) took the day in a close run.
The Games were just the beginning of the fun! Lunch saw the Running of The Fiery Cross. During which the field of throwers is divided roughly in half, by painting their arms either Red or Blue. Each team is giving a flaming torch and pointed towards the bonfire at the base of the hill. Whichever team lights the fire will receive a special course of meats at that evenings feast. Speaking of the feast, the fare was simple, but delicious and plentiful. It affords everyone a chance to sit across the table from one another and share a meal, swap stories and relax at the end of a hard hot days throwing.
Following the feast there are challenge events – wrestling was very popular this year and the Wallace Sword. A challenge of holding at arms-length an 8lb 6foot broad sword, for a full minute.  It is a very limited society for those that have managed to complete the time, and as yet, there are no women warriors on the list. The night continues with a blazing bonfire, fireworks and live music until the wee hours.
An experience not to be missed at least once in your throwing career, because no amount of words can fully describe the mayhem of Th’ Gatherin’

~ Brittney Boswell

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