Puffing Billy Railway has launched a brand new family-friendly running festival that will give people of all ages and abilities a chance to test their stamina and try to beat our ‘ole mate Billy’ across the finish line on his home turf in the Dandenong Ranges.
Not only will runners obtain the bragging rights to have raced a train, but they will also be contributing to the preservation of Australia’s most iconic heritage railway.
The Puffing Billy Running Festival takes place on Sunday 3 May, with four courses on offer that cater to everyone from elite runners to families with young children.
25km road and trail run
Not for the faint hearted, the 25km road and trail course will challenge runners over an ever-changing terrain where they will encounter hills, narrow forest trails, and paved roads as they race Puffing Billy from Belgrave to Gembrook Station. This course is suitable for experienced runners.
10km trail run
Starting at Gembrook Station, the 10km trail course will see competitors run to Old Gembrook Road in Cockatoo, taking in various terrains, before turning around and returning to Gembrook Station – hopefully before ole Billy beats you to it!
Great for families, children and short distance runners with some running experience, the 5km run starts and finishes at Gembrook Station, taking competitors via the Gembrook Recreation Reserve.
This shorter distance run is ideal for families, children and beginners. Starting at Gembrook Recreation Reserve, runners will take an easy 2km course back to Gembrook Station.
Puffing Billy Events Manager, Matt Collopy, said the new courses provide a great opportunity to involve the entire community.
“We often hear stories about children and families wanting to run against the train, however this previously hasn’t been possible due to the challenging nature of the course. The Puffing Billy Running Festival opens the event up to everyone, from elite runners to those looking to keep active and who run for fun,” Matt said.
“Those looking to cheer on participants along the way can enjoy a ride on Puffing Billy and possibly even beat them to it!” he said.
Registrations are now open, with early bird rates available until Monday 9 March 2020.
You can also read more about the history of Puffing Billy here.
Date: Sunday 3 May 2020
Entries: Early Bird registrations OPEN from Friday 14 February to Monday 9 March 2020.
Register online at www.puffingbillyrunningfestival.com.au
Participants can join the mailing list here.