And now a note from our foreign correspondents, Eilidh and Ali, in Melbourne Australia, who took part in the Puffing Billy Race (against a train!). Something a bit different from running around the Queen’s Park here! – Looks like great fun.
The Puffing Billy Railway is a narrow gauge (2’6″) steam operated railway in the Dandenong Ranges near Melbourne. It was restored by volunteers. Since July 1962 the Puffing Billy Preservation Society has kept this popular tourist train operating. Puffing Billy was opened in 1900 as a branch line service for the local farming and timber community. The Victorian Railways closed it in April 1954. Their last revenue train ran in August 1953.
Eilidh said: “Here are some photos from the Puffing Billy race that Ali and I did on Sunday! It was up in the Dandenongs, starting at 9.30am which I’m glad about as it was a lovely day so we didn’t have to run in the heat. There were 3,000 running 13.2km including a dog that got two race numbers (one for each two legs?). They played the national anthem before they start which Ali tells me is normal, at least it’s better than having those daft lassies trying to get everyone to warm up when you only have a few inches of space spare! It was a lovely run a wee bit hilly but nothing compared to your average run around Edinburgh!
Ali and I met, along with Brendan, Mel and wee Iona off course (sorry we didn’t get any photos of everyone beforehand) I had started near the back being a wee bit worried about my foot which has been playing up since doing some daft runs on the beach in Thailand. I went to the podiatrist a few days before and he told referred me for an extra to make sure it wasn’t a stress fracture and told me not to run. I thought it best not to tell him about the run and hoped that wearing a pair of extra socks and taking it easy on the run would help. I was right, thankfully!
The last km was a bit mad going along a forest path which was very crowded so hard to get round folk. I passed five people collapsed at the side, but it was well attended by first aid folkies and the fire service. Ali did well and beat the train, I got beaten by the first train by 6 minutes I think but beat the ‘girly’ train! The only downside was that there was no goody bag! A bottle of PowerAde was all you got. It was particularly disappointing as it was sponsored by Cadburys so I had been looking forward to my bar of chocolate!
Apologies for not having my ERN top, we were hoping our boxes would arrive last week but we are still waiting. Will wear it for my next run, whenever that is! The photos are in a random order:“