Puffing Billy Race Report
For the New York Marathon team and ProSport Running Group, we awoke to a cold wet morning for the Puffing Billy Run. A 13.2km-challenging run, which includes minimal flat terrain, certainly provided the group with apprehension of what was in store. After catching trains and cars (The fortunate few) we all met out at the course early to focus on the task at hand…trying to beat Puffing Billy. After dropping our bags off and a quick team photo we headed to the start line. The runners then belted out a fantastic rendition of the National Anthem… Then we were off!
The first kilometre consisted of a quad busting downhill run (which really felt like a sprint), followed by 2km of uphill running to the first bridge crossing, that ensured the heart and lactic acid were pumping. After a brief, welcomed stint of flat terrain, it was back to a gut busting uphill run to the 7km marker, that definitely defeat a few (even the best runners), who were forced to walk. At the 8km marker runners were faced with the daunting prospect of trying to get across the rail crossing before Puffing Bill arrived. The only relief if the train did hold you up was a minute or so recovery before tackling another uphill section of the course.
Finally around the 11km marker the course levelled out and the pace picked up with the knowledge the finish line was not far off. With the sound of Puffing Billy’s horn chasing us down, runners were pushing as hard as they could to get there before the train did. As was the theme of the day the course threw up one last steep downhill followed by a nasty, short uphill to the finish shoot.
Not everything went to plan… Lyndel and her brother had an altercation with their car keys, resulting in a long day of going station to station on the train trying to find them. Furthermore, not enough bus’s showed up to take runners back to the start line, leaving our group in the wet and cold conditions waiting. A Certain member of the group (who cannot be named) was lucky to survive the elements during this time (or so he says), with the self-diagnosis and I quote “I think I am getting hypothermia”. A special mention (for all of the wrong reasons) should be made (this is really a name and shame)… A number of witnesses alleged that when the buses finally did arrive Marino, Vlad and Adrian (who was close to death, apparently) shoved their way onto the buses at the expense of women and children…they are just upstanding members of society are they not?
For an extremely challenging course, everyone ran fantastic times. One thing was guaranteed… We were all going to have sore legs for the days to come! This is definitely a run I would recommend to everyone.