Sunday, May 5, 2013

Puffing Billy Race

Today I raced Puffing Billy for the first time. For the last two years I have wanted to do this race, it’s one of those events that sells out quickly and has a limited number of entries but it was on my bucket list.

The morning of the race we headed up to the start line early with parking likely to be tight get there early was the go. After parking and walking around killing time before the event it was time to assemble in front of the fire station. I placed my hoddie into a bag attached the BIB baggage label and placed it on the truck.

The morning was cold and Ellie had stolen my jacket to keep warm (her 4th layer) plus she was have a coffee too to keep warm. I saw at least 6 or so Tri Alliance people racing this event so not a big turnout but as we waited I caught up with JoJo, Linda, Jesse and her Partner Glen and Sally, then I saw my new PT Luke and said good morning / luck for the run.

Ellie and I at the Start (Me with my jacket stolen back)

Well got in our wave starts chatting away to complete strangers (as you do at these events, great way to claim the nerves). Over the PA you could hear the announcer welcome the 2 train drivers and a big boo from the crowd, follow by  the Australian National Anthem was sung and then a minutes silence for all this killed or injured in the Boston Marathon Bombing. We all moved down (as much as could) toward the start line the horn sounded and off we went.

After I turned the corner and saw the start line all I could see was a mass of color across the whole road of people, like a human carpet. The first 3km’s are downhill so you feel really fast before the hill. As we all came down to the bridge you could hear the first train tooting I had a look and I had beaten the 1st train to bridge. I was happy with that I knew that I would not bet the train to the finish but felt good. I only had two goals, 1. Finish and 2. Beat the 2nd Train, as I started the 1st of the hill climbs I could feel my calf muscles tightening.  As I came down a hill I could see the race organizers open a crossing to let the runs past – good news the train had just been through, I was doing better than I thought. At the top of the longest hill I felt spent but it was downhill into Emerald then along the train track towards the finish line, speed time. The track seem to go forever than the park land opened up down a little trail, switch back to the bottom towards the park. People flew past me I kept it simple and tried successfully not to fall over or down the hill. At the bottom it was across the bridge up the hill for the last 50 or so meters to the finish line.

Sea of runners

Under the Trestle Bridge

It was one of the hardest runs I’ve ever done, I’m glad I did do some hill training and I loved it. My time was 1hr 16min 10 secs and yes I did beat the 2nd train.

Me at the finish line

After the race I caught the first train back to Belgrave, the train was freezing cold but when I got back to the station Ellie had a Hot Chocolate waiting and as soon as we got back to the car I did a change from a cold wet sweaty T Shirt into something a little more warmer. Followed by heater on in the car and feed at Pancake Palour. I love Pancakes!

Elevation Map of the Course

Course Map

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