Through the fernglades and over hills, under towering tree canopies and alongside the distinctive whistle of the monarch of the Dandenong Ranges, the Puffing Billy Great Train Race is back for its 36th consecutive year.
The longevity of this race is testament to the affection Melbournian's feel for their favourite and most popular steam train. Runners have been accepting the challenge for decades and even non-runners turn out to delight in this festive community event.
This year, the Great Train Race is being held on Sunday 30th April 2017 from the Puffing Billy Railway Station located at 1 Old Monbulk Road, Belgrave. The race starts at 9.30am and is open to anyone aged 13 years and over and covers a total distance of 13.5km, ending at the Emerald Lake Park in Emerald.
To participate runners need to register through The Great Race website by 5pm on Friday 28th April 2017, and all race details, including a map of the route, is available there.
Entry fees are $70 for early bird adults and $50 for early bird children aged 13 to 16 years. After the 17th March 2017, those prices are increased by $10 each. Each entrant receives a race bib complete with timing chip, a personalised results certificate, transport back from the finish line, a free massage at the finish line and a $50 Brooks voucher redeemable at Active Feet.
Parking is limited around Belgrave, especially when huge crowds are expected. Public transport is highly recommended and Metro Trains has an adjoining station in Belgrave. Please note, there will also be road closures between Belgrave and the Emerald Lake on the day.
Even non-runners can enjoy this family friendly day out. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy a picnic at the scenic Emerald Park Lake while watching the runners stream in.