On Our Travels (25/01/2013)

Penny Barber has sent us in a note and some images from her trip to New Zealand. Her story begins here.

Penny Barber_Before

You've travelled to the other side of the planet to catch up with the family and celebrate; what's the best way to occupy yourself the morning after the wedding, while everyone else is still sleeping it off? A running race, of course!

Race The Train (NZ)

This is a 12k race along a rough track by the side of a train. The train "races" you. You are to try and beat it as well as the other runners. Actually, you only beat the train cos the train lets you.... well those of us completing the course in under an hour that is. The Kingston Flyer went from the finish (Kingston) to the start (Fairlight) in half an hour carrying us up there and took twice as long to come back downhill "racing" us. The train starts off behind you, then overtakes, then I have no idea where it went, but I got there first without noticing I'd passed it.

The course is mostly gently downhill. The surface is fairly even to start with, deteriorating to ankle-threatening deeply rutted grass track. It was blistering sunshine.

Penny Barber_During

There's also a 5k fun run, somewhere near the finish. A number of these competitors were juniors, or older people completely new to running and it was great to see them receive prizes so excitedly.

The fastest woman at 45:36 was Nickky Samuels, an Olympic triathlete based in the area. I was the fastest woman over 50 (and yes, some others had got out of bed that day) and have a new sports bag as my prize.

Race Results

It's the second year for this event and it might not have happened – the train wasn't working until a couple of weeks before. It's a fun day out with various stalls and a very decent pub at the finish station, Kingston. I gave the 8% Belgian on offer a swerve at 11am post race....& settled for something at 3.5%. The chips were good too! I think the event is particularly good for spectators – a train ride is much more fun than standing in one spot or trying to dash around a course. Although they do miss your finish if you beat them.....

Penny Barber_After

For more information about the train and the pub:-

Kingston Flyer

So, if you're ever in the Otago region, South Island, New Zealand, in January, do give it a go!

Regards, Penny Barber