Running to catch a train is about to take on a new meaning in the Wakatipu.
Queenstown marathon man Adrian Bailey (left) is organising a novel event on January 8, which will pit runners against the historic Kingston Flyer steam train.
“I think it will be quite a drawcard – racing against a steam train is not something you do every day.”
Bailey is basing his race on the popular Race The Train in his native Wales – also featuring an old steam puffer – which he won in 2002 before shifting here.
Bailey has dreamt of a ‘man versus Kingston Flyer’ race for a while but the train’s operating company was placed in receivership two years ago.
The Flyer, however, will be back on track late next month following it being snapped up by Marlborough man David Bryce.
Runners will race the Flyer for 14km from Fairlight to the Kingston railway station.
The train will chug about 10 to 11 kilometres per hour, allowing a fair number of the field to run alongside it, Bailey says.
The fastest runners will take 50 minutes, and the train between 75 and 80 minutes, he estimates.
Bailey says the course, apart from two undulations, is flat – “you could push a pram”.
Spectators can line the route or catch the train to watch.
Bailey says there’ll also be a simultaneous 5km run that will start and finish at Kingston station.
Bailey expects up to 700 runners to take part.
Entries go online on October 8 – the fee has not yet been set but won’t be much, Bailey says.