By PHILIP CHANDLER
The return of the famous Kingston Flyer steam train’s also sparked the revival of a unique run this summer — along with a new cycling event.
Race the Train, in which runners, using an adjacent trail, try to beat the slowed-down
Flyer, ran from Fairlight to Kingston in both 2012 and 2013, before the operation was
Queenstown-based events organiser Adrian Bailey, who based it on a Race the Train
event in his native Wales, has scheduled the next race for January 15.
‘‘Several months back, when I found out the train was going to be up and running again, I
made contact with [Kingston Flyer Ltd] director Neville Simpson.
‘‘He was very enthusiastic about the event taking place, and he was involved with the train when I hosted the original event.
‘‘I’m super-excited we’re back on track, and we’re full steam ahead.’’
This time, along with the main 12km trail run and a 5km run that starts and finishes in
Kingston, there’ll also be a 24km run from Kingston to Fairlight and back.
And now the track’s part of the Around the Mountains Cycle Trail, in the afternoon
there’ll be 12km Fairlight to Kingston and 24km Kingston-Fairlight-Kingston mountain
The Flyer will also steam along, at reduced speeds, for these new events.
Bailey, who won the 23km Race the Train run in Wales in 2002, just before he moved to
New Zealand, says the original Kingston event attracted runners from all over NZ.
‘‘The great thing was the novelty of running in a beautiful area alongside an iconic, historic steam train, and those events are few and far between.’’
Race the Train online registrations — via activeqt.co.nz — open at midday on September