Over 2258 runners took to the Dandenong Ranges on Sunday morning with one common goal – to beat Puffing Billy on its journey from Belgrave to Lakeside Station at Emerald Lake Park.
Covering a distance of 13.5km, the Great Train Race is one of the oldest and most iconic events on the Australian running calendar.
It attracts elite runners as well as those who want to challenge themselves over a unique course.
The scenic race takes runners through pristine forests, under rail bridges and onto roads, presenting them with three hill climbs in the first 10km and a soft downhill trail for the final 3-4km.
This year’s winner was Ben Kelly from Tynong North who crossed the line in 45.01 minutes.
This was Ben’s first time running the Great Train Race.
The first female to cross the line was also a first time runner in the Great Train Race.
Kiah Fry from Blairgowrie finished the race in 49.57 minutes.
Coincidentally, Ben Kelly and Kiah Fry have the same running coach but train with different clubs.
Puffing Billy crossed the line in one hour, five minutes and 19 seconds, which was over 12 minutes slower than 2018, possibly due to the wet conditions on the track.
Billy was beaten by 486 runners.
The Under 18 Female winner was Jaimee-Lee Code from Narre Warren North who ran in 54:14.
Two blind runners also took on Puffing Billy this year, with the support of their guides.
Kevin Murfitt finished in a time of one hour, 34 minutes and 54 seconds, and Francois Jacobs covered the 13.5km route in one hour, 38 minutes and 51 seconds.
A full list of winners and race results are available at https://puffingbilly.com.au/events/great-train-
The Great Train Race is a major fundraiser for the railway, which is a not for profit organisation that
operates under the steam of more than 600 volunteers.