NOW is the time to slip on the joggers and pound the pavement in order to be fit for the 2010 Race the Rattler.
To be held next month on June 14 over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, early expectations are that the event will be bigger and better than last year.
Manager of the Mary Valley Heritage Railway, Jim Walker, was full of optimism as the race pitting man against machine prepared to return.
“Last year was the biggest Race the Rattler on record,” he said, “and we are hoping we will be able to beat this record again.”
“This event keeps growing every year and has become a major sporting event for South-East Queensland.”
The annual Race the Rattler event has become a permanent fixture on the running calendar.
Run over 18.5km, competitors attempt to outrun the Valley Rattler, a fully restored 1950 locomotive pulling heritage carriages, from the Mary Village of Dagun back the Old Gympie Railway Station.
The distance can be daunting so teams of four can opt to break up the run and cover 4.5km section of the course each in the team challenge.
The day is not just for the runners. Spectators can purchase tickets to board the Valley Rattler at Dagun and help cheer the runners in their journey back to Gympie.
“The train has a capacity to transport 300 supporters to cheer on the runners,” Camilla King, Mary Valley Heritage Railway marketing officer, said.
Entertainment will be on offer at the Gympie Railway Station following the arrival of the first runners and will continue into the early afternoon. Food drinks will also be available.
Train driver Peter Alder will be returning behind the controls of the Valley Rattler and is keen on redemption after a narrow loss in his debut race last year.
Gympie runner Jack Curran just edged out the Valley Rattler in a thrilling finish.
Entry forms and additional information can be obtained by visiting ww.thevalleyrattler.com or by phoning The Valley Rattler office on 5482 2750. Stay tuned for more on the event.