Runners at last year’s Race the Train event. Photo: Luke Ryan.
The 38th annual Race the Train event at Talyllyn Railway takes place on Saturday, August 19.
The popular event - https://www.racethetrain.com/ - is organised by Tywyn Rotary Club in conjunction with the railway which provides the trains for athletes to race.
The event began in 1984 and has been held annually on the third Saturday of August except for 2020 and ‘21 during the pandemic. There are four main races of varying distance, each being age restricted, and a ‘Toddlers Trot’ for children aged up to nine years.
In the two senior races, runners compete against a train. The ‘Rotary Challenge’ - minimum age 17 years - sets off from Tywyn Wharf Station and the route takes runners through the town for one mile before they follow designated footpaths and cross private land, opened by landowners.
The runners race the train as far as Abergynolwyn Station where they and the train turn back for the return journey. The distance of the senior race is 14 miles.
The second race, the ‘Quarry Challenge’, begins at Quarry Siding, a mile short of Abergynolwyn as the upcoming train approaches. Runners race towards Abergynolwyn Station before turning to race the train back to Tywyn, a distance of 6.2 miles (10K). Minimum age for this shorter race is 15 years.
Two shorter events are open to younger entrants who don’t race against a train. The Dolgoch Challenge runs from Dolgoch Station to Tywyn Wharf, a distance of 5.5 miles and the minimum age for runners is 10 years.
The fourth event it the Tynllwyn Hen Challenge, a distance of 3.3 miles, with a minimum age of nine years.
The Toddlers Trot is run around a field near Wharf Station but uses the same finish line as for all the other four races.
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