Boronia and The Basin Community News

Boronia & The Basin Community News





A new look Puffing Billy Running Festival is emerging from hibernation this spring, shaking off the remnants of COVID-19 with an adrenaline-fuelled running event for all ages and abilities. The expanded Festival will stretch over not one, but two epic days, delivering four different courses that offer a thrilling challenge for seasoned runners or an exciting day of laughter and shared experiences for parents and their little champions.

Day one of the Festival will feature a new 1.2km Kids Dash and a new 5km Family Fun Run / Walk on Saturday 9 September at Emerald Lake Park, with the echoing toots and puffs of Puffing Billy propelling all participants forward.

Then, on Sunday 10 September, prepare to witness a fierce showdown as up to 3,000 participants take on the challenge of a lifetime, racing against two colossal steam locomotives from Belgrave to Emerald in the heart-pounding 13.5 km ‘Classic’ Run, or for those hungry for even greater conquests, the all-new 21.1km road and trail Half Marathon; a true test of endurance set amidst the breathtaking views and unyielding hills of the Eastern Dandenong Ranges.

Spectators looking to cheer on participants can embark on an unforgettable journey themselves, hopping aboard the iconic Puffing Billy and potentially even surpassing the racing runners!

The recently developed state-of-the-art Lakeside Visitor Centre within Emerald Lake Park will host the Festival’s Finish Zone precinct for the first time, with food and beverage options, retail offerings and the breathtaking beauty of Emerald Lake Park’s picturesque surroundings for participants and visitors to enjoy.

We are delighted to announce the return of the Puffing Billy Running Festival,” said Peter Abbott, CEO, Puffing Billy Railway.

This will re-commence our proud tradition of staging an annual footrace against Puffing Billy. A tradition that stretches back to 1982.”

The new family-focused events will be a great way for families to come together and experience Emerald Lake Park. The hilly courses of the Classic and the Half Marathon – combined with the sounds and steam of the race trains – provide one of the most challenging and spectacular fun run experiences in Australia.”

The event is proudly supported by Puffing Billy Railway’s 350 committed volunteers, with proceeds from the 2023 Puffing Billy Running Festival donated to support vital heritage railway projects like Puffing Billy Railway’s Belgrave Station Signal Box.

Whether you have been an annual participator or are inspired to take on your first race, there is a course to suit everyone.

Entries are now open at

Limited tickets are available for family and friends joining in the excitement by train on Sunday 10 September. Early registrations are strongly encouraged to secure your spot and avoid disappointment.

SPECIAL OFFER – Double the excitement and save! Book both the 1.2km Kids Dash or 5km Family Run/Walk, along with the race train, and enjoy a 25% discount. Visit to book.

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Media enquiries –

Sheena Dang Communications Manager, Puffing Billy Railway.

M: 0429 639 337 E:

Nigel Preston, Event Director

M: 0412 692 468 E:

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