Brian Callender and more than two dozen other runners will challenge the No. 7 Baldwin steam engine to a foot race this Saturday, Aug. 17.
This will not be Callender’s first race against a train: when he was studying for his physiotherapy degree in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, he participated in the Puffing Billy challenge, on the Puffing Billy Railway.
“They have a steam train run called the Puffing Billy that runs every year,” Callender explained. “I’ve run it and I loved it.”
When he returned to Port Alberni he began looking into how he could run a similar race on the Alberni Pacific Railway.
The No. 7 Challenge will take runners 10 kilometres over roadways associated with the train, but not on the tracks themselves. “We do cross the tracks twice,” Callender said.
The race will end at McLean Mill National Historic Site.
Registration is $10 online at volunteeralberni.ca/No7Challenge.html.