First 36180 at University Drive ready to depart on the X25.
Yesterday saw nearing thousands of women descend on Earlham Park for the 2015 Pretty Muddy Run, in aid of Cancer Research UK. First had announced two weeks ago that they would be providing extra buses on a specially registered X25 to provide a higher frequency to the area to ensure spectators and those getting involved could get to and from the event easier. The Pretty Muddy Run is a 5 kilometre mud covered obstacle course, one of around 200 in the UK organised under the Race For Life events. With mud covered ladies filling the buses, and believe me some were literally covered, I'm feeling rather sorry for the team who had to clean the buses in use out last night.

In use for the entire day on the X25 was Wright Gemini 2 bodied Volvo B9TL 36180 BD11CDZ, which I must say looked incredibly smart in the rain today. From what I could make out, two buses were sent out for the X25 completing half hourly circuits from Castle Meadow and Norwich Bus Station, hence giving the University of East Anglia six buses per hour to and from Norwich a opposed to the usual Sunday diagram of four an hour.

From Ipswich came 32491, which spent the day on standby
Initially, I had thought that with six buses in total needed for the 25 and 26 for the day and a further twenty four for the rest of the Sunday network, Norwich depot would cope just fine. However, much to my surprise a bus each was drafted in from Ipswich and Lowestoft to lend a hand. From Lowestoft came Wright Gemini bodied Volvo B9TL 37569 AU58ECN, this spent the day on shuttles alongside native Norwich 36180. From Ipswich came Transbus ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TL 32491 AU53HKJ, which spent the day on standby parked at the Earlham Park Gates turning circle screened up with Private Hire. I was hoping it would complete a run or two into Norwich, but during the couple of hours I was lurking around it remained at the University of East Anglia. The races were organised in time slots every quarter of an hour from 10:00 through to 15:45, meaning buses were also filled up in waves. I believe this was why 32491 was brought along; just in case a relief journey was required.

Squeezing in between the taxis and 32491 is Konectbus 800.
Another operation I was entirely unaware of, and have only just found publicity for after hunting through the Cancer Research website. Operating on a free shuttle from Costessey Park and Ride, due to their being no parking available at Earlham Park, was Mercedes Benz Citaro artic 800 BD57WDA. The arrival at around 14:00 arrived with all seats taken and an almost full load of standing passengers - who were all clean at this point. The bus then departed completely full, unfortunately it seemed not many of the runners understood the concept of having three doors! On returning back to main University of East Anglia bus stops by foot, I counted that the queue for the next bus was formed of over three hundred people. For this exact reason, it's why Konectbus intend to retain at least two of the type for special events.

Update: There has appeared to be a bit of confusion yesterday, 32491 was actually in use by an Ipswich driver who used the bus to transport his local church group to the event. Thanks to Joe Thorpe for confirming this.
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About Kieran Smith

Norwich Buses Blog was founded in December 2013 by Sam Larke after he left another popular blog, Norwich Bus Page. Since it's launch, the site has grown dramatically, especially whilst written solely by Kieran Smith during 2015. The blog is now in it's third year and we look forward to more success and growth in the future. If you think you'd make a good writer for Norwich Buses Blog, please do get in touch via email: samuel.larke@gmail.com
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