Great Wheelbarrow Race 2017 – Bringing the Gold Home
THE annual Great Wheelbarrow Race is set for a shake up next year after the committee voted to turn the race around.
After 13 years running from Mareeba to Chillagoe, Committee Chair Nipper Brown said it was time to ‘bring the gold home’ to Mareeba. “After careful consideration and community consultation with key stakeholders, the decision was made to revive and refresh the signature event,” Cr Brown said.Councillor Nipper Brown added that the committee hopes the new direction will reduce safety concerns and generate more interest in the event.
In 2004, as a tribute to the early pioneers and to honour their amazing trail-blazing feats, the road between Mareeba and Chillagoe was named the Wheelbarrow Way and sparked the beginning of the unique event.
The charity event will remain a three day fun-filled endurance challenge, taking in the rugged picturesque landscape. Competitors will start the 144km journey in Chillagoe on the Friday morning and will arrive to a home crowd in Mareeba on the Sunday.
Councillor Nipper Brown said the committee will “trial the turnaround in 2017 and see how it goes.” “There will be a number of changes made to the race and it’s going to be exciting having new challenges for all involved,” he said.
Race record holder and Mareeba local Sonya Alba-Miller said she is looking forward to the new challenge and running into Mareeba to a home crowd. “The revitalised Great Wheelbarrow Race has got me excited and thinking about how I’m going to run it,” she said.
The event will be held on 12-14 May 2017. More information will be released in the coming months with nominations opening early next year.
Race enthusiasts are encouraged to keep an eye on the event’s website and Facebook page for exciting updates.
Great Wheelbarrow Race 2016 Results
Despite team numbers being down from last year, the thirteenth annual Great Wheelbarrow Race which finished on Sunday, raised over $200,000 for local, national and international charities.
Organising committee chair Councillor Nipper Brown said the event was again, a great success. “I believe it went really well overall. Once again we have managed to raise significant amounts for charity,” he said. “The support from the general public was unbelievable again and the small town reception was great as always.”
The three day event saw people of all ages push a Wheelbarrow 140 km from Mareeba to Chillagoe, honouring the early pioneers and their amazing trail-blazing feats. There were 42 teams in this year’s race and Cr Nipper Brown said “I take my hat off to them.” “Once again they showed what human spirit is. The camaraderie, the courtesy they showed to each other and the support they gave to one another all along the race was unbelievable.”
This year there were two additional categories to the race; over 35’s and over 55’s. The Boys from the Bush took home the shield and also won the men’s category. St Joseph’s Nudgee College from Brisbane competed in the race for the second consecutive year, breaking their record by a remarkable 12 minutes. Nudgee School Captain Angus McHugh said they will be back in 2017 and hopes the event becomes a tradition of the College. “After last year we found the race was a great experience and donating to charities is such a great cause,” he said “It’s a fantastic atmosphere and gets the community together and raises money which is great.”
Cr Nipper Brown thanked all of the competitors, their support teams, event volunteers and the organising committee. “Much of the preparation goes unseen but this weekend has shown the benefits of all the training, planning and organisation that has consumed so much time in the preceding weeks and months,” he said.
“The event will be back in 2017, bigger and better and there may be some changes.”
• Charity fundraisers: winner – Wheellie Mad Runners who raised an astonishing $63,000 for FNQ Cerebral Palsy Support Group.
• Best theme: winner – SES teams combined
• Talent Quest: winner – Nadine Michelle
• Ladies teams: winner – Wheellie mad fan 5
• Mixed teams: winner – 99 Running on Empty
• Men’s teams: winner – Boys from the Bush
• Over 35’s: winner – 72 Models
• Over 55’s: Dad’s Army
• High Schools: winner – Nudgee College
• Services: winner – SES Ducks on Bikes
• Duo: winner – Blue Healers
• Overall winning team: winner – Boys from the Bush