trcSHOE leather and tyre rubber is beginning to heat up as entries start flooding in for the 10th anniversary Great Wheelbarrow Race.

This iconic, award-winning event sees entrants race to push a wheelbarrow from Mareeba to Chillagoe – following in the footsteps and tyre tracks of the region’s hardy pioneers.

“This fantastic event has built up its own traditions of fun, of competition and community spirit and of raising really significant amounts of money for a variety of charity and community groups,” Race Committee chairman and Tablelands Regional Council Deputy Mayor Evan McGrath said.

“In the past two events alone, contestants have raised more than $274,000 which is frankly an amazing effort.”

“All of those things will again be part of the 140 kilometre-long event.

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“Another tradition is for new teams to come on board each year, and this time around McDonalds have picked up the handles of the wheel-barrow and joining in the adventure.

McDonalds will be raising funds for Ronald McDonald Family Retreat at Palm Cove. The Retreat is part of the Ronald McDonald House program run by McDonalds in Australia for 31 years. Ronald McDonald houses provide a home away from home for families of seriously ill children undergoing treatment.

Most families that stay at a Ronald McDonald House are from the country.

The Ronald McDonald Family Retreat at Palm Cove provides a free holiday for families of children who have suffered serious
illness or bereavement.

The McDonalds organisation is also adding its support to the overall event, becoming a Silver Sponsor for the 10th Anniversary Great Wheelbarrow Race.

“Our event is the reigning Queensland Regional Achievement and Community Awards Winner in the Events and Tourism category,” Councillor McGrath said.

“It is very welcome to see it also being recognised by such a high-profile organisation with its own strong record of charitable community contributions.”

This year the Great Wheelbarrow Race will be held from 17-19 May and is expected to exceed all previous events.

Contestants race each other, either solo or in teams, while pushing a wheelbarrow the 140 kilometres between Mareeba and Chillagoe.

It celebrates the region’s pioneers, who frequently pushed wheelbarrows laden with their possessions to help open up the district.

“I understand there are international teams in training, its to be hoped they too will join in the adventure that is the Great Wheelbarrow Race,” Cr McGrath said.