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
Great Wheelbarrow Race 2023
Total $2,543,601 which is outstanding for any sporting event.