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1 May, 2022

Dad's set to race again

KNOWN for their incredible efforts in past Great Wheelbarrow Races and their cheeky performances at its annual talent quests, Dad’s Army is back and ready to rumble this year as they make a return to the 140km race

By Ellie Fink

Dad’s Army will be back to compete in the annual Great Wheelbarrow Race this year, taking their training at Essential Fitness very seriously .

Dad’s Army began in 2012, when an RSL sub-branch member suggested it would help Defence Force Veterans of the Royal Australian Navy, Australian Army and Royal Australian Air Force keep an active healthy lifestyle.

Local gym Essential Fitness took on the team for basic training and exercises and after hosting a few social events, Dad’s Army decided in 2013 it was time to take on the big race.

In the first stretch of their very first race, the original team soon realised “yes, you actually have to run” – something they did not initially train for.

Regardless of that the team kept pushing, making it to the finish line and taking into account for the next year that “yes, you actually have to run”.

2022 team captain Gary Morgan said this year they are back at it again and training hard at their sponsoring gym and hope to raise more funds for the Mareeba RSL Subbranch and the Mareeba Hospital.

“We are back at it again this year, we have a couple of new faces and we have been raising money for the hospital and the sub-branch here,” he said.

“A big majority of funds go towards the hospital and in the past, we have bought them equipment and helped with a few more little causes.”

Every team since the start has seen veterans that have suffered with various medical issues including Parkinson’s, Lung Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Heart Bypass and Stent procedures, Knee replacements and PTSD, but they continue to race every year with determination to give back to the local hospital and RSL that have kept them together as a team.

Dad’s Army believes that “mateship, regular exercise and a good diet can overcome such disabilities, especially with a good dose of determination”.

Although Mr Morgan says the team will be “a little less involved this year and will be doing their own thing”, they hope that once again they will win their favourite part of the event – the talent show.

“We have won the skits three out of the seven times we have done it,” he said.

“They can be a bit naughty and the sillier they are the better!

“We can’t tell you too much about this year, but we certainly will be up there.”

Registrations for the Great Wheelbarrow Race are open until 6 May. To enter, go to

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