24 May, 2022
Rusty Wheels crowned 2022 race champions
2022 race champions THREE days, 140km, 24 teams and $105,486 raised for charity – the 2022 Bendigo Bank Great Wheelbarrow Race has been hailed a success.
The three-day event started on Friday with a parade down Byrnes Street, the first time since the race went into hiatus for two years due to Covid.
Mareeba team Rusty Wheels took line honours in the event, blitzing the field including star team Nudgee College who have won the event many times over the past several years. After crossing the line in Dimbulah first on day one of the event, the team of athletic school students kept up a phenomenal pace throughout the remainder of the race and were thrilled to be crowned the 2022 race champions at Chillagoe on Sunday.
Led by team captain Alyssa Shorey, the team smashed through the hardest leg of the race, Dimbulah to Almaden, in just three and a half hours with a total race time of seven hours, 20 minutes and 28 seconds. Tune Squad, another team comprised of school students, were hot on their heels after some expert advice in their wheelbarrow change over method. They finished with a time of seven hours, 31 minutes and 32 seconds.
Contrary to their name, The Unathletes were highly competitive and crossed the line into Chillagoe first in just one and a half hours. However, their previous times let them down and they fit into third place with a time of seven hours, 33 minutes and 54 seconds Nudgee College was left just outside of a podium position with their race taking seven hours, 57 minutes and 51 seconds.
But perhaps the greatest victor of the event was the many charities that will benefit from the $105,486 raised by the majority of teams. Winning the fundraising stakes was Ingham team, Wheelin’ for Willy – a team of mothers who raised $35,000 for Ingham Palliative Care in honour of little Willy Murdoch who tragically passed away just over 12 months ago at just 12 years old.
Great Wheelbarrow Race chair Locky Bensted was overjoyed with the success of the first race since 2019.
“It was so great to be back,” he said. “The feedback we have received has been overwhelming and people were just so excited to be back competing in this iconic event. “The sportsmanship and camaraderie between the participants over the three days was fantastic to see. “The race nights were also a hit and the towns along the Wheelbarrow Way all benefited from the influx of competitors and support crew. “A massive thanks to all who took part – the teams, the volunteers and the sponsors, who all help make the event happen. “We can’t wait for next year.”