General News

20 May, 2022

The Great Wheelbarrow Race 2022

COMPETITORS in this year’s Great Wheelbarrow Race will make their way out onto the streets of Mareeba this Friday when the popular annual event returns after two year hiatus due to the Covid pandemic.

Competitors in the 2018 Great Wheelbarrow Race
Competitors in the 2018 Great Wheelbarrow Race

Iconic race returns

The three-day event attracts competitors from across the region and from as far as Brisbane and, through participating teams, has raised more than $2 million which has gone to various causes, charities and individuals. 

Now in its 19th year, the race was originally proposed to inject cash and visitors into small towns like Almaden, Dimbulah, Chillagoe and Mutchilba. It was also established to honour the amazing trail-blazing feats of early 1800s pioneers who would take wheelbarrows from Mareeba to Chillagoe with supplies, with the stretch now known as “Wheelbarrow Way”. 

The 2022 race has attracted 25 teams who will walk and/or run the 140km from Mareeba to Chillagoe, stopping overnight at Dimbulah and Almaden along the way. 

The event will kick off on Friday, with participants dressed in all their glory as they parade down Byrnes Street from 9.30am. 

Shoppers, businesses and residents are encouraged to line the street and cheer the competitors on. After the parade, competitors will depart from Vaughan Street from 10.30am, while the solos, duos and trios will leave from 7am. 

Competitors will do 44km on the first day when the reach Dimbulah. There, the town will turn it on with Dimby Dinner Do in the park, giving competitors a chance to unwind, relax and enjoy entertainment and food. 

Early on Saturday, teams will line up at the start to do the long stretch to Almaden – around 63km – during which they will encounter the difficult climb through Bismark Pass, known by locals as Top Cat Pass. 

Once at Almaden, they can take the boots off, have a shower and enjoy some great food and entertainment courtesy of the Railway Hotel at Almaden before hitting the sack so they will be fresh for the last leg to Chillagoe (33km) on Sunday. 

At Chillagoe, teams can relax before the presentations to commence around 12 noon at the Chillagoe Town Hall by Race committee chair Cr Locky Bensted and Mareeba Shire Mayor Angela Toppin. Come out and support the 25 teams in this year’s race at the downtown parade. Led by the “Face of the Race” Terry Roos, Cr Bensted and the team from Bendigo Bank, the parade will commence at Beaurepaires and travel down the main street.

Competitors in the 2018 Great Wheelbarrow Race.
Competitors in the 2018 Great Wheelbarrow Race.

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