The 2010 Race

In 2010, the Wheellie Mad Women included 11 special ladies…Sally Mlikota, Kylie Barnes, Jennifer Wenzel, Louise Nicholson, Judy Liu, Maree Dinan-Thompson, Julie LeComte, Trudy McMurray, Tanya Papallo, Karen Doane, and Paulette Campbell. They put their feet to the road and their efforts behind the Group for 144 km.

The 11 ladies ran a good race, finishing second in the women’s division and second in fundraising. Their success was in part attributed to Ivo and Olga Klarich who provided food and shelter over the weekend, to Zoe Strickland, the “Wheellie Mad Masseuse,” from Office Mini Treats Massage who kept the girls loose and limber, and to Sun Palm Transport’s Brett, the brilliant bus driver who kept the girls safe as they pushed the wheelbarrow.

Reflections of a 2010 Wheellie Mad Woman

I’ve never participated in an event that managed to be so gruelling and so uplifting all at once. What a journey this has been! When I signed up to be a “Wheellie Mad Woman” I anticipated the sore legs and the fun of travelling with 10 other ladies, but I completely underestimated the power of the community spirit.

It occurs to me that we become so embroiled in our day to day lives, that we don’t have time to recognise all the good happening around us. The Great Wheelbarrow Way Race was the picture of community spirit, with hundreds of people waving the teams through Mareeba, cars greeting runners with friendly honks, and local families standing at the end of their country driveways to cheer teams on. The community spirit was infectious.

The Wheellie Mad Women were joined for the parade through Mareeba by Natalie Barnes, the young lady who will receive half the funds raised for communication equipment. What a fitting start to what was to be a terrific weekend!

The weekend was an eventful one. We spent the next three days chasing down our much younger competitors, watching the service teams sprint by, dodging water balloons and avoiding the odd straying cow!

Just as the Wheellie Mad Women were becoming Wheellie tired (on day three…somewhere around 130 kilometers from Mareeba, we were joined by Jackson and Matt (both of whom have siblings with cerebral palsy). Their fast legs and encouraging words, reminded us how important it is to support children and families with cerebral palsy. The last few kilometres melted away and we arrived in Chillagoe (with a total running time for the 142 kilometers of about 12 hours).