From 17-19 May a team from the Cairns and Mareeba offices of MAF in Australia pushed a wheelbarrow in 20 seconds bursts 140 kilometres from Mareeba to Chillagoe following the ‘Wheelbarrow Way’ taken by early settlers. They were one of 73 teams entered in the Great Wheelbarrow Race raising money for their nominated charity. In their case it was to buy fuel to enable medical evacuation flights in Timor-Leste. MAF’s Flying Barrows raised over $10,000 (and the total is still growing). One of the most exciting donations was a gift of over 1,000 Kina (Au$450) from the MAF staff in PNG. A number of the Mt Hagen hangar staff gave over a day’s salary in order to support the work of their colleagues in Timor-Leste.
But it wasn’t just the ten runners who made this happen, there were fund raisers and those who gave so generously, there were support crew setting up and putting down tents along the way and feeding the hungry runners at the end of each day too, there were those who babysat children so their parents could run, MAF kids who were enthusiastic cheerleaders at dozens of spots at the side of the road along the way, the Bus Mother Ruth Maisel who kept the bus and runners running efficiently and their fantastic bus driver Phil Snell.
Coming 31st out of 73 teams and 3rd in the over 40s category was great, but not the reason they entered. Their motivation was to raise money for a cause that they believed in, as well as bringing glory to God and raising the profile of MAF in the Mareeba/Cairns region. They certainly did this and they can’t wait for next year.