Wacky racers!

Ponteland Wheelbarrow Race.'Pics by Keith Robertson.'Second placed ladies Heidi and Heather Craigheads
Ponteland Wheelbarrow Race.'Pics by Keith Robertson.'Second placed ladies Heidi and Heather Craigheads

THE new kids on the block were the winners of a traditional Ponteland event.

Oscar Redman and Dan Pybus were first to the finishing line and last year’s junior race champions set a new record time for the men’s wheelbarrow race of six minutes and 54 seconds.

What’s more, they beat their fathers Andy Pybus and Alan Redman into second place. Alan and Andy had won the previous three races.

Rob and Ben Ashford were third.

Penny Storer and Rachael Lawson were victorious in the women’s race in a time of 10 minutes and 55 seconds. Heidi and Heather Craighead came second and Judy Andrews and Julia Rowley finished third.

Sam and Jack Long were the junior race winners.

The New Year’s Day event, organised by Ponteland 41 Club, takes place over a mile-long course which starts and ends at the Blackbird Inn and this year about 30 teams took part in front of hundreds of spectators.

Local businessman Philip Jackson once again took on the role of Lord Mayor of Ponteland and he rang the ceremonial bell to start the races at noon. The actual Mayor, Peter Cowey, was among those who came to watch the action.

Head Race Organiser Jonathan Goodwill said: “The good weather helped with the turnout and number of entries and we had excellent support from Ponteland community groups, particularly the rugby club which provided quite a few competitors.

“The day went very well and it was great to have enough entrants to have a separate women’s race for the first time.

“The way things are going, next year’s event will be even bigger. A few of the teams were in fancy dress and if more people dress up next year we will have a parade.”

He also thanked fellow club members Andy Anderson and Andy Lawson for their efforts on the day and before the event.

This year’s races raised £400 for the Leonard Cheshire Home for disabled people in Ponteland, which is planning to build an extension.

Greenham Tools provided the wheelbarrows and Sainsbury’s Ponteland donated food that was given to the participants when they finished the course.