Crazy Ponteland Wheelbarrow Race to make grand return on New Year’s Day

This is one of the more unique ways to start 2022.

The New Year will get off to a wacky start in the North East with none other than a wheelbarrow race.

The Ponteland Wheelbarrow Race is in the calendar for January 1, 2022 and will raise money for charities.

In the annual event competitors push a wheelbarrow with a teammate in over a one-mile course, starting and ending at the Blackbird pub.

The event will raise money for local charities St Oswald's Hospice and Tynedale Hospice at Home, which provide care and support to people with life-limiting illnesses.

The New Year spirit will continue after the race at The Blackbird with a selection of food and drink available outside the venue.

A pizza oven will be fired up and a barbecue lit, alongside a fully stocked bar in a winter tipi.

Stuart Young of the Northumberland Pub Company, which operates the Blackbird, is looking forward to the return of the event.

He said: “The Wheelbarrow Race is not only great fun for all involved but also raises a huge sum of money for two very worthwhile causes, so it’s great news that it will be back in January.

“We have a new outdoor street food kitchen and our very own tipi this year, so we hope supporters will stay back after the race to make the most of everything on offer.

“It’s always a brilliant day out for people of all ages and I can’t think of a better way to start the new year.”

2022 will make the grand return of the race, which had to be cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic.

The year previous, in 2019, the race was the best attended in the event's history.

Chairman of co-organisers Ponteland 41 Club, Philip Peacock, said, “It is fantastic to be able to announce the return of the Wheelbarrow Race, which is a hugely anticipated event on Ponteland’s social calendar.

“We are currently deep in the planning stages to pull out all the stops this year and it’s already shaping up to be another amazing event.”