Mar­ble Bar Races hon­our le­gend

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Tom Zaun­mayr

The Mar­ble Bar Cup mixed breed undies run is one of the great­est mo­ments on the Pil­bara sport­ing cal­en­dar, mak­ing it the per­fect ve­hi­cle to pay trib­ute to one of the re­gion’s favourite sons.

Late heli-mus­ter­ing pilot Ross McDow­ell, also known as Rossy Ro­tor, loved a day at the races, so it was only fit­ting sev­eral peo­ple who were close to him made sure his spirit lived on.

Hence the idea was born for Rossy Ro­tor Root­ers, a team of near-nude run­ners don­ning those words on their un­der­wear as they bolted down the red-dirt race track for the last race of the day.

In what was ar­guably one of the big­gest Pil­bara sur­prises ever, the McDow­ells were un­aware of the trib­ute un­til the teams’ bot­toms were stand­ing in a line right in front of them on the race track.

They joined a large con­tin­gent of about 40 rac­ers in vary­ing de­grees of nu­dity and ath­leti­cism for the 100m dash down the home straight of the red-dirt race­course.

Mr McDow­ell’s wife, Chrissie McDow­ell, said it had been an hon­our to share the grief and joy of the past year with the com­mu­nity.

“I knew it was go­ing to be a pretty emo­tional week­end be­cause we al­ways loved go­ing to Mar­ble Bar, and for Rossy, it was the high­light of the cal­en­dar for the year,” she said.

“This whole year has been re­ally very sad, but very pos­i­tive. I can’t ex­press how grate­ful I am to this com­mu­nity.

“Rossy was a quiet bloke who touched ev­ery­one’s heart in a way which was so pow­er­ful.”

The team name was a trib­ute to the name Mr McDow­ell gave a triathlon team he com­peted in with his daugh­ter So­phie.

As a fur­ther trib­ute, Chrissie was crowned beau of the ball the night be­fore, notch­ing up a McDow­ell fam­ily tri­fecta.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

Chrissie and So­phie McDow­ell, wife and daugh­ter of lo­cal le­gend Ross McDow­ell, who died in a he­li­copter ac­ci­dent last year. An undies run team was named Rossy Ro­tor Root­ers in hon­our of one of So­phie's favourite mem­o­ries of her fa­ther.

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