If, at your next race, you spot a man wearing a police helmet and pushing a wheelbarrow kitted out like a police car, you’ve just encountered Barrowthonman, a regular on the race circuit in the north of England. ‘I’ve wheeled 31 races,’ says Damieon Hartley-pickles, the man behind the barrow and a real police officer in Oldham. He has a wheelbarrow half-marathon PB of 1:51.
Barrowthonman raise funds as well as smiles. ‘The idea of the wheelbarrow is that people can donate on the spot,’ says Damieon, whose chosen cause is Dr Kershaw’s Hospice in Oldham. Barrowthonman used to run full marathons, but he was advised by a specialist to stop because of a degenerative hip problem. ‘But I couldn’t; I’d caught the bug.’ So Damieon downsized to 10Ks and half marathons and he remains on the straight and barrow.