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Endurance walk to Geraldton

Posted by ken On April - 22 - 2009

Veteran TVW staffers will be aware of former News Editor and General Manager Darcy Farrell’s propensity for exercise. Richard Ashton recalls that on returning to the studios following newsworthy events, Darcy would leap out of the news vehicle at Dog Swamp and run all the way up the Flinders Street hill, and down Cobham Avenue to the Newsroom.

Gordon McColl recalls Darcy regularly putting on his running shoes after work, to jog the distance from Tuart Hill to his home in Nedlands.

Darcy has run most of the Channel 9 City to Surf events, including 2008, and has competed in numerous full marathons in Australia and overseas.

“Usually, without distinction,” he modestly explained.

Darcy  and Jim Cruthers received considerable publicity in late 1967 when they walked along the beach from Quinns to Geraldton.


They were accompanied by Bill Macartney, son of WA Newspapers famous managing editor J.E.Macartney, John Cruthers and other relatives and friends, Philip Dempster and Trenn McCurry.

The below pictures show the trekkers in action and on arrival at Geraldton Yacht Club.


Friday, December 15th, 1967, the sunburnt and weary party of six, led by Darcy Farrell, arrived in Geraldton after a 275 mile beach walk which took 13 days.

They towed most of their gear in two trolleys, slept on the beach and were up and walking before dawn every day.

By 11am, after six or seven hours pushing into the powerful nor’westerlies, they would stop for tucker and then take a siesta before resuming the walk.

The team would cook on the beach and be in their sleeping bags as dusk was descending.

One trolley couldn’t stand the pace and was eventually discarded; there were plenty of snakes and other hazards; occasional injuries and a couple of the 46-mile days were tough.

Even today, Bill Macartney’s three adult sons look at these old photos and try to persuade their Dad to re-enact the venture.

Bill is super fit and recently competed in the Rottnest swim. John is an expert in Australian art, Philip is farming. Trenn lives in Geraldton, Jim and Sheila lives at Point Walter and Darcy ran the 2009 Gallipoli Fun Run.


Geraldton Walk Photo Gallery

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