The Australia Post Stawell Gift has been held in all but four years since 1878, and is one of the world’s most famous and prestigious foot races.
Run on grass, athletes are handicapped according to form and ability, and start off varying marks accordingly. Runners race for glory and prize money with many more dollars working their way through the bookies ring.
The main race is the Australia Post Stawell Gift which is run over 120m up a slight gradient, and the final is traditionally held on Easter Monday.
Unlike the World Championships or Olympic Games which are conducted on synthetic rubber surfaces, the Australia Post Stawell Gift is run on a grass track. For the majority of the year, Central Park in the regional town of Stawell is home to local AFL football and cricket, but at Easter time it transforms into an athletics mecca. For the sprint events, the athletes run in lanes that are separated by lane ropes, not painted lines. The famous finish gates are one of the most iconic features of the Gift.
Runners are handicapped according to form and ability, and start off varying ‘marks’ accordingly.
For many runners, the key to success at Stawell is to beat the handicapper – meaning they may not have displayed the form they are capable of in the lead-up to the event in the hope of receiving a handicap or ‘mark’ that might make victory more achievable.
Click here to download a copy of the Constitution of the Stawell Athletic Club.
Stawell Athletic Club is supported by Twenty3 Sport & Entertainment engaged to manage all media, marketing,broadcast and sponsorship activities on behalf of the Club.
The Victorian Athletic League is the governing body of professional foot running in Victoria.