Entries are now open for all races at the 2018 Stawell Gift. The Victorian Athletic League opened entries on Thursday for Australia’s richest footrace.
Stawell Athletic Club office manager Wendy Hopwood said it is an exciting time of year with the Gift fast approaching.
“We are about 10 weeks away which really isn’t too long,” she said.
There is so much culture and history...Matt Rizzo
“The buzz around the Gift starts to pick up about now.”
2017 Stawell Gift male champion Matt Rizzo said he will “definitely” be entering to defend his title.
“I am keen to put the entry in and have a crack at back-to-back wins,” he said.
1966 and 1967 winner Bill Howard is the only athlete in Gift history to achieve the rare feat of winning back-to-back races.
Rizzo said he feels like he has prepared well enough to give himself a chance of repeating Howard’s achievement.
“My preparation is going pretty well,” he said.
“I feel like I have improved in my training and I am pretty happy with how it is going.”
The 137th running of the Stawell Gift will be held from Saturday, March 31 through to Monday, April 2 this year.
Rizzo said he expects some of the best runners in the country to compete once again. “Stawell is one place athletes can get noticed,” he said.
“There is so much culture and history and it is just amazing to run on Central Park in front of massive crowds.
“I would encourage people to put their entries in to have a crack.”
Entries close on Wednesday, February 21.