With $40,000 and the prestige of winning a footrace 138 years old on the line, the hundreds of athletes that participated in this year's Stawell Gift races can be forgiven for their serious attitude towards the event. However, Stawell Gift finals day started with a little bit of fun.
Representatives from across various emergency services and organisations battled it out over 120 metres in the Emergency Services Challenge on Monday morning before competition racing began.
Rob Bartorelli and Glenn Troeth ran for Victoria Police, Hannah Blight and Naomi Altmann represented the SES, Bernie Fradd and Brittany Tannock ran for the CFA and Ambulance Victoria's Matt Perry and Parks Victoria's Marcus Cooper also participated.
Cooper ended up winning the race, going in with an advantage given his background as an athlete and athletics coach himself.
Stawell Police Constable Glenn Troeth said it was his first time in the event.
"It was a great feeling. I saw a few locals on the way in wish me luck which was great," he said.
"I've ran down this wing playing football but never in this environment.
"It's totally different when you get to those lines there and have to focus.
"It was good fun."
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