The World’s Greatest Nude or Underwearing Footrace. The Meredith Gift is a completely nude or underwearing sprint and takes place on the Sunday afternoon of each Meredith, in the Amphitheatre, to an enthralled full crowd of around twenty five million. The Gift is run and won over an extended track; instead of being a straight dash, competitors run AROUND the Amphitheatre – yep, a Nude Loop Around The Sup’.
Feel free to run it your way.
WHY AND HOW
See below for The Rules. Anyone at the festival can enter (it’s free), as long as they are nude or underwearing. It all started in 1994 when one of the bands was late to arrive on the Sunday. What do we do, we wondered. Have a race involving the patrons. Winner gets cold beer. Some guy wandered to the front of the stage as this was being announced and asked what he would win if he did it in the nude. MORE cold beer, of course. The following year the race was held again – as it was a talking point from the year before – and several people got nude, completely on their own accord. The year after we had to limit entry to only fully nude people, as there were so many people wanting to run.
If you haven’t seen a Meredith Gift, it’s pretty funny. There’s always a crash, nude people tumbling along at speed, grass burns, injured bits, etc.
DEFINITELY WORTH A LOOK
You can watch some footage of previous Classic Gifts.
There will be five heats, for men, women and all-in, before a final. Competitors enter whichever race they feel most at home in, and must be nude or underwearing (the least amount of clothes they feel comfortable wearing). The fastest finalists will be awarded Golden Robes.
All competitors must register on Sunday afternoon by going to the sign-up area towards the left of the stage (near Southbank) from 1:30pm and signing an Indemnity Form. The Gift runs at about 2pm Sunday. Register into one of three races: men, women and all-in.
THE RULES OF THE MEREDITH GIFT
- Anyone at the Festival can enter.
- Best mates must think it through before doing any daring.
- ALL entrants must register and sign an Indemnity Form.
- ALL entrants must be nude or underwearing (the least amount of clothes you feel comfortable wearing).
- Stawell Gift winners shall receive a handicap and irate glares.
- Any competitor wearing lycra will be made to mow the lawns for a month.
- The crowd must collectively go ‘ORGHH’ and recoil when runners fall over.
- Please look after yourself and others.
- No Dickheads.
TOWN BIKES RETIREMENT
A very wonderful chapter in Meredith history closes this year as The Town Bikes have decided it is time to hang up the bullhorn and clipboard. They joined the Meredith circus in 2002 as performers on stage and returned the following year to help marshall The Meredith Gift. Each year since they have brought a whole world of everything to the role, including extraordinary costumes and characters. They have also overseen The Gift’s evolution from a muddy bunch of mostly blokes to the all-welcome internationally-renowned thrill-seeking spectacular it is today. We sincerely, deeply thank Carla and Gabi from the bottom of our grazed buttocks for steering this little slice of absurdity so brilliantly.