The World’s Greatest Nude Footrace. The Meredith Gift is a completely nude 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’. It’s a hit.
Special Gifters The Town Bikes will be on hand again to enforce Marshall Law.
WHY AND HOW
See below for The Rules. Anyone at the festival can enter (it’s free), as long as they are nude. It all started in 1993 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. It can be a bit confronting and tragic too, but mostly funny. There’s always a crash, nude people tumbling along at speed, grass burns, injured penises, etc.
DEFINITELY WORTH A LOOK
You can watch some footage of previous Classic Gifts.
HEATS, THEN A FINAL
There are heats for women and heats for men, then a final. There will be hats strewn across the track near the finish line of each heat. The 12 competitors who grab a hat then go through to The Final. The Final will be run immediately after The Heats, and will involve those twelve successful hat-grabbers racing for The Golden Jocks and The Golden Gusset.
THE TOWN BIKES
The Marvellous Town Bikes are an institution in their role – taking registrations, issuing instructions, marshalling the runners and most wonderfully firing the starter’s pistol.
All competitors must register by going to the sign-up area towards the left of the stage (near Southbank) from 1:30pm and signing an Indemnity Form, then getting a stencil sponged onto their torso. The Gift runs at about 2pm Sunday.
THE RULES OF THE MEREDITH GIFT
- Anyone at the Festival can enter.
- You MUST enter if your best mate dares you.
- ALL entrants must be nude or underpanted.
- Stawell Gift winners shall receive a handicap and irate glares.
- Any competitor wearing Lycra will be set on fire.
- Competitors may NOT drive their car instead of running.
- The crowd must collectively go ‘ORGHH’ and recoil when runners fall over.