State's best go for glory
By Nick Houghton
Coffs Coast Advocate
12th November 2011
THERE will be a need for speed at Alan Gillet Oval when the 58th running of the Macksville Gift takes place today.
The second-longest running athletic event in Australia behind the Stawell Gift, the Macksville Gift will feature some of the best male and female sprinters in the state competing to claim the prestigious title.
The day will feature events in a variety of categories and qualifications, from Little Athletics to the feature race tonight.
The dash is run over 120 metres, with athletes starting from pre-determined handicap positions.
Event organiser Greg Wood said he was expecting some quality times this year.
"We have some really great competitors in the gift this year, so it will take a very fast time to be gift champion," he said.
"The best thing about the gift is that it's not always the favourite who wins.
"An athlete who can take advantage of their handicap is always in with a chance."
Another major attraction today will be the first world championship banana hurl, with Wood saying much is expected from this unique competition.
"The banana hurl is something we thought would be a little different and give everyone a chance in getting involved," he said.
"We are going to hold the finals of the banana hurl before the start of the gift final, so it will be quite the spectacle."
Other events include the crowning of the Gift Queen and there will be a fireworks display after the final.