Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Sports Wrap - 2009 Stawell Gift

A photo essay...

For the unitiated, The Stawell Gift is the oldest foot race in the world. It's been going since 18-something, and I think it used to offer (and may still offer) the highest prizemoney for a single race (though of course, top athletes get 'appearance money' and sponsor dollars at world-class events, but all they actually 'win' is a medal... in Stawell, the winner gets cash).

It is run over 120 metres and is handicapped. In other words, only one or two runners actually run the full 120 metres, the rest get headstarts based on their form leading up to it. So the fastest runner doesn't necessarily win. It's just first past the post. Oh, and you can bet on the race with bookies, which I did, and lost $20 on a fella called 'Davies' who I got at twenty-ones early in the day. He came third. Anyway. There's not just the gift, there's other races.

I was the guest of an athletic family, and one of them was the coach of a young lad competing in the 200m. On Saturday, he had posted the fastest heat time, and here he is setting up his blocks for the semi-final on Monday.

It's lonely out there, but I was bucking tradition and yelling out things like, "Go boy... you can do it... what are your legs? Springs! Steel springs!" but I was embarrassing my hosts so I shutup.

He won the semi-final and there was much celebrating in our camp. One of our boys was looking good for the final! But although he ran just as fast in the final, two other men found an extra yard or two and beat him. Here he is coming third (in yellow for the final).

One thing I was informed about the night before by my hosts is that there are hot chicks everywhere at the Stawell Gift (and hot guys). They were not wrong. You can keep your nightclubs and catwalks... running events is where the hot chicks are because they are all supremely fit and healthy, and wear skimpier clothes than just about anywhere but the beach. It was incredible, and I felt like a scrawny, unfit ogre. Which I am. It was awkward walking around there - there were hundreds of athletes, and their friends and families and everyone was so freaking HEALTHY and so many of them were BEAUTIFIUL. I found two other cigarette smokers in the whole crowd, and they were staff.

But none come hotter than Tamsyn Lewis of course, because aside from being a hottie, she is also supremely talented - a fact made evident by the fact that she wasn't in the 800m (which she has run three times at The Olympics) or the 400m (which she is reigning Australian champion, flat, and hurdles) but in the 120m! In a sprint! She's not a sprinter! Or is she now? What can't she do (in spikes on tracks between 100m and 800m)?

Here she is in a semi-final of the sprint, coming down the track with a real sprinter in red next to her, and some other chicks.

Inexplicably, she won! And in doing so, was about 2 metres from me (which, by the way, she also was earlier in the day, and there was nobody else within earshot, but I chickened out on saying anything because she was training at the time and I didn't want to disturb her). Here she is, right next to us.

And then, after congratulating the other runners, she disrobed, thus adding to the theatre of the occassion.

Then the final came. Here she is a few minutes before the race, acquainting herself with the track, and I was all conflicted becauyse I'm there thinking, "Oh God, that chick in lane 1 in red is really really HOT!" (Her name is Laura Whaler - ranked 5 in the country over 100m).

And the race is on! Twenty metres to go, and Tamsyn is flying down Lane 2, having got the measure of the hot chick in Lane 1 and reeling in the rest of them.

But she ends up coming second to the complete unknown in the yellow, who was very, very excited.

And I'm yelling out, "Good run yellow! Good run Tamsyn! Marry me and have my babies, red chick!"

And anyway, that was it for Tamsyn. She went off and started yapping to some other hot chick that I would also like to marry... (Melissa Breen - 2nd fastest woman in the country)

...and I went and had a cigarette in the lovely gardens, which are surely the most manicured gardens of any country footy ground in the nation.

The Gift itself was run, and we sat up in the old stand on the back straight. Although we were a mile away, we were right on the finish line and could see the race well enough.

Some 18 year old kid won it easily, and give him a few years and his name will be a household name, but unfortunately, 8 hours later, I;ve already forgotten it. But go him!

All in all, I recommend the Stawell Gift to the TSFKA Victorian readers. The event is kid-friendly (rides, activities), there's hot chicks and guys everywhere, the ameneties are clean, it's a great Australian institution, and you get to see a few International level athletes up close (eg: Tamsyn Lewis, Joshua Ross)... closer than you'll get at any other event. Not to mention, driving there through all the cute little towns is fun in itself.

I left soon after the Gift, and listened to Richmond get fucking hammered again on the car radio, but I was clutching my own First Prize from the 2009 Stawell Gift.

Perseus Q Kneejerk:
Winner of the coveted Stawell 2009

"Most inappropriately dressed spectator"

Fuck yers all. There should be more Texan Pirate Goths at the country sport carnivals!


Lewd Bob said...

The only reason I ever hear about the Stawell Gift is cos you mention it every year.

Jesus wept, is that a cross around your heretical neck?

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

running events is where the hot chicks areI was going to ask you what the attraction is about people running very fast for a short period of time, but you've just answered that.

catlick said...

Perseus what I know about running would fit in a tick's ear, but even I know that in a handicap the "fix" is always in. "Professional" runners try not to get the attention of the handicapper. It's part of the charm of the Gift.

Desci said...

Urg, running races. The only thing I approve of in this post is your outfit. From here on in, please finish every sport post with a photo of well-put-together goth hotness. Kthnx.

Fad MD said...

What? No top hat?

Anonymous said...

Perseus, I think I see the problem in your lack of success closing the deal on that foursome with the three athletes. You forgot to wear your singlet, gym shorts and running shoes. They just couldn't see across the genres.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I'd like to see more Goths in foot races.

Perseus said...

Bob: No - skulls on an anchor.

Catlick: Indeed. the bloke who won did it so convincingly, the murmurs around the crowd were all "He must've been holding back over the summer..." Technically, yhat's illegal, but you can't prove it. It's the same in horse racing.

Desci: Thank you, and I shall do my best.

Boogey: In my defence, I was a guest of VIP officials, some of who were also in suits, but the thing is, they didn't leave the VIP area whereas I was brave enough to wander out into the crowd. But generally speaking, yes, you're right.

Fad: I considered it! In the historical photos, in days yonder, all the men wore top hats and suits to the Stawell Gift. Ah, those were the days. Now the men are all in fucking Adidas and/or boardies. Men can't dress themselves any more.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

That red-haired chick Tamsyn is chatting to looks a lot like Julia Gillard.

Perseus said...

A little, and the similarities don't end there.

Her name is Melissa Breen and she's the 2nd fastest woman in the country, and Julia is the 2nd most important person in the country.

And I formally propose marriage to both of them on this public site.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Comrade Jules used to be pretty speedy on the soccer field in her younger days, as I recall.

Anonymous said...

Comrade Jules used to be pretty speedy on the soccer field in her younger days, as I recall.As I recall, she was dumped from the team because she always veered off to the left.

Boom boom. Boom frickin' boom.

Fad MD said...

I have a fantastic silk top hat which cost me 500 pesos ($15). Maybe I'll start wearing it more often.

wari lasi said...

Perseus, even super conservative me approves of the outfit. Just not the cross thingie medallion or whatever. You call yourself goth and you don't even appear to be wearing eye shadow! My current muse has a shirt she got from the second hand shop (one of the many, second hand clothes is big business here) that says, "I love hot emo boys". I asked her if she knew what emo meant, which she didn't, so I googled it and showed her some pictures. "All the guys look like gays". Maybe I just got the wrong site, but they were certainly all looking pretty damned androgenous.

And Ramon, from the other post I know, but I'm 45 on May 12. So I reckon I might even be the oldest one "here".

And Bob. It should have been:

Jesus wept. And then whatever else you wanted to say.

It's the shortest verse in the Bible. Really truly, I know that because I'm such a good and devout RC.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Pers. you need a fob watch and chain to complete that outfit.

Pepsi said...

Those ladies have amazing tummy muscles, I am jealous of those tummy muscles.

You spick up nicely Pers, but what is the woman in the chair behind you reading?

Aesophia said...

Ah Pers,

I am loving these photos (I mean really, who doesn't dig fit chicks?)

However, my favourite would have to be the final one of the fellow who won the Most Inappropriately Dressed Spectator.

You look fantastic! Fah I say at your supposed scrawny unfit form! Bring on the black suit with white pirate shirt... And may I suggest a cane and/or hook to go with the top hat you will be purchasing on your next trip into the big bad city. And thank all the gods, other entities and powers that be you're not wearing make-up, please continue not to do so.

Perseus said...

I have a fob watch and chain Ramon. next photo essay I'll see if I can work it in.

Thanks for the kind words Wari, Pepsi and Aesophia.

I do wear black nail polish if the band is playing, but that's in context.

I have no idea what the woman behind me was reading. She wasn't in our group. I tried zooming in on the original shot but it was blurred. I fear it is a Self Help title. You can tell, because it's got a photo of someone in the bottom corner. It may be called, "Yes, I Can Enjoy Sports Too!"

Wari - you seem to have an endless tap of muses over there. Can't you just send me one?

wari lasi said...

Perseus. They are indeed thick on the ground here, but they can be trouble. Also, at the risk of sounding old fashioned, one has to avoid taking advantage of the socio economic disparity. In other words very young, very pretty girls are desperate to be with a white man. Any white man. The moral high ground is cheap territory I know, but there are loads of blokes here who treat the local girls like rubbish. I'm as testorone charged as the next guy, but I do have a conscience and most importantly I'm a sole parent to an 8 year old girl. Emma does not see an endless parade of ladies leaving the house in the mornings. The muse in question, despite her protestations of undying love, comes and stays with us on weekends. Rule number one, unless you're in love and want to marry them, never let them move in. They are extremely jealous and difficult to move out once they get their feet under the table.

That said however just say the word and I'll shoot your picture around the village and will no doubt have 100 eager applicants for a trip south by tomorrow.

shitbmxrider said...

Wari: PNG?

My ex was from there. Dad was a whitey, mum a native.

And, like the rest of her family, she is bat-shit insane.

wari lasi said...

sbmxr - Yep, PNG.

Mixed race kids are normally quite attractive but can be psychotic as well. Where were her family from?