Pro running or Gift races allows athletes of all ages and abilities to compete in a fun and competitive environment. Each athlete is given a mark, or handicap, based on their ability, giving them an equal opportunity to triumph in their chosen event. Gifts are traditionally held on a grass surface and distances range from 70m to 3200m. There is prize money for each race from $300 to $60,000 and a sash for every winner. The VAL provide a wide range of race categories and distances to ensure there is something for everyone. Race categories include:
- Junior (U14 - U18) - Must be under the age limit on the day of competition.
- Restricted (must be 14+ years of age and never won a race excluding junior races worth a total of $300+ and never won an State or National title, excluding school competition)
- Women’s only events
- Masters - Must be 35+ years of age on the day of the event.
- Open - Open to all athletes
- Frontmarkers (FM) and Backmarkers (BM) - Open to all athletes, these are races that are split into 2 fields depending on handicap.
Athletes must be 14+ years of age to compete in any appropriate race (excluding Junior races). Athletes must be 11 years of age on the day of competition to compete in the appropriate Junior races and cannot compete in any other category. Find out more on our FAQ's page.
Find out more about the history of the Victorian Athletic League here