The 133rd running of the Stawell Gift – Australia’s premier professional foot race – has attracted 1,650 competitors, including 100 metres record holder Melissa Breen.
Breen, 23, will go up against the men in the event for the second time.
She competed in the race for the first time in 2011, getting through her heats, but failed to make the semi-finals.
“I always said I wouldn’t have another crack until I knew I was in good enough shape to make semis,” Breen told reporters.
“I think if I’m able to stay healthy I would definitely love to be the first female to make the semis.”
Breen recently broke the Australian 100 metres record in the semi-finals of the ACT track championships before beating Olympic Gold medal hurdler Sally Pearson in the final.
Her time of 11.11 seconds bettered Melinda Gainsford-Taylor’s 20-year record of 11.12.
This year’s Gift winner will walk away with a cheque for $40,000.
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