WOMEN COMPETING AT THE BURNIE GIFT
Catherine Phillips goes down in history as the first to win a dedicated event for women at the 1992 Burnie Athletic Club Carnival.
It was a sole 400 metre event and the 29-year-old mother, from Rosevears, holding off Howrah’s Amanda Taylor and Toni Phillips from Western Australia.
The first ever event, however, over the Gift distance of 120 metres did not come until 1995 when women lined up on the famous sprint track.
Now regarded as the first ever women’s Burnie Gift, Donna Collins, off six metres, headed home Victorian scratch runner Lee Naylor and Gravelly Beach’s Kylie Marshall off eight metres, to win the $400 events, running the distance in 14.86 secs.
Over the years more events were added for women, bringing to the Burnie track some of the future stars of Australian and world athletics.
Sydney Olympics 2000 400 metres Gold Medallist, Cathy Freeman, ran at the Burnie Carnival on many occasions.
She admitted that running in professional races where she had to give start and chase, helped develop her athletic career.