The 140th Stawell Gift was a resounding success with big crowds and record-breaking times.
The Stawell Gift has been held in all but five years since 1878 and is one of the world's most famous and prestigious foot races.
Stawell Athletic Club president Geoff McDermott said the 2022 event felt as if everything was "back to normal".
"This year was the first time in a while it felt right again," he said.
"We didn't hold the event in 2020 due to COVID-19 for the first time since WWII, and then last year we had an interrupted event.
"It was great to have crowds back and see the town flourishing again."
McDermott said he was pleased with the Channel 7 coverage of the event.
"It was one of our best years for coverage, not only in Victoria but nationally," he said.
"I thought the crowds were fantastic on Saturday and Sunday and probably down on Monday due to the conditions.
"We were lucky that the weather held off during the main televised events, which was fantastic."
McDermott was proud to incorporate a welcome to country ceremony into proceedings for the first time in the Stawell Gift's history this year.
The 2022 event saw the return of the Fashions on the Field spectacle.
The competition allowed men and women to showcase their latest autumn carnival looks at Central Park on Easter Saturday.
"It was really well received, the crowd really embraced it," McDermott said.
"It was good to see a lot of people get back there and provide a new dynamic to the gift."
McDermott said he was excited about the success of the Herb Hedemann 1600m race, which was the first race broadcasted on the Channel 7 coverage.
"The Stawell Gift is normally known for the running race across the 120m and in recent years we have introduced the women's race and the Herb Hedemann which was run over a mile," he said.
"The Herb Hedemann is the first time we have been able to acknowledge one of our prestigious distance races."
McDermott said the president's function might be moved out of the football clubrooms to accommodate the VIPs and sponsors in future years.
"It obviously normally occurs over lunch in the football clubrooms and you seem to be a bit removed from the action," he said.
"Whether we move that to a breakfast function to move it to the new VIP area, which worked well this year, is to be seen.
"The gift is all about putting on a spectacle but also attracting sponsorship so that we can continue to grow the event so we want to give them the best possible experience."
The Stawell Athletic Club committee hopes to gain more support from local businesses for next year's event.
"A combination of state government funding and grant funding as well as sponsorship from our major sponsors such as Powercor really keeps us going," McDermott said.
"We do have some dedicated businesses who we should publish their names and thank them very much for their support which has been ongoing throughout the years. Although there are quite a few others, who could offer their support.
"It would be good to harness the support from the businesses who benefit from the Stawell Gift."
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