First run in 1885, the race is conducted by the Tasmanian Athletic League in conjunction with the Burnie Athletic Club. The race is held on a grass track at West Park Oval in Burnie. A sprint event, the Burnie Gift is conducted over the traditional 'Gift' distance of 120 metres. Prior to 1973 the distance was 130 yards. The Women's Gift was introduced in 1995, although was known for the first few years as the Women's 120m Handicap.
Athletes are allocated handicaps with a range from scratch (running the full 120 metres) to the current limit of 12.00 metres. An athlete off 12.00m would run 108 metres. Most athletes (and winners) run from a handicap between 5.0m and 10.0m, thereby covering anywhere from 115m to 110m. Handicaps are assigned by a panel based on an assessment of each athlete’s track performances. Athletes are separated by lane ropes as opposed to painted lanes on synthetic tracks. The finish line is a finishing gate that each athlete must run through to record a time.
The Burnie Carnival is the premier running carnival in Tasmania and is considered one of the 'big three' professional Gifts in Australia along with Victoria's Stawell Gift and the Bay Sheffield in South Australia. Along with the feature event, the Burnie carnival includes races over 90m, 400m and 1600m. The Burnie carnival is one of three Tasmanian Christmas Carnivals conducted over a seven-day period from 26 December to January 1. The other carnivals are held at Latrobe and Devonport.
Dean Capobianco (1991) was the first athlete to win the race off scratch (running the full 120 metres). Joshua Ross (2004 and 2007) is the only man to have won the Gift twice off the scratch mark. Capobianco and Ross are the only national 100m champions to have won the Gift.
|Year||Men's Burnie Gift||Women's Burnie Gift|
|2019||Ash Moloney QLD||Bec Kovacic TAS|
|2018||Daniel Reeves TAS||Kiani Allen TAS|
|2017||Jorden Englund TAS||Morgan Gaffney TAS|
|2016||John Howe TAS||Lilly Castle TAS|
|2015||Simon Fitzpatrick VIC||Kimberley Geelan TAS|
|2014||Adam Coote VIC||Cara Boustead VIC|
|2013||Jacob Despard TAS||Morgan Gaffney TAS|
|2012||Brendan Cole ACT||Laura-Jane Hilditch VIC|
|2011||Robbie James SA||Morgan Gaffney TAS|
|2010||Ollie Wurm VIC||Sandy Loring TAS|
|2009||Clay Watkins SA||Alicia Wrench-Doody SA|
|2008||Duncan Tippins SA||Olivia Mills TAS|
|2007||Joshua Ross NSW||Melissa Kay TAS|
|2006||Cameron Yorke WA||Katie Moore VIC|
|2005||Luke Whitney TAS||Megan Hines NSW|
|2004||Joshua Ross NSW||Madelin Poke TAS|
|2003||Carnival abandoned due to rain|
|2002||Darren Rogers WA||Anne-Marie Mouri-Nkeng CAMEROON|
|2001||Craig Brown VIC||Tamika Johnston TAS|
|2000||Matt Stevenson TAS||Melissa Kay TAS|
|1999||Simon Bresnehan TAS||Emma Marshall TAS|
|1998||Shaun Turale TAS||Kasey Kuusisalo TAS|
|1997||Paul Pearce VIC||Emma Marshall TAS|
|1996||David Downie TAS||Lauren Hewitt VIC|
|1995||Paul Slupecki VIC||Donna Collins NSW|
|1994||Shane Hearn WA|
|1993||Simon Bresnehan TAS|
|1992||Todd Ireland VIC|
|1991||Dean Capobianco WA|
|1990||Robert Kirsopp VIC|
|1989||John Riggs TAS|
|1988||Anthony Grima VIC|
|1987||Frank Corsello VIC|
|1986||Mark Hipworth VIC|
|1985||Wayne Johncock TAS|
|1984||Gary Wescombe TAS|
|1983||Lee Berwick TAS|
|1982||Michael Geary TAS|
|1981||Neil King VIC|
|1980||Gary French TAS|
|1979||Ian Hagger VIC|
|1978||Gary Wescombe TAS|
|1977||Steve Roach TAS|
|1976||Kevin Portch NSW|
|1975||Gerard Thompson TAS|
|1974||John Mowat VIC|
|1973||Max Seymour TAS|
|1972||Ralph Heffernan TAS|
|1971||Barry Poulter NSW|
|1970||Kerry Badcock TAS|
|1968||Phillip Lincoln TAS|
- Burnie Sports, The Mercury, (Friday 2 January 1925), p.8. Sports in the Country, ‘’The Argus’’, (Friday, 2 January 1925), p.2.
- "Burnie Gift to Watkins" - The Independent Weekly
- "Women Competing at the Burnie Gift". burniegift.com. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
- Tasmanian Athletic League. "Tasmanian Athletic League Sprint Handicapping Guidelines 2017 / 2018" (PDF). sportstg.com.
- Alex Fair (1 January 2019). "Big win for Ash Moloney in the Burnie Gift". The Examiner.
- Alex Fair (1 January 2019). "Burnie Gift win a day that Bec Kovacic will never forget". The Examiner.
- Alex Fair (1 January 2018). "Reeves' sprints to Burnie Gift victory". The Examiner.
- Carla Howarth (3 January 2017). "Burnie Gift: Tasmanian Morgan Gaffney outpaces Olympian Morgan Mitchell in 2017 race". ABC News.
- Lauren Waldhuter (2 January 2016). "Tasmanians take out Burnie Gift and Women's Wheel against star-studded line-ups". ABC News.
- "Burnie Carnival results". The Advocate. 1 January 2015.
- "Victorian runners dominate at the Burnie carnival". ABC News. 2 January 2014.
- "O'Shea's clean sweep of Tasmania's cycling carnivals". ABC News. 2 January 2013.
- Shannon Shephard (1 January 2012). "Winner close to tears". The Advocate.
- "History for Gaffney with third gift win". The Examiner. 1 January 2017.
- "Local athletes big winners at Burnie Carnival". ABC News. 2 January 2010.
- "The Burnie Gift, history 1987 to present". burniegift.com.
- "MacFarlane beats men to take Burnie Carnival honours". ABC News. 2 January 2007.
- "2006 Burnie Carnival". The Examiner. 2 January 2006.
- "Burnie Gift anger". The Examiner. 2 January 1998.