Mick Bridle Award – Started running at the Harriers around 2003
Information supplied by Lee Graham
Mick ran his first Melbourne Marathon in 1979 and went on to run 26 consecutive Melbourne Marathon’s. Details are a bit sketchy, but it is thought this award started after Mick ran his 2nd or 3rd Melbourne Marathon.
Karen Graham (Mick’s daughter who would have only been about 7 or 8 at the time) gave him a tiny plastic trophy similar to the Ashes Urn with the World’s Greatest Dad on it. The Following year Mick passed it onto a friend (Roger Elliot) minus the Greatest Dad base which had broken off. From then on it was known as the Guts and Determination Award and each year after that the previous year’s winner would choose the next winner.
Mick thinks that since 2003 the Mick Bridle Award has been a Traralgon Harriers award. It is presented each year to a member who ran the Melbourne Marathon and who accumulated the most votes from the other members who also ran the marathon that year.
The current criteria for winning:
- Must be a current financial member of the Traralgon Harriers.
- Cannot win two years running.
- Complete the Melbourne Marathon.
- Everyone who participated in the marathon and who are Traralgon Marathon members to vote 3, 2, 1.
The winner of this award is normally not a great runner, but is one who has great determination to finish no matter how hard it gets. It is meant to epitomise the toughness of the marathon.
Some things people may not know why Mick has never been a person to give up:
- As a very young bloke travelled the world and had some very scary moments.
- Mick worked on fishing boats in New Zealand.
- Cut sugar cane by hand in Queensland (before mechanised machines).
- Tram conductor, Crane Driver, Rigger, Wheat humper.
- Competed as a professional boxer.
- Marine Coxswain (highest level) with the National Safety Council of Victoria. No mean feat as he had only a basic education.
- Volunteer firefighter 50+ years and still a member of the Moe fire Brigade.
- Cryptic crossword master and general word master in general.
- Would be embarrassed to have people know but he is quite the poet. While studying for the Coxswains’ ticket he was in Melbourne at one of the Universities and wrote a poem which he put in the public notices of the Herald Sun for mum (Anne) on Valentine’s Day.
- Suffered with the bends after diving on a wreck off the coast off Wilsons Promontory and spent some time in a decompression chamber. He was later presented with a plaque recognising the discovery of the wreck. Some of the medical staff thought that it was his fitness that helped his recovery. He had been training for the Canberra marathon at the time.
- Number 1 life member of Newborough football club and played up to an age that many would have considered well past retirement age.
- Tells stories of the tough childhood that they had living in the bush in far east Gippsland and making money selling skins of any animal that they could catch. Also eating anything that they could catch too (Galah pie springs to mind).
Mick completed 26 Consecutive Melbourne Marathons. Had gastro in one and ran another with hamstring injury