No medals were presented in the first three years of the Melbourne Marathon. In 1981 and 1982, the first 100 finishers were presented with medals. However, since 1983 medals have been presented to every finisher, and the following photos show the faces of each medal. Some designs were used for multiple years (eg, 1984 and 85), so only one example appears.
See the bottom of the page for images of cloth patches sent to all finishers from 1982 to 1994.
Medals from 1983 to 2018 are shown above, with one year missing.
1978 “First Male Over 50” Medal
We recently discovered that some medals were in fact presented to age class winners in 1978. The images shown below depict the medal presented to the first male finisher over 50, and we presume that similar medals were presented to other age class winners. Our thanks go to David M for good work in ensuring that this memento of the Marathon’s early days is not lost.
This medal was apparently presented in a case, rather than attached to a ribbon.
No name engraved, perhaps presented on the day?
1981 and 1982 Medal – first 100 finishers
Saul Bakaitis (S0168) finished 53rd in 1982 in a time of 2:32:24. He has kindly provided the photographs of his medal shown here. He can’t remember whether he had the engraving done or it was done by the marathon.
The photo above is from the 1984 result book and shows Saul at the finish.
He ran 18 Melbournes with a best time of 2:29:39 in 1984 when he finished 22nd.
Saul no longer runs, but keeps fit by cycling.
1983 to 2023 Medals – all finishers
The first medals for all finishers were presented in 1983. The reverse of the medal was “City of Melbourne” with an image of the Town Hall.
The 1984 and 1985 medals differed from the 1983 medal only by a slightly altered band.
In 1986 the major sponsor changed to Budget Car Rentals, and MD Bob Ansett ran the 1988 marathon. The 1986 to 1989 Budget medals were identical to each other. The medal’s reverse said “City of Frankston”.
In 1990, Qantas took over as major sponsor. The 1990 and 1991 medals were identical with the City of Frankston inscription on the rear.
In 1992, the course changed to be city based, and the start date moved to May to capture the tourist market. The rear of the medal said “City of South Melbourne” and featured the city’s coat of arms
The 1993 and 1994 medals were identical and again featured the City of South Melbourne on their reverse.
In 1995, VicHealth was the sponsor and there was another course change, still city based. Spartan Paul Mellings’ company congratulated finishers on the rear of the medal.
In 1996 the start date reverted to October and sponsors were hard to find. The Victorian Government and the City of Melbourne contributed. “City of Melbourne” was on the rear of the medal.
The 20th Melbourne was held in 1997.
In 1998 the City of Melbourne became the major sponsor. The rear simply said “Finisher 1998” and left a place for a name to be engraved.
The City of Melbourne was still the major sponsor in 1999.
Asics became the major sponsor in 2000. The rear of the medal simply said “Asics, 2000 finisher”.
Asics remained the major sponsor in 2001.
Asics remained the major sponsor until 2005.
In 2006, Samsung took over as major sponsor. The reverse said “Samsung 2006 Finisher” and left room for engraving.
Samsung remained the major sponsor until 2008.
In 2009, the St George bank took over as major sponsor. The reverse said “st george melbourne marathon Finisher” and left room for engraving.
The Bank of Melbourne was major sponsor. The rear showed “Bank of Melbourne Marathon Festival”.
In 2012, the major sponsor became medibank. The reverse said “medibank melbourne marathon Festival” and left room for engraving.
In 2021 Nike became the major sponsor. Note no date! Reverse has an image of the MCG, #melbmara and room for engraving.
Redesigned medal, complete with event date. Reverse has the swoosh, room for engraving and 2022.
The 2023 medal has a cutout and a different view of the MCG. The lanyard and reverse feature some aboriginal motifs.
“I Finished” patches
For the first 17 years, finishers were sent a cloth patch which could be sewn onto a track suit top or otherwise displayed. Thanks to Jim Hopkins (S125) we have been able to photograph all 17 patches as shown below.
Now that you’ve seen all the medals and patches that have been issued over the years, would you like to see the range of Spartan singlets?