George Blake

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games • Competed in Intercalated Games • Non-starter
Full nameGeorge Bernard•Blake
Used nameGeorge•Blake
Born4 September 1878 in St. Kilda, Victoria (AUS)
Died6 February 1946 in Cheltenham, Victoria (AUS)
Measurements167 cm / 62 kg
AffiliationsEast Melbourne Harriers, East Melbourne (AUS)
NOC Australasia Australia
Nationality Australia


George Blake was arguably the first great Australian distance runner. After racing in Australia in 1905, Englishman Alfred Shrubb, then considered the best distance runner in the world, stated that he thought Blake, who faced him multiple times, was the best long distance runner in the country. Blake was born in a Melbourne suburb to Irish immigrants. His brother, Tom, a top distance runner and later a star in Aussie Rules who later coached George, who finished third in the Victorian cross-country championships in 1899 in his first known state-level event. George Blake won that event in 1900, and shortly thereafter, set an Australian record with 56:57.6 for 10 miles.

In 1900 and 1902 he won the Victorian 3-mile championships, and in 1904 he again won the state cross-country title. In 1905, the year in which he raced Shrubb frequently, Blake also won the Victorian cross-country title at both 5- and 10-miles, and the Tasmanian cross-country title. He also played in one match in the Aussie Rules Football League, for Carlton FC against St. Kilda. Apparently good at many sports, in 1907, Blake competed in the Victorian amateur boxing championship, winning at least one bout against G. Michell, the Ballarat champion. At the 1908 Olympics, in addition to his appearance in the marathon, Blake was entered in the lightweight boxing event, but did not compete. Blake competed as a runner at least through 1920, running a marathon that May from Frankston to Melbourne. His profession was first as a master carrier and later as a mechanic.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal Nationality As
1906 Intercalated Games Athletics AUS George Blake
400 metres, Men (Intercalated) DNS
800 metres, Men (Intercalated) DNS
1,500 metres, Men (Intercalated) AC h2 r1/2
5 miles, Men (Intercalated) 6
Marathon, Men (Intercalated) 6
Pentathlon (Ancient), Men (Intercalated) DNS
1908 Summer Olympics Athletics ANZ AUS George Blake
1,500 metres, Men (Olympic) DNS
5 miles, Men (Olympic) 3 h1 r1/2
Marathon, Men (Olympic) DNF
Boxing ANZ AUS George Blake
Lightweight, Men (Olympic) DNS