Beer-drinking 'hose man' awarded medal for 'legendary' act during fun run

The 'considerate' neighbour was spotted hosing down exhausted runners to help them stay cool.

A man has been dubbed a national hero for his "considerate" and "legendary" act towards exhausted runners who were whizzing past his house on a warm summer's day. So much so he was awarded a participation medal.

More than 900 avid athletes were taking part in a sunset run along the Bellarine Peninsula southwest of Melbourne on Saturday when temperatures rose to a reported 28 degrees, and according to race organisers, "the last thing anyone expected was a local drinking a stubby spraying [them] across the esplanade".

Dion, who started the run club with his wife Liberty almost 10 years ago, told Yahoo News Australia they were made aware of the "hose man" by several relieved runners once they crossed the finish line, many of them drenched from the water sprayed at them from across the road from the high-pressure hose. Not wanting his efforts to go unnoticed, the Geelong-based dad said they tracked down the generous hoser— who was holidaying in the area — and awarded him with a "medal of participation" to say thank you.

Man wearing hat holding beer hosing down runners on other side of the road.
A mystery 'legend' was captured hosing down exhausted runners participating in the annual Flying Brick Bellarine Sunset Run. Source: Scott via via Dion, founder of Flying Brick Bellarine Sunset Run

Man filmed cooling down runners with hose

A resident captured the scenes unfolding outside their property which shows their beer-holding neighbour — an avid runner himself — donning a wide-brimmed hat standing on the side of the road outside the home. His other hand tightly gripped on a high-pressure hose, forceful enough to reach the runners whooshing past on the other side in a bid to cool them down.

Some runners ran by seemingly unbothered by the water reaching them from across the road. While others appeared to deliberately step into the stream of water, thankful for the cool down. At one point, one man appears to give him a thumbs up as a token of his appreciation.

'Hose man' appears 'out of the blue'

Dion explained the race — which runs annually on the second Saturday of February — usually runs through several caravan parks in the area which are known for their "spirit and hospitality". It's tradition for people staying there to hose down the runners, but this year, "out of the blue" the mystery man stood outside his rental house with a hose.

"It was so good," Dion told Yahoo explaining the neighbour who filmed it and sent it to him was the one that gave him a beer. "He's a bit of a mystery so to speak, but we know he's a part of another running group so he was able to say 'these people look like they need cooling'."

'Legendary' man given a medal

Feeling proud of the "wonderful" act, Dion shared the video on social media. "Is there any doubt about the spirit of the Bellarine Peninsula," Flying Brick Bellarine Sunset Run said on its Facebook page. "Some longer hoses might be on the cards next year to keep old mate and others safe."

But the online praise wasn't enough it seems with Dion revealing "we have delivered him a medal because he earned one".

"I slipped the medals under their front doors," the running club founder told Yahoo. "We did get a message that they received the various medals and they were very much appreciated".

Left: Man running getting hosed down by bystander Right: Man holding hose hosing down runner
Runners participating in the Flying Brick Bellarine Sunset Run getting hosed down in the heat. Source: Nick Dwyer

Posting online, others agreed "not all heroes wear capes" as they praised the "legendary" act. "That is gold!! What a legend," said one. And the runners were thankful too.

Sharing their appreciation of the man's actions, one said: "Absolutely much-needed refresher during the afternoon sun".

"This guy was awesome I ran closer to him to get a hose down and thanked him for his efforts," said another, while a third said "the hoses saved me during the run. So awesome".

The running event runs attracts up to 1,300 runners annually. Next year's event will be held on February 8th, 2025.

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