2012 - Bridie Forde

Bridie Forde

BRIDIE FORDE was employed as a cosmetologist at Wm. E. Hay High School for 25+ years. She was originally a Technical Assistant, then was in charge of the program with a number of qualified teachers and eventually completed her degree to become a teacher herself. She credits former superintendents, Bert Strain and Bill Baergen who encouraged her in her professional life and former Recreation Director, Bob Rawlusyk and the late Bob Stewart for supporting her in her recreational work. She has lived and worked in the community for 36 years.

Bridie is an accomplished marathon runner, cycler and cross country skier. Bridie took up running in the 1980's while her children were in Middle School.

Bridie carried the torch for Stettler in the 1988 Olympic Torch Run and was awarded a Celebration 88 Medal by the community "in honour of those who demonstrate the Olympic spirit: hard work, determination, moral character and dedication to the community".

Bridie was a member of the Red Deer Ladies "Hot Pursuit" Running team in the Kananaskis 100 km Road Relay winning gold in 1992.

In 2004, Bridie won bronze medals in the Canadian Masters Road Race in Calgary and in the Victoria Marathon. Two bronze medals were awarded to Bridie at the 2005 World Masters Games in the 8 km Cross Country event and the1500 metres. She was a double medalist in the 2005 Alberta 55+ Winter Games and a triple medalist in the Summer Games. In the 2006 55+ Canada Games in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, she won 3 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze. She participated in the 2008 Canada Games held in Dieppe, New Brunswick; winning 5 gold and setting a couple of track records. She successfully defended her titles winning 6 gold medals in the 2010 Canada Games in Brockville, Ontario.

In 2012, Bridie completed her 20th Birkebeiner 55 km Cross Country Ski Event with an overall record of two gold medals in her age group, two silvers and five bronze. In 2010 Bridie was awarded the John Toonen award for her dedication to this event.

Bridie considers running in the Boston Marathon in 2011 and 2012 the highlights of her career. She is preparing for the 2012 55+ Canada Games in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Her greatest pleasure is running with her children and grandchildren and encouraging other to compete and challenge themselves.