A true tale about the power of the mind of Cliff Young

A true tale about the power of the mind of Cliff Young

What you believe you can achieve and what better way to show it to you than with a true inspiring story of Cliff Young.

An Australian who in 1983 decided to register for an 875km race from Sydney to Melbourne Ultra Marathon. OMG! This must be one of the toughest races in the world.

Imagine the contrast between highly trained top athletes in their thirties at the peak of their youth with best of the best sports gear who trained a lot for this excruciating struggle,to run a race that takes an average of 5 days if one runs for 18 hours and sleeps for 6.

And here comes a 61!! Year potato farmer wearing overalls and gumboots who trained by chasing his sheep .

You can imagine that as soon as the media caught the information they start following Cliff fearing for his health and what this race might do to him.

Start of the race

With Cliff’s more unusual running style that is more of a shuffle than a run he gets left behind but steadily and slowly in the night Cliff starts to catch up. 

While the others ran for 18 hours a day and slept for 6,probably got a massages from professional masseuses Cliff just ran straight through the night with no sleep and only stopping for bathroom breaks.

Oh my god you might think, this is a navy seal extreme training.

Cliff’s advantage was that he had no coach,never talked to a pro runner and the only training he got was from chasing his livestock to herd them in in case of a storm he just didn’t know all the information/tactics that the other runners had.

Interview given to the media

In an Interview he said “See, I grew up on a farm where we couldn’t afford horses or tractors, and the whole time I was growing up, whenever the storms would roll in, I’d have to go out and round up the sheep. We had 2,000 sheep on 2,000 acres. Sometimes I would have to run those sheep for two or three days. It took a long time, but I’d always catch them. I believe I can run this race…it’s only two more days. Five days. I’ve run sheep for three.”

And the race goes on

runner on the road with a nice view from above while the sun is shining

picture by Joshua Sortino

He said that his tactic was to run straight to the finish without sleeping and people found it hard to believe.And with every night he came closer to the other runners.

 He did not only win this thing but he also beat the record by around 2 days and 15 hours.

At the end he won the 10 000 Australian dollars from which he gave 2000 to each of  the 5 runners that came behind him and kept nothing to himself.

A true tale of the Tortoise and the Hare,a true grits tale of somebody who decided to run and win the race and did just that.

His story will remain to inspire for years to come

Although Cliff Young died in 2003 at the age of 81 his adventure and courage still remains one of the most inspiring stories I have ever seen and want to share it to inspire more people to chase their dreams.