He shuffled past the competition – Cliff Young

Today is Australia Day. It’s a good day to share the story of Cliff Young.

Cliff was a potato farmer from Victoria who at the age of 61 won the 875 kilometer (544 mi) Sydney to Melbourne ultra marathon. Once again proving that you don’t stop running because you get old, you get old because you stop running. Before the race, Cliff admitted that he prepared using the latest innovations in running training: chasing down his sheep for 2 days and 2 nights wearing gumboots.

To say “Cliff won” is an understatement, as he beat his nearest, much younger rivals, by 10 hours. He ran the race using an unorthodox form, today called “the Cliffy Shuffle”. He didn’t look competitive at the start, as he lagged far behind the competition on the first day of the race. As the night set, and everyone took their rest, Cliff shuffled on. He took the lead over night and never again relinquished it.

Here is a video about Cliff:

And here is a little bit more about him – including the bit about his marriage at the age of 62 to a 23 year old Mary Howell.

So if you are shuffler, hold your head up high, and keep on shuffling. As Cliff said “You just got to keep going.”

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