The Sydney Melbourne Ultramarathon 1983


The Sydney Melbourne Ultramarathon 1983

Amsterdam, 26 march 2024– Just before the start of the 544-mile Sydney to Melbourne Ultramarathon in 1983, one particular runner caught the attention of the Australian media: a 61-year-old potato farmer named Cliff Young.

Sydney Melbourne T-Shirt

He had shown up before the race wearing overalls and work boots, telling journalists that he had trained in his large rubber boots and had spent much of his childhood chasing after sheep, sometimes for days without rest. Soon after the race began, Cliff Young fell behind the other runners and seemed on track to finish dead last. But after getting just two hours of sleep the first night, Young got back up and started running — and didn’t stop. While the other runners stopped each night to sleep, Young kept moving continuously at his slow pace for five days straight. “I’m just an old tortoise,” he said. “I have to keep going to stay in front.” In the end, Young won the race in record time, smashing the previous mark by two whole days and leaving the entire world stunned.


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