The Legend of Cliff Young: The 61 Year Old Farmer Who Won the World’s Toughest Race

  • Written by: Shane
  • December 30th, 2007
  • Category:

The legendary story of Cliff Young is already known to many runners. If you aren't familiar with it, you're in for a fascinating read.

An Unlikely Competitor

Cliff Young winning Melbourne Sydney race

Cliff Young

Every year, Australia hosts 543.7-mile (875-kilometer) endurance racing from Sydney to Melbourne. It is considered among the world's most grueling ultra-marathons. The race takes five days to complete and is normally only attempted by world-class athletes who train specially for the event. These athletes are typically less than 30 years old and backed by large companies such as Nike.

In 1983, a man named Cliff Young showed up at the start of this race. Cliff was 61 years old and wore overalls and work boots. To everyone's shock, Cliff wasn't a spectator. He picked up his race number and joined the other runners.

The press and other athletes became curious and questioned Cliff. They told him, "You're crazy, there's no way you can finish this race." To which he replied, "Yes I can. 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."

When the race started, the pros quickly left Cliff behind. The crowds and television audience were entertained because Cliff didn't even run properly; he appeared to shuffle. Many even feared for the old farmer's safety.

The Tortoise and the Hare

Cliff Young waving during ultra marathon

Cliff Young

All of the professional athletes knew that it took about 5 days to finish the race. In order to compete, one had to run about 18 hours a day and sleep the remaining 6 hours. The thing is, Cliff Young didn't know that!

When the morning of the second day came, everyone was in for another surprise. Not only was Cliff still in the race, he had continued jogging all night.

Eventually Cliff was asked about his tactics for the rest of the race. To everyone's disbelief, he claimed he would run straight through to the finish without sleeping.

Cliff kept running. Each night he came a little closer to the leading pack. By the final night, he had surpassed all of the young, world-class athletes. He was the first competitor to cross the finish line and he set a new course record.

When Cliff was awarded the winning prize of $10,000, he said he didn't know there was a prize and insisted that he did not enter for the money. He ended up giving all of his winnings to several other runners, an act that endeared him to all of Australia.

Continued Inspiration

In the following year, Cliff entered the same race and took 7th place. Not even a displaced hip during the race stopped him.

Cliff came to prominence again in 1997, aged 76, when he attempted to raise money for homeless children by running around Australia's border. He completed 6,520 kilometers of the 16,000-kilometer run before he had to pull out because his only crew member became ill. Cliff Young passed away in 2003 at age 81.

Today, the "Young-shuffle" has been adopted by ultra-marathon runners because it is considered more energy-efficient. At least three champions of the Sydney to Melbourne race have used the shuffle to win the race. Furthermore, during the Sydney to Melbourne race, modern competitors do not sleep. Winning the race requires runners to go all night as well as all day, just like Cliff Young.


  1. jimbo jizzle

    December 31, 2007
    8:46 PM

    these are the real heros of this world

  2. Zack

    January 1, 2008
    12:24 AM

    This guy lived not far from where I live and often ran in the Colac 6 day race. This article though explains to me why the papers kept calling him a ‘local legend’.

  3. Jim

    January 1, 2008
    12:02 PM

    Now thats what i call real inspiration.

  4. Harold

    January 1, 2008
    9:42 PM

    Incredibly inspiring story! The stuff people of character are made of! My son, Hansel,(age 14) sent me this story because he liked it. Cliff Young’s legacy goes on!

  5. Milhouse

    January 5, 2008
    1:57 PM

    What spirit. Just goes to show it really isn’t about the fancy name brand running gear.

  6. Stephen

    January 7, 2008
    10:20 AM

    For ultra-marathons, youth is not necessarily beneficial. Endurance doesn’t decrease with age the same way power does (which is why marathon runners are in their late 20s or early 30s, but sprinters are in their early 20s). Ultra-long distance runners benefit from having extra years to train, hence they can peak in their 30s or later.

    Also, the people racing these races are generally not the same type of professional athletes you see run the marathon in the Olympics. The sport is less well-known, and it’s much harder to make a career being a pro ultra-distance runner, so consequently the standards are not the same as marathon standards since there are fewer people. I’m not saying these aren’t incredible athletes, but I’m saying that you can’t compare them to the top runners in the world (the ones you see win marathons).

  7. J. pindar

    January 7, 2008
    9:42 AM

    I’d love to know what kind of workboots he wore! I’m sure their manufacturer would too.

  8. Lola

    January 7, 2008
    3:49 PM

    What an amazing story. I think it is movie-worthy.

  9. Ainsworth

    January 7, 2008
    1:12 PM

    That is nuts.

  10. Girl

    January 7, 2008
    6:07 PM

    What a fantastic tale!
    I enjoyed reading about Mr. Young, thank you.

  11. AWED

    January 7, 2008
    7:56 PM

    Dare to be different. Respect.

  12. yip wt

    January 8, 2008
    12:35 AM

    omg….i dunno there’s such an event, and such a strong old man running hundreds of Kms…

  13. montana freeman

    January 8, 2008
    4:22 AM

    i’m 68 and going to get me some running shoes

  14. Mat Wilson

    January 8, 2008
    4:40 AM

    He gave his prizes to people he thought were worse off than himself.Those examples of self-sacrifice are what real tough men are made of. Brilliant story!!

    Mat Wilson, Newcastle, England

  15. Les

    January 8, 2008
    1:32 PM

    Amazing! He didn’t know he wouldn’t be able to do it, so he did it!

  16. Jzant

    January 8, 2008
    8:06 PM

    Amazing, extraordinary & superb indeed…better than Forrest Gump, for sure! Hollywood must produce a film about this legendary guy, so it can inspire the whole world and not only Australia.

  17. boby

    May 31, 2008
    3:08 PM

    this i amazing i hope to be as physically strong as he is at the age 61 he is a great inspiration i’m going to climb mount everest because of him =)

  18. James

    May 31, 2008
    5:08 PM

    Aussies are hardcore, that’s for sure. Wow, this guy was not only a world class runner at 61, he was a gentleman. Giving the money away and trying to raise money for homeless children.

    If the world had even one more person like this think about how much more could be accomplished. Truly inspiring.

  19. Paul Mc

    June 20, 2008
    4:21 AM

    As a distance runner myself I know that 90% of the battle is with yourself, its mind over pain and boredom, this guy had the right attitude, I dont mind and this dosnt matter, pure inspiration to us all, he will be missed.

  20. Johnny

    June 24, 2008
    4:59 PM

    where can we see video of his “shuffle”
    sounds like an efficient way to travel.

  21. hall

    July 24, 2008
    3:08 PM

    Dean Karnazes THe Marathon man dident start running untill he was 30 so age is not really a hendrance.

  22. Gareth

    August 5, 2008
    3:02 PM

    I’ve just been to a company induction today and they used this amazing story to show what can be achieved if you are motivated. What a legend, what an amazing Guy.
    Gareth Watford England

  23. Michael

    September 28, 2008
    5:14 AM

    Wow Amazing Man!!!

    Mike USA

  24. Templates

    December 10, 2008
    3:43 AM

    Truly amazing to do this at all let alone at 61! And
    win … lol … makes me proud to be Australian. You`ll
    find a bit of Cliff in quite a lot of us Aussies … ; )


  25. mark

    December 20, 2008
    7:38 AM

    He won it the first year it was held.

  26. mark

    December 20, 2008
    7:38 AM

    The Westfield Sydney to Melbourne Ultra Marathon was an annual ultra-marathon foot race held between 1983 and 1991. The 875 kilometre (544 miles), five-day event was regarded as one of the toughest in the world. It was particularly notable for having been won in 1983 by an almost unknown, 61-year old sheep farmer Cliff Young. The final running of the event included prizemoney ($60,000 for first place), a handicapping system and a change to the course. It ceased being held when the major sponsor, Westfield Group, withdrew its support.

  27. journeys

    December 20, 2008
    7:51 AM

    The older people I have talked with, (some as old a 40) say things like, ooh I’m to old. This inspires me to rethink growing older. Thanks

  28. Abimbola Akanwo

    December 20, 2008
    8:10 AM

    Amazing. It shows what can be achieved with commitment and determination.

  29. Online Hry

    December 20, 2008
    8:19 AM

    Really Amazing. Unbelievable hero.

  30. joe gelb

    December 20, 2008
    12:29 PM

    cliff deffinitely inspires anyone who is told that is not possible.

  31. rachel

    December 20, 2008
    1:52 PM

    he is such an inspiration to me

  32. Christopher

    December 20, 2008
    2:33 PM

    This is begging to be made into a movie.

  33. Andrea Young

    December 20, 2008
    3:19 PM

    I love this kind of news, if we reported more like this, perhaps our world would be a better place.

  34. bikeham

    December 20, 2008
    4:05 PM

    If only this article will inspire people to stop reading articles about sport (in Australia) and actually participate in sport.

  35. stephen

    December 20, 2008
    4:41 PM

    real life forrest gump :)

  36. ypioyeha

    December 20, 2008
    5:48 PM

    Makes ya think, just how pretty that last sheep was!

  37. Sebastian

    December 20, 2008
    6:21 PM

    Holy crap – Hollywood needs to make a movie from Cliff’s story! This would make a phenomenal and inspiring movie for sure.

  38. Rod

    December 20, 2008
    9:37 PM

    The stuff that dreams are made of. Well done Sir, you were a credit to the human race and an inspiration to everyone.

    In a way I hope Hollywood doesn’t make a film out of this, they’ll only over dramatize it and cast it with big name actors and ruin the spirit of this achievement.

    An Australian film house should shoot it in a distinctly Australian style with unknown Australian actors without ego’s. Low budget, raw & real – Australia produces excellent films like this – Swimming up stream, Lantana, Bootmen, the Dish etc… I’d pay to watch that film anyday.

  39. Parkrrr

    December 20, 2008
    10:41 PM

    Footage of Cliff, apparently:

  40. sam

    December 20, 2008
    11:03 PM

    Amazing story, wow. Certainly inspiring :)

  41. Maria

    December 21, 2008
    8:26 AM

    I’m impressed. Myself can’t even walk more than 2 kilometres at once.

  42. ALiK

    December 21, 2008
    10:33 AM

    …and I’m unable to stay awake for more than 48 hours…

  43. MSH

    December 21, 2008
    11:17 PM

    In response to J. Pindar, they were not workboots but gumboots (what the english call wellingtons), possibly the most uncomfortable things to run in ever.

  44. Bill

    December 21, 2008
    11:31 PM

    Truly inspiring – just turned the big 4-0 here in Canada, told my wife I was starting to feel my age, but according to guys like Cliff, age is not an obstacle! Thanks mate (wherever you may be, I’m sure it’s sunny!) for the inspiration! In a way, I have to agree with “Rod” about the movie concept – if Hollywood makes this into the “Inspirational, feel good movie for 2009″, it will fall out of context.

  45. NAVEEN

    December 22, 2008
    9:03 AM

    Amazing story i realy impresed with the same and quite respect of the cliff to do something different

  46. Erik

    December 22, 2008
    9:54 AM

    Amazing story, wow. Certainly inspiring :))

  47. smoker

    December 22, 2008
    11:19 AM

    I’m impressed. Myself can’t even walk more than 2 kilometres at once..

  48. joe

    December 22, 2008
    1:18 PM

    Crazy, he is the man. Thanks for writing this so people know about him and remember his good nature

  49. marilyn

    December 22, 2008
    1:51 PM

    This truly an amazing story. The power of faith and endurance. Today in the world there is so little of this, maybe if we had more we all could live in peace.

  50. Laura Crespo

    December 22, 2008
    2:17 PM

    I was impressed when I read this,how sad he was not able to give conferences world wide after such adventure,he had a lot to teach,share and give.Thanks for sharing this with all of us,I live in Tampico,Mexico.

  51. Flor

    December 22, 2008
    2:50 PM

    Amazing, inspirational story. Thank you for sharing this story

  52. sumeet

    December 22, 2008
    3:10 PM

    insprirational story .it shows that a anyone can do anything what he wants .

  53. alice

    December 22, 2008
    5:00 PM

    Amazing story i realy impresed with the same and quite respect of the cliff to do something different..

  54. Kevin

    December 22, 2008
    7:12 PM

    As I train for my upcoming first season of ultras. Way kewl!

  55. magnolia

    December 22, 2008
    9:11 PM

    This is a great story to hear about at the eve of a new year. Rock on!

  56. Femy

    December 22, 2008
    11:43 PM

    This truely inspiring! Character lives forever!

  57. Abhijit

    December 23, 2008
    1:23 AM

    This is a real inspirational story. Cliff Young was a real hero who ran to inspire others.

  58. Ashley

    December 23, 2008
    2:29 AM

    That’s really inspiring and he really deserved to win, good to know he did. He’s such a great inspiration for everyone and I feel bad for thos who didn’t believe he could be able to even finish the race when he even won because they aren’t believers, this a trully divine story and it shows us all many, many, many, many morals in it, and I think it’s different to each person because it’s depending in their situation, for me is to never give up, no matter how hard is the path, no matter what people might think, no matter if you go alone or you feel you can`t continue, because nothing matters when you don`t know what you can do till you do it and unless you don’t believe in yourself the only way of winning would be wearing something that makes you blind, so when they tell you it’s over, you’ll take off what made you blind and you’ll see what you accomplished. A really nice story almost made me tear when people told him he couldn`t do it. I was even talking to myself and telling me he could even though I obviously knew he could.

  59. victor

    December 23, 2008
    4:02 AM

    this is story is a lesson to everyone who wanted to attain a greater height. Although, Cliff is died but can you just imagine a man who think of the possibility of unreal and makes it real. Indeed, Cliff is an HERO, no doubt about that.

  60. Sergey

    December 23, 2008
    10:47 AM

    In response to J. Pindar, they were not workboots but gumboots (what the english call wellingtons), possibly the most uncomfortable things to run in ever..

  61. John

    December 23, 2008
    3:07 PM

    The Italian Marco Olmo, 61 years old won the toughest ultra trail in Europe (UTMB – 100 miles – 8000m + of climbing) twice in a row (2006 and 2007). I guess we have another Cliff in Europe!

  62. hassan

    December 26, 2008
    3:49 AM

    i think this is real hero of the world.

  63. Sean

    December 26, 2008
    11:54 PM

    It’s amazing what we can accomplish when we don’t know the “truth”.

  64. Dhananjay Singh

    December 27, 2008
    6:25 AM

    it is unbeliable, still when I write my coments here I am filled with utmost suprise of my life, I have heard many inspirational stories but this one is far ahead of all. it is great to know that someone in this world had such a determination. he is my hero now.

  65. Keith

    December 28, 2008
    4:58 PM

    Wow. Thanks cliff for the ‘Young Shuffle’, it certainly works for me.

  66. marty

    January 5, 2009
    3:35 PM

    i would like to have shaken this man’s hand.

  67. stumbler

    January 5, 2009
    11:04 PM

    This guy is truly a wonder of the modern world. Thanks to whoever put it on Stumbleupon.

  68. Mike

    January 7, 2009
    4:40 PM

    What a wonderful story. Cliff was certainly an exceptional character.

  69. John ‘JR”

    January 10, 2009
    5:14 AM

    I had the honor and pleasure, meeting and running with Cliff Young in 1983 during this race in Austalia. A real humble man, a true legend and folk hero down under. He left us all behind with his steady pace and never sleeping! Many ‘purist of the sport of Ultra Marathoning still consdier Cliff Young’s running feat and victory one the greatest ever in our sport-I have to certainly agree! JR

  70. ravi shankar

    January 10, 2009
    9:41 AM

    here is a person who is determined of his goal. hats off to him..

  71. Kay Lancaster

    January 13, 2009
    1:05 AM

    I love him. That story touched me so much it brought tears to my eyes. I’m going to get off my sofa now and do some exercise.

  72. Jeanette Waring

    January 14, 2009
    12:03 AM

    What an inspiration to elderly people.
    We should hear about more of this type of person
    and the people of today old and young will try harder
    to be a better person.

  73. Mohsin

    April 17, 2009
    2:44 AM

    Cliff was not knowing any limitations of his body’s capacity which proved to be useful.

  74. Jodie

    April 30, 2009
    3:44 AM

    I am lucky enough to remember this event, and the amazement at Cliff winning the race. At no stage did ANYONE think he would complete it.

    He is one the most amazing people and if only more people new this story. It should be talked about in Australian schools.

  75. Emily

    May 4, 2009
    3:06 AM


  76. Bloob

    May 9, 2009
    6:08 AM

    This is a real hero

    Good on you !!!!

  77. strawberry :)

    May 11, 2009
    4:47 AM

    this is a truly amazing and touching story!
    the thing that surprised me most was that he gave the money to the other
    peeps and diddnt give any 2 him sealf!!!!


  78. Amy Jansen

    May 12, 2009
    8:01 AM

    Within each of us there is a “Cliff”, sometimes it takes a hard knock to release it! We all fighting some sort of battle in life, and we all on a race. We take inspiration from you. Thank you for sharing this touching story!

  79. Web Design Studio

    May 22, 2009
    4:11 AM

    Wow, he is really amazing… at 61 years?

  80. Gary

    May 24, 2009
    9:44 PM


  81. Angela Odame

    June 10, 2009
    10:06 AM

    I think Cliff is more than the word amazing.I really love his spirit and he has really inspired me and also thought me never to give up no matter what.And come to think of it, he actually gave his prize out;he really is a kind and generous man.God will richly bless him for that. And the whole world should learn from cliff, especially Ghanaians!

  82. Michael

    August 5, 2009
    1:23 AM

    the movie looks to be in the works

  83. amila_nil

    August 12, 2009
    1:02 AM

    I really love this story. So inspiring. Determination and self confidence… so amazing…

  84. Mitch

    October 26, 2009
    2:19 PM

    Tom Hanks as Cliff Young?

  85. Jason

    November 29, 2009
    9:17 AM

    The toughest man ever on earth really respect him

  86. Steve

    January 4, 2010
    8:25 PM

    Oh Australia, you sure have some crazy people in your country! Its are the best kind’ve crazy on the planet, I have nothing but the utmost respect for this man.
    From an awed Canadian

  87. Gouree Ramanath

    January 5, 2010
    10:33 AM

    What an amazing person! Gives me such a joy to read the story.

  88. Michael Finnigan

    January 25, 2010
    8:46 AM


  89. Paul Butler

    February 22, 2010
    2:18 PM

    I am 67, have a hip replacement and complete 5 marathons a year- 2 of them are 50Ks. I am humbled by Cliff Young and what he has accomplished.

  90. Garry Neave

    April 16, 2010
    10:57 PM

    I was lucky enough to personally meet Cliffy. I also still have his Legendery GUMBOOTS he used to train in. He donated them to WESTFIELD and they gave them to Parramatta Football Club where I bought them at Auction. Ciffy signed them for me. He was such a true inspiration and had such a gentle strength. A never die attitude.

  91. April Feagins

    April 28, 2010
    9:02 AM

    Now thats what hero are mad of.Why to go man

  92. fence

    May 4, 2010
    1:19 PM

    Cliff Young is a true inspiration. Even if he had finished last place, but finished, he would have been an inspiration. But to win it completely…I am sure he must have kept fit over the years to run all day and all night for five days.

  93. Kyle

    May 9, 2010
    9:20 PM

    What a great story. This is truly movie worthy, as more that just runners would appreciate this mans effort. I saw the suggestion for Tom Hanks to play Cliff Young, but I’d go with Russell Crowe. He’s a real Aussie, and I think that would make him more believable.

  94. JB

    June 7, 2010
    5:11 PM

    How funny..was watching Forrest Gump and when he told the story about him running for 3 years I googled:
    ‘The man who kept running’ and ended up with this story.
    It shows how important mental strenght and persistence really is..and that we human beings are capable of much more then we think.
    Greetings from the Netherlands

  95. Duane_B

    August 20, 2010
    1:14 PM

    What an inspiration.

  96. Meg Kay

    August 24, 2010
    5:03 AM

    I am doing him for my speech, he is soo inspirational ! x

  97. Boniface Musonda (Zambia)

    October 11, 2010
    9:32 AM

    The absence of the truth is what made this man a hero. Since I read his story I have been determined to check some of the things that I know to the truth. This man never had time to share the truth with other people that if you run such kilometers, you need to run 18hours and sleep for six hour. Him didn’t know he was suppose to sleeep. So the absence of what people think to be the truth can make us do things that would literaly astound ourselves. He indeed is an Inspiration

  98. Maryl

    November 3, 2010
    9:11 AM

    I can’t find words to express the greatness of this amazing man. My thoughts go to our youth who have everything and expect more. Those who grow up having to work hard to survive are the survivors. It also is important to be taught with love to care about those around us and Cliff Young is a perfect example. What an wonderful story to teach our young children and grandchildren with! To all of you above who knew this gentle giant you are blessed!

  99. bob k

    November 4, 2010
    11:11 AM

    This is such an amazing story. I wish I could have seen the race. I would like to see the Young Shuffle

  100. Geraldine Walters

    November 8, 2010
    12:04 PM

    Thanks for sharing this story! I learned of it just last week in one of our Church publications, used to inspire us all in our “Race of Life”. I too grew up on a farm, but it was cows and pigs I had to look after. I did feed “orphan” lambs with a coke bottle and nipple. I still have years ahead of me, I’m 82, to endure to the end with such a great inspiring and motivational story! What a great man, and so unselfish and caring to give his price to others he thought needed it. What a gentleman! Thanks again for sharing it!

  101. Ravi

    November 21, 2010
    2:32 AM

    This guy was incredible!

  102. Mike

    November 22, 2010
    2:48 AM

    27 years after the event and its the first time I’ve heard of this man. Fantastic story of determination and humility. What an inspiration. I’m going to share it with all that I know. An incredible and amazing man.

  103. Shaharris

    January 2, 2011
    5:00 AM

    Blimey. First I’ve ever heard about this – brought a smile and a tear.


  104. ludvig

    January 11, 2011
    11:34 AM

    I’m having an oral presentation about this, and i must say that he is really a hero, a legend, im from sweden so why not give him the nobelprice in honor :P

  105. Hazza

    January 16, 2011
    5:27 AM

    Does anyone know what size his wellie boots were ?

  106. AnnA – from Down Under

    January 30, 2011
    3:18 PM

    I remember Cliff Young in the first race! Showed everyone anything is possible! He still lives on in people’s hearts! Especially those that are Australian! Go Aussie’s – GO!

  107. Theode Kasper

    March 15, 2011
    1:02 AM

    A truly inspiring story. It brought tears to my eyes to see him act so selflessly. True gentleman.

  108. Michelle

    March 25, 2011
    10:24 PM

    WoW that just made my heart smile!

  109. Seal67

    March 29, 2011
    10:14 AM

    Cliff Young and Liz Tomlinson have been and remain two of my greatest inspirations, his story should be spread all round the world -especially to my generation who have lost touch with the real essence of life, a truly great man

  110. Gladys

    April 4, 2011
    10:11 AM

    sum up: its planet Earth, anything is possible!

  111. Kumar Gautam

    April 10, 2011
    2:44 AM

    it is a inspirational news. i think every professional from any field can motivated by this articles.I will use this article to guide my sub-ordinates…

  112. Liv4ever

    April 13, 2011
    8:12 PM

    THIS MAN IS AWESOMENESS!!! He lives up 2 his name: tuff as a Cliff and 4ever Young. My hero.

  113. Ben

    May 1, 2011
    7:42 AM

    Goes to show when you don’t know what to expect; expect the impossible.

  114. afras

    October 2, 2011
    10:52 AM

    see anyone can do it if he thinks he can

  115. Lingala Venkata Keshava Murthy

    November 16, 2011
    12:46 PM

    Just am amazed at the wonderful success of Cliff Young. What amazes me, is his level of endurance, at his age? Sir, you are great, I am really glad I have seen this piece of information. May your soul rest in peace. Thank you so much for the energies, you have transferred to everyone of us.

  116. Jessica Gibbons

    December 15, 2011
    9:08 AM

    Now that my friends is inspiring!

  117. Marsha

    December 27, 2011
    12:55 PM

    I wrote a picture book about Cliff and the race: THE PUMPKIN RUNNER.

  118. iain mccarren

    January 19, 2012
    5:16 PM

    genuine human spirit flowed through this man veins. a great feat and inspiration too us all. One story to be repeated in many training sessions. Iain, Scotland, uk.

  119. Liz Powers

    January 25, 2012
    6:33 AM

    Cliffy became part of our family, he lived with my parents for the last years of his life and I can honestly say he was a true gentleman, with knowledge that can never be repeated…..He was such an inspiration, I remember I had just had my baby boy and met them out on the road just out of Goulburn NSW, and mum my said get out and have a run with Cliffy so I did, he said girl keep your arms by your side and just run, so I did…..I was so lucky to have been able to do this with him, even if it was for only a short while, RIP Grandpa cliff oxo

  120. jeffrey j watson USA

    January 29, 2012
    10:38 PM

    I watched cliff young walked road in 1983. I saw him at geelong cats standium in winter of 1983.

    thank you jjw

  121. Sarath P

    February 12, 2012
    3:39 PM

    Cliff Young you are really inspiring, i am inspired

  122. Joe

    February 15, 2012
    5:46 PM

    What an amazing story. Heard Peter J Daniels talk about it in a video and decided to check it out – absolutely blow away!

  123. Denice

    February 17, 2012
    2:31 AM

    I learned about his story just now and I’m completely bowled over. He was definitely an inspiration and a true hero. I am sure his story will be told and retold for a long long time to come. Thanks Cliff Young. From: the Philippines

  124. Vito

    March 17, 2012
    11:31 PM

    Any negroes in this race?

  125. Conan H

    March 29, 2012
    9:40 PM

    This is such an inspiring story. It should be made into a movie.

  126. Bedsocks

    April 5, 2012
    6:49 PM

    There is something refreshing about some old Aussies.
    Remember that old guy who went to the US to race an old Indian motorcycle, I think his name was Bert, he was as old as the hills and he succeded.
    My grandfather died at 106 and went to Paris every year for some fun with a happy ending until he was nearly 90.
    Well done Cliff, a role model for all the old wrinkleys and more.

  127. MUGMUGface

    May 2, 2012
    3:08 PM

    like dowg this story makes me all like happy and stuff. im gunna like read this every day and ish man, jus so that i can make my dream go big.i wanna play some ball and you have to runn to ply ball so this really in spires me to run good. i cam to here from a tire, so like this makes me happy to know that other people from islands can go big, you know what im sayin. like i live in that ATL and is dowg, you know what im sayin.

  128. mikayla

    May 4, 2012
    5:16 AM

    Cliff has inspired me because I have to run cross country 2 km and I am 10 years of age the rabbit and the turtle way sounds fine to me. Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi …

  129. Natividad Sumcad

    May 5, 2012
    8:21 AM

    I am impressed!! I just started jogging and running at least 10 km. a day and when i heard the story the more I am inspired to do it. Thanks for inspiring many including me. You did it because your heart is into it!!

  130. Natividad Sumcad

    May 5, 2012
    8:27 AM

    Cliff, you may not be here but you left a very good and inspiring true story to many and a good example to follow! you were humble, you were generous , heart to help!!!

  131. Doc

    May 7, 2012
    10:05 PM

    Stephen, how can you call those pansies that only run for a few hours per race “the top runners in the world”? Didn’t you read the article?

  132. Derp

    May 7, 2012
    11:03 PM

    Doc – Do you really expect a reply over four years later?

  133. Rachel

    May 8, 2012
    1:23 AM

    This article immediately reminded me of my grandpa. He was amazing in lots of ways, but while he and my grandma used to watch us he would “jog” in place while we watched TV or played games. I would definitely describe it as more of a “shuffle.” I asked him one time why he did it that way, and he said that it’s important when you get older to do low-impact exercise, plus he could go for longer if he just took it slow.

    This is the exact reason I respect my elders. They know a helluva lot more than I do.

    I miss that man like nothing else.

  134. D. Newman

    July 8, 2012
    6:02 PM

    Amazing story this. I know a guy called Jon Hargreaves who could probably compete in this marathon. He’s a legend in his own lifetime.

  135. louis eman

    July 25, 2012
    11:05 PM

    yes he is my marathon hero

  136. louis eman

    July 25, 2012
    11:06 PM

    I watched him in Melbourne he was great

  137. samantha kerr

    August 4, 2012
    6:33 PM

    I love stories like this, where the world underestimates human potential. Even better when there is such humility and modesty in it. I remember Ojicree guys coming out of the north to do a marathon near me. I lent them old bikes too small for them, 2nd hand shoes and they had no preparation but were raised walking all over town, running and going out on the land when they could….they didn’t place but they did great and felt even better. It was wickedly wonderful to see peoples faces.

  138. Sid Dumbrell

    August 9, 2012
    10:13 PM

    I believe Westfield’s donated a new car to Cliff and he gave the car to another runner who was going through a bad period in his life. People should be told more by the media about Cliff Young.

  139. Dirk

    September 9, 2012
    1:46 AM

    I’m a tour guide of the GOR and tell my guests about YOUNG Cliff and they are all amazed hope Mary’s doing alright

  140. Andre Hinton

    March 25, 2013
    6:19 PM

    Mr. Young is a testimony of faith, courage, and humility. May The Lord bless you and His Favor saturate you and every area of your life. I would that you email me so that I can share your story with the many inner city men and youth of Baltimore, Maryland.

  141. clint

    May 18, 2013
    6:41 PM

    A keen runner,I had the privilege to see him shuffle by, at the end of my street, in East Kew, just 30 mins or so from the finish of this race.
    I had been watching the race, and following this amazing story, on tv/radio. He is a hero to me. Proud to be an Aussie.

  142. Garry Hollingsworth

    May 26, 2013
    7:52 PM

    I saw Cliffy running at end of his first Westfield & was inspired to continue my running as a result of him.I just saw that wonderful ABC Movie last night ! I have covered over 133,000 kilometres running (3 times around the Equator )in the past 33 years with cliffy as MY hero !

  143. Fergus

    June 2, 2013
    5:27 PM

    This is inspiring. Let’s hope his story is repeated in Australia and beyond. Truly a modern legend.

  144. Heather

    August 13, 2013
    8:49 PM

    I just love this story/article. So truly motivational and inspirational amazing man! I hope to do a marathon myself one day soon! Go Cliff!!! :)

  145. Luis Barbosa

    August 29, 2013
    1:59 PM

    This man is my Hero! This story should be read to all who have lost hope. It’s inspirational, and it motivated me to purse new goals in my life. Every teacher should share this article with their students. What an amazing human being. I am 47 years old and this man has inspired me to believe in myself again. Wow!

  146. Dee

    January 22, 2014
    4:47 PM

    Thank you, Mr. Young. Thank you.

  147. Joseph Giampapa

    March 18, 2014
    12:58 PM

    We don’t know what we can do…until we do it ! Take away self-imposed limits…and we can soar ! None of us were born “walking” yet we saw it…liked it… tried it… ( fell down, time after time, skinned our knees, hit our chin…but kept trying until….) Thank You Cliff Young for showing us…” as we we create !”

  148. Lee-Ann Van Der Byl South Africa, Durban

    August 22, 2014
    10:27 AM

    Inspiring Indeed!
    I learned here from Cliff Young, that in the absence of rules, where one has only his/her belief or faith, new records, new truths can be stumbled upon.
    And in the presence of too much knowledge/information or rules, we only overcome little milestones.

  149. Graham Porter

    November 22, 2014
    1:31 PM

    Great man , great athlete . Reminds me of Josh Naylor a lakeland fell running legend

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