Aug 18, 2013

Distance today = 51.93 km; Total distance = 24,989.33 km; Location = Beeac – 38 09.773’ S, 143 37.958′ E; Start time = 0831, Finish time = 1617


Ever been hit in the face by 100 km per hour horizontal rain? It REALLY hurts!!! I had to turn my face away to protect my eyes, as they could have been seriously injured. The weather, at times, was as atrocious as anything I’ve experienced on the world run. It was one of those days of which I was pleased to see the end.

I passed through the town of Colac today. This place is of high significance to ultra runners, as it was Cliff Young’s home town. For those who don’t know the story, Cliff was an unknown, and unassuming, 61 year old, who entered the 1983 Sydney to Melbourne ultra marathon race.

All the best ultra runners in the world turned up for the race, taking off at a fast pace. Cliff was soon left behind in last place. Many people felt sorry for the “old bloke”, who appeared to be embarrassing himself.

However, the favourites soon started to fade, and half way through the race, Cliffy had steadily made his way into the lead. He wasn’t expected to stay there, once the experts got serious.

Cliffy, however, had other ideas, and simply kept running, with tens of thousands of people lining the streets into Melbourne, as he arrived in the lead. They cheered wildly as they watched a 61 year old, complete unknown, beat the best in the world. He had run the 870 km in less than six days.

I reckon any run around the world should include Colac on the itinerary. Current world record holder, Jesper Olsen, ran through Colac in 2005, and I have today, paying homage to the great Cliff Young.

On another note, thanks to all those who have expressed their condolences at the passing of Carmel’s mother. It’s much appreciated.