Albert Ernest Clifford Young, more famous as Cliff Young, was born on February 8th 1922. He lived his entire life as a modest potato farmer and an athlete in Beech Forest, Victoria. Cliff grew up taking care of the family farm which was 2000 acres in size. He often rounded up the huge herd of nearly 2,000 sheep on foot and by running around them. It was his way of training and increasing his stamina while working on the farm.
Later in his life Cliff Young continued the family business. Although he was a successful farmer it was not what he became famous for. At the fragile age of 61 years the potato farmer was able to win the inaugural Sydney to Melbourne Ultramarathon in 1983. The distance he tackled was 544 miles and it took him exactly 5 days, 15 hours and 4 minutes before he came in first with a big lead over the rest “professional” athletes.
Another interesting fact about Cliff Young was his unique running style. He ran at a very slow pace throughout the whole marathon. During the first day he trailed behind the rest but he was later able to catch up and eventually took the lead. What distinguished him was that he kept running throughout the nights while the other athletes used the time to sleep and rest. Cliff later admitted that he was pretending to run from a storm or after lost sheep. These mind tricks helped him endure the 544 mile Utramarathon.