For a short time, Cliff Young was an Aussie legend- the old farmer who beat all the young guys in the Sydney to Melbourne ultra-marathon. Ann Voskamp shares what we can learn from him.
The old cahoot ran in his boots. Weren’t too many of anybody who believed he could. The kids and I read about the old guy one night after supper and the dishwasher’s moaning away, crumbs still across the counter. How the old guy ran for 544 miles. His name was Cliff Young and he wasn’t so much. He was 61 years old. He was a farmer. Levi grins big. Mr. Young showed up for the race in his Osh Kosh overalls and with his workboots on, with galoshes over top. In case it rained. He had no Nike sponsorship.
He had no wife – hadn’t had one ever. Lived with his mother. Never drank. Never ran in any kind of race before. Never ran a 5 mile race, or a half-marathon, not even a marathon. But here he was standing in his workboots at the starting line of an ultra-marathon, the most gruelling marathon in the world, a 544 mile marathon. Try wrapping your head around pounding the concrete with one foot after another for 544 endless, stretching miles. They don’t measure races like that in yards – -but in zip codes. First thing Cliff did was take out his teeth. Said his false teeth rattled when he ran.
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