The distance of the Australian marathon is 875 kilometers. The route goes from Sydney to Melbourne, and it usually takes more than 5 days to go from start to finish. This race involves world-class athletes who train specifically for this event. For the most part, athletes are not older than 30 years and are sponsored by major sports brands that provide athletes with uniforms and sneakers.
In 1983, many were perplexed when the 61-year-old Cliff Young appeared on the day of the race at the start. At first, everyone thought that he had come to see the start of the race, because he was not dressed like all athletes: he wore coveralls and overshoes over his shoes. But when Cliff went to the table to get the number of the race participant, everyone understood that he intended to run with everyone. When Cliff received number 64 and stood in line with other athletes, the film crew making a report from the launch site decided to take a short interview with him. Cliff was pointed at a camera and asked:
- Hello! Who are you and what are you doing here?
- I'm Cliff Young. We breed sheep in a large pasture near Melbourne.
- You really will participate in this race?
- Do you have a sponsor?
“Then you can't run.”
- No, I can. I grew up on a farm where we could not afford horses or a car until very recently: only 4 years ago I bought a car. When the storm was coming, I went out to drive the sheep. We had 2,000 sheep that grazed on 2,000 acres. Sometimes I caught sheep for 2-3 days - it was not easy, but I always caught them. I think I can participate in the race, because it is only 2 days longer and is only 5 days, while I run after sheep for 3 days.
When the marathon began, the professionals left Cliff in his galoshes far behind. Some viewers sympathized with him-Ali, and some laughed at him, since he could not even start correctly. On television, people watched Cliff, many worried and prayed for him that he would not die on the way. Each professional knew that it would take about 5 days to complete the distance and it would take 18 hours to run and 6 hours to sleep daily. Cliff Young didn't know that.
The next morning after the start, people learned that Cliff was not sleeping, but continued to run all night, reaching the town of Mittagong. But even without stopping to sleep, Cliff was far behind all the athletes, although he continued to run, at the same time managing to greet the people standing along the race track. With each night he approached the race leaders, and on the last night Cliff walked around all the world-class athletes. By the morning of the last day, he was far ahead of everyone.
Cliff not only ran a super marathon at the age of 61, without dying at a distance, but also won it, breaking the 9:00 race record and becoming a national hero. Cliff Young overcame the race for 875 kilometers in 5 days, 15 hours and 4 minutes. Cliff Young did not take a single prize. When Cliff was awarded the first prize of A $ 10,000, he said that he did not know about the existence of the prize, that he did not participate in the race for money, and without hesitation decided to give money to the first five athletes who came running after him, at A $ 2,000 to each. Cliff did not leave a cent, and all of Australia just fell in love with him.
Many trained athletes knew whole techniques about how to run and how much time to rest on a distance. Moreover, they were convinced that at 61, a super marathon was impossible to run. Cliff Young did not know all this. He didn’t even know that athletes can sleep. His mind was free from limiting beliefs. He just wanted to win, represented a fleeing sheep and tried to catch up with her. In front of people like Cliff Young, stereotypes are falling, and thanks to them, people are convinced that their capabilities are beyond the limits - which they make up for themselves.