The 61 Year Old Potato Farmer That Smashed An Ultramarathon Record

Jeff Glennon | April 1st, 2019

A legendary story in the running world, that if you have anything to do with ultramarathons will be a familiar tale. This is the story of Cliff Young, a 61-year-old potato farmer that decided one day to join an ultramarathon simply because he wanted to run in a race. He had no formal training for running ultramarathons and had never run one before.

Yet he decided to sign up for what is considered the most grueling ultramarathon in the world, Australia’s 543.7-mile race from Sydney to Melbourne. This race takes over five days to complete and generally only sees world-class athletes attempt to complete it. Usually, these athletes are under 30 years old and have sponsors such as Nike or Adidas.

In 1983, Cliff Young showed up for the start of the race, wearing overalls and working boots. And to everyone’s shock, he wasn’t here to watch, he picked up his race number and joined the other runners. He was told by the other runners and the press that he would never finish the race, to which he replied he would. Young had grown up on a 2,000-acre farm where they could not afford any type of tractor or horses, so whenever a storm rolled in, he would have to round up the 2,000 sheep & other animals just by running. This could sometimes mean he would be running for over 3 days just to round up all the farm animal.

When the race started, the professionals left Young far behind and the crowds found his running style extremely funny. In fact, it became famous: later referred to as the Cliff Shuffle. In fact, many feared for his safety. But Young had one ace in his sleeve, due to the fact he had never had any training he did not know that the professional athletes would run for 18 hours and sleep for 6 hours. Young did not know this and simply kept running through the night, when asked about his tactic, he claimed he would run the whole marathon without sleeping.

And every night he kept running, gaining on the leading pack, finally he overtook them during the night & just kept the lead. He set a new course record and scooped up the $10,000 prize. To which he promptly gave the next five athletes $2,000 keeping none of the prize money, an act which made him a national hero.

Next Article
  • Pig Farmers Say Marijuana Pig Feed Is Better

    Some farmers have a very interesting take on the progression of growing cannabis and the growing legalization of marijuana around the United States. Many believe it is the perfect crop to be commercialized and used in their animal feed - too keep them happy and relaxed! And well if you...

    Read More
  • Telegraph Invented Due To Heartbreak

    The inventor of the telegraph Samuel Morse had quite a tough life that was filled with numerous disappointments and this may really have been one of the reasons he ended up inventing the telegraph. Samuel Morse was born 225 years ago and is known around the world for having invented...

    Read More
  • Colorful Honey Created Naturally By Candy Eating Bees

    A couple of beekeepers in northeastern France were left scratching their heads in confusion when their bees started to produce thick blue and green honey completely naturally. The bees from their hives were found producing honey in odd shades of blue and green - something that was completely unheard of and never seen before. [caption...

    Read More
  • The Sheepdogs That Protect The Little Penguins

    On an Australian Island, there was a strong and vibrant colony of little penguins - that was until the foxes came and nearly ate them all up. Luckily for the little penguins they had a farmer on their side who decided to come up with an amazing way to protect them, in fact, it is...

    Read More
  • The Grueling Gaokao Exam Is The Toughest In The World

    China’s college entrance exam known as the Gaokao is thought to be one of the toughest examinations in the whole world. If you want a spot in one of the 2,200 Chinese universities then you need to ace your Gaokao exam. And it goes much deeper than that, sure the exam decides the university ranking...

    Read More
  • Tiny Sweat Bees Will Try To Feed Off Your Tears

    Recently doctors treating a Taiwanese woman for a swollen eye were shocked to find that she had over four little bees living in her, under her eyelid and feeding off her tears. These tiny little bees are known as sweat bees and are only around 3 millimeters long, so are small enough to fit under...

    Read More
  • Incredible Power Of The Mantis Shrimp

    Mantis shrimp have quickly become a creature championed on the internet due to the revelation of its optical superpowers. The mantis shrimp is able to see over 100,000 colors and also is able to see what is known as circularly polarized light - a capability that no other creature can do. ...

    Read More
  • The Time When Heineken Bottles Were Building Blocks

    Alfred Heineken after visited the Caribbeans in 1963 and finding the beaches littered with Heineken bottles, decided to amend his design and make the bottle's square. His aim was to allow the bottle to function as a brick also & let people use them to build homes in impoverished countries. ...

    Read More