Far too many people fail to take the first steps towards achieving their goals due to age limitations. It is common for individuals to easily loose hope simply because they feel too old to start.If you fit into this category read this encouraging story of a man who succeeded late in life.
The Cliff Young story
Australia hosts an annual race from Sydney to Melbourne, or about 550 miles. In case you didn’t notice, that’s an extremely long distance. It’s one of the most intense endurance races in the world and is definitely not for the faint of heart. Runners are given five days to complete the race, or 100 miles per day. People spend years training for this race and are young, fit, agile and often have wealthy sponsors such as sporting brands, so that they can devote their time and energy to training to win this race.
However, Cliff Young was not your average racer. Young competed in 1983, at the age of 61. He showed up on race day to retrieve his race number wearing overalls and boots. His thinking was that his upbringing would help him win the race easily. Young grew up on a 2,000-acre sheep farm, where he shepherded 2,000 sheep. He claimed that shepherding that many sheep on that large of a parcel of land resulted in quite a lot of running. Of course, as soon as the race began, Young was left in the dust by the other racers. However, Young kept going, despite fears for his health and his incredibly slow speed. The main difference between Young and the rest of the runners? The other athletes were given, per the race rules, six hours to sleep per day, with the 18 remaining hours for running. The athletes, however, were not required to take a sleeping break, and that’s what Young took advantage of. While all the other racers slept, Young kept going at his slow and steady pace. On the final night, he crossed the finish line alone, while his competitors slept. He received a winning prize of $10,000, though he claimed to know nothing of the prize money when he entered. The next year, he entered again and finished seventh, due to a displaced hip during the event. Later, at age 76, Young attempted to run the 16,000-kilometer border of Australia. He managed to finish 6,520 kilometers before his sole crewmember became ill, forcing him to quit. Young passed at age 81 in 2003.
Today, modern racers have adopted Young’s tactics and now you’ll find many racers do not sleep during the annual Sydney to Melbourne race.
Video – Cliff Young