Cliff Young

Date: 08/28/2014 
An Australian potato farmer proves that it's not how you start a race, but how you finish one, with his unexpected win of the inaugural Sydney to Melbourne Ultramarathon in 1983 at 61 years of age.
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Hello friends, we all know a marathon is one of the longest and hardest races a person can run. But did you hear about the ultra marathon they used to have in Australia? It was 544 miles from Melbourne to Sydney. It attracted as many as 150 world-class athletes, but then something happened that no one would never forget, in 1983, a 61 years old potato farmer, named Cliff Young, decided to enter the race, and people were very amused because he had on rubber glasses over his boots and when the race began and all the runners took off sure enough old Cliff was left behind shuffling along very slowly. But he was shuffling very persistently.

Normally, during this seven-day race, the runners would go about 18 hours running and then they'd sleep for six hours. But nobody ever told Cliff that. When the other runners stopped to rest during the night, Cliff just kept on running. some people were afraid old Cliff was gonna have a heart attack. They were asking the race organizers to show mercy and stop the crazy old man. But he would have none of it. Each day he was gaining on the pack because when they were sleeping he was plodding along. During the last night of the race, Cliff passed all of those world-class athletes. Not only was Cliff able to run that 544 mile race without dying, he won beating all the other racers by 9 hours breaking the record and becoming a national hero in the process.

What's really amazing is when they told him that he had won the $10,000 prize, he looked confused and said he didn't know there was a prize and he decided to share it with the other runners. When asked how he was able to run all night long, Cliff responded that he grew up on a farm where they had about 2,000 head of cattle and because he couldn't afford horses, he used to have to round them up on foot, sometimes running two or three days non-stop. Throughout the race he just imagined he was chasing after the cows and trying to outrun a storm. Old Cliff's secret was to keep on running while others were sleeping.

The Bible tells us that the race is not necessarily to the swift. Something like Aesop's parable of the tortoise and the hare. The tortoise just kept on plodding along. That's why Jesus tells in Matthew 24:13, "He that endures unto the end, the same will be saved." Now you might slip and fall during the race. You might even get off to a bad start. But in the Christian race that we run, the main thing is, you want to finish well. Keep on running friends and don't give up.

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