Every year, Australia hosts 543.7-mile (875-kilometer) endurance racing from Sydney to Melbourne. It's amongst the world's toughest ultra-marathons. The race takes five days to complete and usually attempted by world-class athletes after much training.
In 1983, Cliff Young, a 61 years old potato farmer competed. No-one thought he could do it. He had been used to covering 2,000 acres on the farm and believed he could finish the race despite his lack of training.
The race started, leaving Cliff at the back. He had no sports training and ran with a shuffle.
In order to compete, one had to run about 18 hours a day and sleep the remaining 6 hours but, Cliff Young didn't know that! Cliff jogged through the night.
Cliff continued to run day and night, every morning he came a little closer to the leading pack. By the final night, he had surpassed all of the young, world-class athletes. He was the first competitor to cross the finish line and he set a new course record.
Modern athletes now adopt Cliff Young's efficient shuffle when completing and it is accepted that to compete for such races you no longer sleep.
For the full story:
Wikipedia on Cliff Young
Elite Feet on Cliff Young
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