This farmer won a 5-day-long competition just because he didn’t know he could have had a sleep

An incredible person, who gave everyone a wonderful lesson in kindness, honesty and strength.

875km from Sydney to Melbourne – the distance of the Ultra Marathon held in Australia in 1983. There were 5 days between start and finish. Hence, in such races only athletes with years of training can participate. Usually they are no older than 30. These athletes are sponsored by major brands that provide them with uniforms and sneakers.

Just imagine how surprised everyone was, when they spotted 61-year-old Cliff Young at the start. It seemed he was a regular spectator, as instead of a uniform, he was wearing usual working overalls and galoshes.

And then this “spectator” came to the table to get his competition number. Everyone realized he was there to take part in the marathon with other athletes.

Cliff was given the number 64 and headed for the starting line. Then the camera crew spotted him and decided to interview the unusual participant.

_Good morning! Tell us, please, who are you and what are you doing here?

_My name is Cliff Young. I breed sheep.

_Are you sure you want to run this marathon?


_And what about your sponsors?

_There is none!

_Are you sure you can at least reach the finishing line?

_Of course! Since my childhood, I’ve been working in a farm. We’ve never had any cars. I could buy one only 4 years ago. Whenever there was a storm coming, I would always run after our herd with 2000 sheep walking around the 2000 acres field. Sometimes it took me 2-3 days to gather all of them. It’s not easy, so I think I can run this marathon.

When the race started, Cliff legged behind the professional athletes because of his galoshes. As you may guess, everyone was laughing, even sympathized him, because the would-be runner couldn’t even start normally. Many spectators were worried about the man and even prayed for him not to die at the distance.

All the professional runners knew the marathon should last 5 days (about 18 hours running and 6 hours sleep). However, Cliff didn’t knew that.

The second morning it became known that Cliff hadn’t taken a sleep and continued to run. But even with this he wasn’t able to catch up with the athletes.

However, night by night he caught up with them even more rapidly, beating all the world champions on the last night. The farmer was able to not only endure the 5-day marathon at his 61, but also was the first to reach the finishing line breaking the record by 9 hours!

Surely, after this Cliff was named a national hero. And he never stopped to amaze.

Farmer refused to get any of the awards. When they tried to give him A$10000, the man said he had no idea there were any awards. “I didn’t participate for the money”. He shared the award with the other athletes giving A$2000 each. Cliff didn’t take a single cent which made the whole continent fall in love with him.

The experienced athletes had studied whole methods of overcoming long distances properly. They knew exactly how to run and how much sleep to take. They were even sure the 61-year-old man wouldn’t be able to run for 5 days. Cliff Young was the only one to not know this. It might sound funny, but Cliff didn’t even know the athletes were allowed to sleep during the marathon.

There were no limits in his mind – that’s the secret of his victory. The farmer just wanted to win. He pictured a sheep running in front of him and had only one goal – catch up with it.

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