An Important Message For You

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Hey Coach,


2024 starts in one sleep, and we wanted to share an inspiring story that we hope will ignite something in you…


This is an incredible story of determination and resilience with someone who has no barriers and knows no age or experience limit.


Clifford Young was not your typical athlete, he was born and raised as a farmer in Victoria, Australia, Cliff had never shown any particular interest in sports during his youth.


However, at the age of 57, he had a change in his values. The farmer from Down Under discovered he was inspired by long-distance running.


In 1982, at the age of 60, Cliff attempted to run a thousand miles (approximately 1.6 thousand kilometres) around Memorial Square in Colac, Victoria, aiming to break a world record.


Although he fell short of his goal, Cliff’s failure did not deter his pursuit.


Just a year later, at 61, he entered the Australian Super Marathon—a gruelling 864-kilometre race from Melbourne to Sydney (that’s 9 hours drive – imagine).


Unconventional Competitor

On the day of the race, seasoned athletes and spectators were bewildered when they saw Cliff Young at the starting line.


Sporting overalls and galoshes over his boots (think booty covers), he was at the start line, ready.


Many initially assumed he was a spectator, while others expressed genuine concern for his well-being.


After all, attempting such a feat at his age without sponsors or specialised training seemed implausible and even impossible.


But Cliff was undeterred by the outside world.


When interviewed by the media, he declared, “No, I can do it. I grew up on a farm where we couldn’t afford horses or a car until very recently. When the storm was approaching, I went out to herd the sheep. We had 2,000 sheep grazing on 2,000 acres. Sometimes I caught sheep for 2-3 days – it was not easy, but I always caught them. I think I can participate in the race because it is only 2 days longer and is only 5 days, while I run after the sheep for 3 days.”


So he’d be training for this moment most of his life.


The Journey

As the race began, professional athletes quickly left Cliff far behind.


Spectators from across Australia watched in awe, praying for his safe finish.


Little did Cliff know that completing the 864-kilometre journey required running for 18 hours a day and sleeping for only 6 hours, a fact unknown to him at the time.


To everyone’s astonishment, Cliff didn’t sleep during the race’s early stages and trailed behind.


However, each night, he gradually caught up with his competitors.


On the final day, he surged ahead and ultimately claimed victory in the Sydney-Melbourne Supermarathon, completing the gruelling race in just 5 days, 15 hours, and 4 minutes


That was 10 hours faster than his nearest rival.


Inspiring Others

In his victory, Cliff refused to claim any prizes for himself.


Instead, he divided his $10,000 prize money among the other runners, winning the hearts of the entire nation.


Cliff Young continued his love for running, participating in international events, and even taking on the challenge of running to raise money for homeless children.


His final running accomplishment was setting a world record in a six-day marathon in 2000 (so that is 18 years of doing his craft).


In 2003, at the age of 81, Cliff Young passed away, leaving behind a legacy of endurance and inspiration that continues to inspire generations to this day.



So 2024 is around the corner. What can we learn from Cliff?

  1. If you fail once, it doesn’t mean give up, it means keep going. The magic is in what you are avoiding.
  2. Your childhood experiences have meaning to your mission today.
  3. Don’t let the outside world influence your inner determination.
  4. Age nor experience doesn’t have to be a barrier to your mission. If you have an inner calling to coach, then coach.


Let’s make 2024 all about chasing our dreams and achieving more than we once thought possible.


With love,

Tanya, Justin & the Maximum Growth Team

Maximum Growth