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Evergreen Cliff On The Long Run AgainMelbourne Herald Sun - 30th March 2001
See also : Cliff's Run Stopped By Illness
In the best words of Willie Nelson, Cliff Young is about to be on the road again. The 79-year-old retired dairy farmer leaves on Saturday on his greatest challenge, a trip around Australia.
Young has bounced back with unbridled enthusiasm after a stroke last year.
He has become a well-known figure around the paths of Caloundra on Queensland's Sunshine Coast as he walks his daily 35km.
Up at 6am for breakfast, he heads off about 7am and returns for morning tea at 10am before setting off again.
Young has lived in Caloundra since November and has put his Kawaren (near Colac) dairy farm on the market.
"Things get a bit cold down there and I reckon it was the chill off the lake that caused my stroke last year" Young said yesterday after coming in for his morning break. "But I'm right again now and right to go around Australia. I like a challenge. It keeps me going".
He has certainly picked a challenge with the route going from Brisbane to Townsville across to Darwin, down to Esperance via Perth and across the Nullarbor before heading up the Hume Highway.
Young admits when he sees "the Old Hume" the temptation will be to break into a jog. "I still jog a bit, mainly when someone tries to pass me" he said.
It was on the Hume Highway in 1983 that Young ran into the hearts of Australians by winning the Sydney-Melbourne ultra-marathon aged 61.
Joining him on his trek which is planned to finish on December 31, will be a support crew including identical twins Paula and Bridgett Powers. The 27 year olds are doing the walk for two reasons : to help their beloved CLiff and to raise money for the Make A Wish Foundation.
Young became friendly with the Powers family last year and has been living with them in recent months.
The trio hopes to walk around 50km a day and naturally enough is on the lookout for sponsors (call 0407-672-529).
The twins' mother Helen Powers believes the walk has kept Young going after he experienced some flat spots after his stroke. "Cliff was about ready to chuck the towel in, but this walk has got him going" she said "I think he would have laid down an died if I'd told him he couldn't do it".