Running legend’s cup will return to district

Queensland’s Paula and Bridgette Powers will bring the late Cliff Young’s Westfield Sydney-to-Melbourne Ultramarathon cup to Colac next week and it will be on permanent display at the Colac History Centre.

Queensland’s Paula and Bridgette Powers will bring the late Cliff Young’s Westfield Sydney-to-Melbourne Ultramarathon cup to Colac next week and it will be on permanent display at the Colac History Centre.

A PIECE of history will return to the Colac Otway Shire this month when the late Cliff Young’s ultramarathon cup becomes a permanent tribute to the Otways runner.

Queensland’s Powers family will deliver the cup to Colac next week, with the Colac History Centre preparing a place to display the ultramarathon legend’s trophy.

Mr Young shuffled into the history books when he won the Westfield Sydney to Melbourne marathon as a 61-year-old.

The Beech Forest potato farmer, who trained in gumboots on the hills of the Otways, beat a field of professional runners in the 1983 race by running through the night with minimal sleep, crossing the line about 10 hours ahead of his nearest competitor.

Westfield presented Mr Young with a ceremonial cup acknowledging his achievement after the win.

Cliff Young

Cliff Young

Mr Young gave the cup to twins Paula and Bridgette Powers later in life, asking them to take care of the shiny accolade he received from his marathon win.

The Powers family had adopted Mr Young as their honorary grandfather and crewed for him on some of his later marathon runs, including his attempts to circumnavigate Australia while in his 60s.

“Cliff told the girls to only polish it once a year so the engraving doesn’t fade,” the twins’ mother Helen Powers said.

The Powers family decided the cup belonged in the place where Cliffy carved out his running career, and they will present it to Colac Otway Shire Council on Wednesday.

Mayor Frank Buchanan said “Cliffy’s memory was treasured in Colac Otway” and receiving the cup would be an honour.

“Driving through the Otways, locals would always keep an eye out for Cliffy’s trademark shuffle,” Cr Buchanan said.

“The currency of exchange was an encouraging toot for a wave from our local hero.

“Call it the tortoise and hare, or David and Goliath, Cliffy’s stoic win in the Westfield race captured all our imaginations,” he said.

“Cliffy’s combination of raw natural talent for long-distance running, along with his grassroots modesty, made him one of Australia’s most lovable characters.”

The council has invited Colac and district residents to attend the cup presentation at 12.30pm on April 22 in the council chambers at Colac Otway Performing Arts and Cultural Centre.

Buy the latest Colac Herald print edition for full news and sport coverage. The Herald is available at more than 50 outlets across the region.

One Response to “Running legend’s cup will return to district”