Young Shuffle

itchy feet

The Young Shuffle is a style of running named for Australian potato farmer and athlete, Cliff Young (1922 — 2003). Young won the 544 mile Melbourne Ultramarathon at age 61, running in overalls and gumboots. He grew up on a 2000 acre farm in Beech Forest in south-western Victoria with approximately 2,000 sheep that he roundup on foot. He arrived at the 1983 Melbourne to Sydney ultramarathon as an unknown. He ran at a slow loping pace and trailed the leaders for most of the course, but by denying himself sleep and running while the others slept he slowly gained on them and eventually won by a large margin.

Before running the race he told the press that he had previously run for two to three days straight rounding up sheep. He claimed afterwards that during the race he imagined that he was running after sheep and trying to outrun a storm. The run took him five days, 15 hours and four minutes, trimming almost two days off the record for any previous run between Sydney and Melbourne. All of the six competitors who finished the race broke the previous record, but Young beat them by running while they were sleeping, and by using an ungainly looking, but very energy efficient running style that his since been dubbed the Young Shuffle.


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