The 19th Cliff Young Australian 6-Day Race
21st to 27th Nov 04
By the race comitee
Pictures by Phil Essam
Twenty one runners and walkers lined up for the start of the 19th Annual Australian 6-day race. This year was the first year that it had been renamed in honour of Cliff Young. A fitting tribute to a Man that gave so much to the sport and to Colac.
The venue for the event was Memorial Square. It is located in the middle of the township of Colac. It is tree-lined and local residents visit the Square at all hours of the day and night. It is definitely the best venue for an Ultra event in Australia with an ever increasing history as well.
The Six-day race committee have worked tirelessly over the last few years to increase the professionalism at the Event. Nothing is to hard for them and they are always willing to listen to constructive criticism.
The field this year included three runners from overseas, five first time entrants and three females.
There were two interesting competitors in the field this year. They were Jesper Olsen from Denmark and Deborah De Williams from Altona in Victoria. Jesper left London on January 1st this year and has literally run across the world to get to the Event. His Quest can be followed at www.worldrun.org. Deborah recently completed a walk around Australia and established four world records at the same time. Both were welcome additions to the field.
The race got under way at midday on the Sunday. There seemed a smaller crowd than usual at the start. This isnt the fault of the Committee perhaps the younger generation at Colac just dont get the concept of ultra running. But I believe that now the race has its own dedicated web domain at www.sixdayrace.org.au , a dedicated race committee and a resurgent of interest in multi-day racing, it can become a truly international sporting Event and attract major interest around the world.
There are many intricacies of 6-day racing and this years event was to be no exception. The 2004 race was a "human chess match" of the highest order.
It is only three days since the Event when Im writing this. It will be very hard to write a blow by blow description at the moment. But I promise that the next edition of Ultramag will include a story about my winning crewing experience at Colac.
There were many highlights at the race. These included:
Next years event will be the 20th running of the Australian 6-day race at Colac. The date is unknown at this stage but it will be in November. There will be former runners come back to contest the event along with Newbies contesting it for the first time. The web site will be fully functional by then and it is planned that 2005 will be one of celebration for the longest surviving 6-day race in the world.
AURA Australian 6-Day Title: