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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.

Jesper Olsen and Vlastik Skvaril

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 Deborah recently completed a walk around Australia and established four world records at the same time. Both were welcome additions to the field.

Jesper Olsen and Elvira Janosi

The race got under way at midday on the Sunday. There seemed a smaller crowd than usual at the start. This isn’t the fault of the Committee – perhaps the younger generation at Colac just don’t get the concept of ultra running. But I believe that now the race has it’s own dedicated web domain at , 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 year’s 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 I’m 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:

Jesper Olsen and Graeme Watts
  • The battle between 1st and 2nd and 3rd and 4th during the Event. This battle could have easily included a battle between 2nd and 3rd as well
  • The five PB’s completed during the week
  • The great potential shown by a couple of Australian runners during the week
  • The great sportsmanship and spirit shown at the Event by Deborah De Williams
  • The performances of the five Westfield Legends
  • Calling Bill Sutcliffe to the 12 o’clock deadline on day 3 or 4 with seconds to spare
  • The food van looking after the runners and crew so well, and
  • The Great fairplay, goodwill and sportsmanship shown by all runners and walkers at the Event.

Next year’s 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.



1stJesper Olsen (Den)756.38km (New Danish 6-day record)
2ndGraeme Watts702.12km
3rdVlastik Skvaril692.85km (PB)
4thPeter Hoskinson690.43km (PB)
5thDawn Parris649.64km
6thDavid Billett569.89km (PB)
7thTrevor Marsh556.06km(PB)
8thDavid Jones551.85km(PB)
9thGeorge Audley526.54km
10thBrian Bloomer522.24km
11thElvira Janosi (Hun)516.38km
12thPeter Gray503.23km
13thEric Wright (RSA)493.07km
14thShaun Scanlon491.19km
15thHoward Neville475.98km
16thDeborah De Williams448.17km
17thJohn Timms413.2km (DNF)
18thBill Sutcliffe404.15km
19thRobyn Davis290.8km (DNF)
20thStan Miskin181.6km (DNF)
21stIan Valentine149.2km

AURA Australian 6-Day Title:

  • 1st Male - Graeme Watts
  • 2nd Male - Vlastik Skvaril
  • 3rd Male - Peter Hoskinson 
  • 1st Female - Dawn Parris 
  • Drew Kettle Award for Oldest Finisher - George Audley
  • Bryan Smith Award (Fairplay, Goodwill and Sportsmanship) - Eric Wright
  • Most Courageous Award - Deborah De Williams
  • All competitors Australian unless otherwise stated


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