Saturday, October 08, 2005

Older Guys to take over Memorial Square

“Older Guys” set to take over Memorial Square


Four of the competitors entered in this year’s Cliff Young Australian Six-day Race at Colac, Victoria are over seventy years old and have been dubbed “Team Older Guy”. They are Stan Miskin from Victoria, Andy Lovy from the USA, George Audley from Albany in West Australia and Don McKechnie from Camperdown in Victoria.

Stan Miskin is the oldest competitor in the field at eighty years old and has been a regular participant in the race over the last few years. Stan has been competing in Ultra events for the past twenty-four years and has a personal best of 482kms for the six-day event. Stan is hoping to break 500km at this year’s event and break some Over 80 age group records at the same time.

Stan Miskin believes that it is a disappointing reality that a lot of people his age and younger don’t do any exercise in their daily lives. He advises them “To at least do a gentle walk as part of their daily lives which would then be happier and more satisfying as a direct result of being fitter”.

Andy Lovy from America is coming back to Colac for his third start in the race and at seventy and a half years of age was honoured to be invited back for the 20th running of the Colac Six-day race. Andy is aiming to complete 440 to 480km in this year’s race and as a qualified Surgeon he is looking forward to help his fellow runner when any injuries arise during the race.

Andy believes that people in their twilight years “ Have earned the right to do as they please with their lives, but one secret of longevity and happiness and health is activity, wether physical or mental, and long distance events gives them that opportunity to test out their minds and bodies and although they might not live longer, they will live healthier and happier and be associated with others who lead productive and fun lives”. Andy has also suggested a 2000km goal for himself and the other three “Older Guys” at this year’s race. He thinks that between the four of them they could aim for 2000km as a fun target during the six days of the race.

The third member of the “Older Guys” team is George Audley from Albany in West Australia and is one of the race legends. He has just turned seventy this year and has competed in the race over ten times with a best total of 816kms. He has been know as the “Flying Fossil” for a few years and is aiming to beat 654km at this year’s race. This will enable him to take Cliff Young’s seventy plus age world record for six days.

George has noticed similar aged friends having hip and knee replacements over the past few years and firmly believes in the adage of “If you don’t use it, you lose it”. He would like to see more people his age doing some form of exercise every day as a way of keeping healthier. George was quoted as saying “I can’t say I like running, but I do well so I owe it to myself to do it”

The forth member of the “Older Guy” team and multi-day novice is seventy year old Don McKechnie from Camperdown in Victoria. Don was first introduced to the six-day race two years ago when he was at Colac to do some weekend shopping and wandered over to Memorial Square to see what all the fuss was about. He was immediately hooked to the sport and stayed for the week to crew for Andy Lovy with his race. He came back in 2004 and crewed for George Audley.

Don was inspired by the effort’s of Andy and George and after last year’s race, committed himself to entering in 2005. Don is aiming to complete 400km during this year’s race, which will average out at 65km a day. Don believes that the camaraderie that exists at ultra marathon events can not be found at any other sport in the world and loves how “Runners and crew will go out of their way to help and cheer other competitors during the race”.

Race Commentator and Ultra Historian, Phil Essam believes that “It is fantastic to see four older runners entered for this year’s race continuing the tradition of Cliff Young and Drew Kettle who were both Colac Legends”. He is hoping that Colac residents of all ages will turn up to cheer the “Older Guys” and the other competitors on during this year’s race.

The race is being from the 21st to the 26th of November at Memorial Square in Colac, Victoria. It can be followed online at http://sixdayrace.org.au/colac/index.php. If you have any queries about the race, please call Phil Essam on 0407830263.

Phil Essam
08 Oct 05

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