Clarke, AlbertAlbert Clarke M (AUS), geb. 1935-00-00
First Indigenous Australian to run at Colac
29th October 2005, by Phil Essam
Seventy year old, Albert (Jack) Clarke , an Elder from the Gunditjmara Tribe in Warrnambool is set to be the first Indigenous Australian to compete in the Cliff Young Australian 6-day race in the last twenty years. It is also believed that Clarke is also the first Indigenous Australian to compete in an Ultramarathon race in Australia and the World.
Former Colac legend, Drew Kettle, who was a regular competitor in the race, would be smiling from above as it was a lifelong dream of his that an Indigenous Australian would be competing in the race.
Clarke does not have any running or walking experience but comes from a very strong cycling background. Three years ago he cycled from Perth to Warrnambool to raise awareness for diabetes research and is also a twice finisher of the Melbourne to Warrnambool cycle race. Clarke was also an accomplished boxer in his time, being undefeated in the featherweight class.
Clarke is competing in the 6-day race as training for a ride from Darwin to Adelaide in the future. He does have type 2 diabetes which is under control and likes to raise awareness about the dangers of diabetes through his sporting achievements. He is hoping that his sporting achievements can be a role model and inspiration for any young aboriginals and diabetics. As Clarke said “If I can do it, anyone can”.
The race starts on Nov 20th at Memorial Square at Colac, Victoria and goes till Nov 26th. It can be followed on line at www.sixdayrace.org.au or if your at Colac, please come to the Square during the week and support Clarke and his fellow competitors.