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Birthday milestone a marathon effort for Alby Clarke

Alby Clarke runs a marathon distance from Warrnambool to Framlingham, and back, to celebrate his 80th birthday. 141128RG32 Picture: ROB GUNSTONEMOST 80 year olds celebrate their birthday with a small gathering of family and friends — but not Alby Clarke.

When Mr Clarke notched up the milestone yesterday, he pulled on his running shoes and hit the road for a marathon-distance run.

“I don’t think there’d be too many indigenous people my age doing the same thing,” he said.

“I don’t feel my age. I’ve done over 20 marathons so I decided to do this one today to show the indigenous population what can be achieved.”

Despite being an athletic youth, Mr Clarke, who is identifiable by his trademark blue hair, gained weight after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and was told by a doctor he needed to improve his health if he wanted to see his children grow up.

He changed his diet, started cycling daily. He’s become a proud advocate for indigenous health and Koori youth education and raised countless dollars for Diabetes Australia.

The Warrnambool and district identity started his run at 8.30am, running to the Framlingham Cemetery before returning to Warrnambool.

Mr Clarke, who was inducted to the Victorian Indigenous Honour Roll in 2012, said yesterday’s run was also a fund-raiser for children with brain cancer.

He finished his run with a barbecue hosted by the Gunditjmara co-operative and was planning an early night.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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