RON CLARKE

RON CLARKE

Ron's current speaking topics include: Olympics- Feats and Fortunes; Sport's Great Performances; What makes a Champion; Flow- Matching Tribute to Talent; Corporates & Communities, Getting the Most Value from your Contributions.

Melbourne, VIC, Australia
  • Ron Clarke will be remembered as the athlete who rewrote the record books, but could not win any race at either the Olympics or Commonwealth Games. 
  • Ron enjoyed one of the most illustrious careers in world long distance running.
  • In a span of 8 years on the international circuit he broke 18 official world records and for a period of 7 years from 1965 to 1972, held every world record from the 2 miles to the 1 hour run.  No athlete in history has matched this feat. 
  • In 1965, in a period of 6 weeks, Clarke broke 11 world records in 16 races in 8 countries
  • One Olympic bronze and four Commonwealth silvers were the sum total of Clarke's international successes, yet the Australian champion had invariably run better times than the winners and, at one stage held every world record from 2 miles to 20000m.
  • To be fair, Clarkes' chances of winning at the 1968 Mexico City Games, when he was at the peak of his career, were slim because of the high altitude and incredible air pollution of the city.
  • Clarke showed a great deal of promise as a teenager and, when he was 19 years old, Ron broke the world junior mile and two miles records in 1955 and he was given the honour of carrying the Olympic torch into the stadium at the start of the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.
  • Ron ceased competing the following year (1957) in order to complete his accountancy qualifications, and did not return to competition until 1962. 
  • He set his first world record mark in Melbourne on Dec 18 1963, watched by fewer than 30 spectators, breaking the 6 miles and 10,000 metres in the one race.
  • The previous year, at the Perth Commonwealth Games, he set the pace in the 3 mile event but was overhauled by New Zealand's Murra Halberg. He failed to finish in the 6 miles.
  • In 1965 he was voted BBC International Sportsman of the Year, World Sportsman of the Year by the International Association of Sports Writers, Australian Sportsman of the Year and Athlete of the Year by the prestigious Track and Field News (USA) and World Sports (UK). The French Academy of Sport selected him as their World Sportsman of the Year in 1966.
  • After spending 13 years in London establishing Cannons Health and Fitness Clubs, Europe's largest and most successful, and Cannons Country Club, a Country House Hotel in Bath, he and his wife Helen returned to Australia where he was responsible for the concept and development of Couran Cove Resort, an A$185 million Holiday Resort on South Stradbroke Island on the Gold Coast of Queensland.  Couran Cove won 15 different National awards in the environmental, design, architectual and engineering fields.
  • Ron was also responsible for the construction of The Runaway Bay Sports Super Centre development on the Gold Coast which was used extensively by many international teams for their preparation for the 2000 Olympics, including the Para-Olympics.
  • In 2001, Helen and Ron Clarke relocated to Melbourne to establish the CEPA Trust (Council for the Encouragement of Philanthropy in Australia), one of the world's most innovative philanthropic organisations, of which Ron is President.

 


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