Ultra running legend Joe Record has died at age 66. He passed away in Fremantle after a long battle with multiple myeloma. Joe, variously described as eccentric and an anti-establishment non-conformist was a six-time Westfield competitor and was a very accomplished ultra runner. His bests included 363 km for 48 hours and 890.8 km for 6 days, winning Colac in 1987. See David Cairns’ eulogy
Note from Editor: Here are some extracts from the Westfield book at the weekend which will demonstrate Joe’s character and ability.Joe was an expatriate Englishman , resident in West Australia.He won the Manly 100-mile race in 1981 and had covered 462 miles in a six-day race inFrance in 1982. Joe Record was asked a few years later by Tony Rafferty “What are yourlasting thoughts of that famous race?” Joe’s reply was “I drove across the Nullarbor in thisreally shonky car. I took my time. Cliff was a very easy bloke to live with. Just no hassle. Iworked out a schedule for us. We did twenty miles the first week, thirty miles the next and then fifty miles a day.” Joe had an eccentric outlook on life and was certainly a runner that left his influence on the race over the years.
1983 race – The second day of the race started and Cliff Young was the leader, as the field ran into Yass. Cliff said “I’m just an old tortoise, I have to keep going to stay in front”. JoeRecord’s reply on hearing this was “I think I can catch the old Cliff. He says he is a tortoisebut I think the old bastard is a hare in disguise”Joe was later to describe the run as “It was a beautiful enchanting run. Cattle strewn across the road. I ran with them. I felt like I was going back in time”.It was at Albury when Joe Record caught up with Cliff. It was on Sunday morningand Cliff had been asleep for an hour and a half. Cliff was woken by a very familiar facesaying “Hello Old Buddy. I’ve caught you. Sleep tight.” Joe then left the caravan and keptrunning. Cliff was that startled that he got dressed and kept running at a terrific pace toovertake Joe. Cliff’s last words to Joe were “Good luck Joe”. It was a short time later thatJoe Record needed his sleep and Cliff was left to get a good distance again between himand the rest of the field.Joe Record remembers this part of the race when he said at a later stage “I got Cliffyin Albury. Then shin splints scotched it. I ran too hard down the hills. Later he got 18k infront. He was going like the clappers.”A funnier version of this part of the race was reported later and it goes like this: Cliffrecalled “There were a few funny moments. Joe Record, who was running second, jumpedinto my caravan late one night while I was catching 40 winks. Joe asked me if I had any ice for his sore shins. I said ‘No’ sent him back up the road to a garage, jumped out of bed, took off and never saw him again”.Joe Record pulled out of the event with swollen ankles and a suspected kidneyinfection. He remembers the run as “I had an awful time from Wodonga to Wangaratta. Atotally hellish run. Then I’d a big duel with George Perdon. I think it lasted 40k. I couldn’tlet him go. It gave me the shits. I’d come up and f****** sprint. He’d come up and I’d goagain. Then I couldn’t even walk down the hills and I said ‘stuff it”. It was a shame to seeRecord pull out of the event. He had trained with Cliff Young and had definitely made theother runners ‘Sing for their Supper”.
Joe Record celebrated his 45th birthday during the race. He was in third place whenmasseur, Graham Chapman donned a waiter’s coat and black tie. He served up a specialmixture on toast for breakfast and sang “Happy birthday” as he ran beside Joe. Record said “It’s not true, I’m not celebrating my birthday because I’m too short of breath to blow out the candles.”
The last withdrawal of the race was Joe Record who had run a very strong race. Joewithdrew on the second last day. Legend has it that he walked into a Pub at Traralgon,ordered a beer and stated that he was stuffed. Definitely an understatement!#
Joe was to be rated as the 20th best Westfield runner. This is what I wrote:20. Joe Record Joe from West Australia deserves a ranking much higher thantwentieth. He ran on five occasions and managed two top five placing’s in that time. On thethree other times he was injured in the closing stages of the race and had to withdraw. Hewas such an aggressive runner that he had an effect on the placing’s every year that heraced.