People Who Kick Buts: Percy Cerutty
You only ever grow as a human being if you’re outside your comfort zone.
- Born on January 10, 1895 in Australia and passed away on August 14, 1975.
- Was one of the world’s leading athletics coaches in the 1950s and 1960s.
- The eccentric Australian pioneered a home-spun system of ‘Stotan’ training, embracing a holistic regime of natural diets, hard training in natural surrounds, and mental stimulation. Training would involve running in idyllic scenes, along the beach and up the dunes, mixing poetry and philosophy with athletics training.
- Cerutty coached Herb Elliott to a series of world record performances, culminating in an Olympic gold medal in the 1960 Rome Games.
- Percy Cerutty was four years old when his mother left her alcoholic husband and struggled to raise her six surviving children in Melbourne.
- In 1907, he left school to help support the family but was considered unfit to serve in World War I. He competed in athletics without distinction, suffering from illness after racing.
- In 1939, following a nervous breakdown, Cerutty took leave to re-build his body, adopting a natural diet, studying philosophy and psychology, and resuming running and weightlifting.
- After World War II, Cerutty began competing in distance running events, winning the Victorian State Marathon Championship before he retired from the track.
- At Rome in 1960, the 22 year-old Elliott set a world record to win the Olympic gold medal in the 1500 metres setting another world record of 3:35.6.