Percy Cerutty

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Cerutty in 1961

Percy Wells Cerutty (10 January 189514 August 1975) was an Australian athletics coach.


  • To become great, whether an artist, a musician, a writer, a philosopher or creator or scientist, even as one great in sport, the secret lies, assuming there is some native ability in the first place, in one factor above all others – emotion.
    • On Greatness; as quoted in "Unrequited obsession" by Chris Jefferis, The Sydney Morning Herald (11 October 2008).
  • You only ever grow as a human being if you're outside your comfort zone.

Quotes about Cerutty

  • He was a short guy who’s about five foot two, Cerutty, and he ran barefoot, he ran around town in Melbourne shirtless wearing his very small shorts and recruited Landy and a bunch of other runners to train them to be the best. He had these outlandish methods. Not only was running barefoot part of that but running up and down sand dunes, running through nature, living off a vegetarian root-based diet, considered running a, best way of saying it, as an art, as an expression of art.
  • He was eccentric, he was unpredictable, and he was entertaining, had an enormous sense of fun, but he would be very close to probably the most widely read man that I've met, in terms of the breadth of subjects that he read about: spiritual aspects or physical aspects or mental aspects, or art, or science or saints or devils … Underneath it all there was a sort of sound philosophy based on "Let's improve ourselves as human beings, let's become more compassionate, let's become bigger, let's become stronger, let's become nicer people."
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