“This is as crazy as it is impressive”
I love motor sport! So like most kids I had always imagined what it would be like crossing the finish line at Silverstone to rapturous applause and a checkered flag. Well, at 7:36pm on the 22nd of January 2016 I was lucky enough to experience just that. But I have to be honest, it was a little different to what I’d imagined when growing up watching the Grand Prix.
See, for 19 hours and 36 minutes I had pulled a 1.4 tonne MINI Countryman around Stowe Circuit all to raise money for Sports Aid, Teenage Cancer Trust, Children with Cancer & United through Sport. The hashtag #WorldsStrongestMarathon trended for 18 hours and a barrage of tweets followed.
“This is as crazy as it is impressive” was my favourite as it beautifully summed up the day.
But what was it like at the finish line?
In a word, emotional. This is because although the media was quick to dub me a “fused with a super athlete” (a title I must admit I didn’t mind) the reality is very different. Pulling a 1.4 tonne car for 26.2 miles is not an individual sport. There is absolutely no way I could have done this without my friends and family (and in no way is this me being modest).
Of the 19 hours and 36 minutes it took to complete the event, a huge proportion of this was spent with my long-suffering, lactic-ridden legs being massaged by Head Physio Christie Wright as I was fed an abundant supply of. At 10:00am when the rain poured down and soaked me from an impossible horizontal angle my older brother (shout out to Scott) walked every mile with an umbrella in front of me. And of the 26.2 miles covered, friend and endurance expert James Ruckley covered every inch of that track with me.
Which is why when I crossed that finish line under the Silverstone sign, the celebratory protein shake I shared with my team was theI had ever tasted. Yes, because my entire body was in agony wondering what had just happened. But more because I could sit down and toast to the friends who’d nursed my broken body around every metre of that course.
In summary, because of what happened on Friday the 22nd of January 2016 Silverstone will forever be a sacred place of sport for me and my friends. But not for the reason I’d have guessed as a 10 year old watching it on TV.
Lastly, I just want to write a very quick “thank you” list…
Silverstone (and specifically Carol) you couldn’t have been more accommodating and welcoming. From turning on the heating at midnight in the building to finding us a jerry can when the support car ran out of petrol. Shaun thewho produced all graphics for the event. Then James, Christie, Karina, Scott, Hester, Julie, Sarah, Mum, Dad, Craig, Gareth, Fran and Josh. We started the day as friends and ended it as family.
Finally, the fundraising page is still live. Any/all donations would be insanely appreciated however small. I’m just a guy (with too much energy) that pulled a car around Silverstone in a novelty charity stunt. But the work of the people at Sports Aid, Teenage Cancer Trust, Children with Cancer & United through Sport is genuinely brilliant and so deserving of every penny raised.
*Ross has since announced he will be taking the MINI Countryman to Nürburgring in Germany to take part in the Fisherman’s Friend Strongman Run. He jokes, “I’m already learning the German. “Koffein” means caffeine apparently. Very important for the start of the race. Then “whey protein” is the same in English and German. Very useful for after the race.”
Ross adds, “I really think what we started at Silverstone on the 22nd was something special. So I’m keen to take that and the great work of charities around Europe. All with my MINI “backpack” as I go.”