Fitness based adventurer Ross Edgley blogs for Silverstone
At 1am on Friday the 22nd of January 2016 I will lace up my shoes, attach a harness to my back and step foot onto Silverstone’s iconic circuit in an attempt to run 26.2 miles pulling a 1,400kg MINI Countryman. Why? Well, the short answer is to raise as much money and awareness as possible for 4 charities close to my heart (the first being the Teenage Cancer Trust which I’ll detail in this first post). But the actual answer needs a little more explaining, which is exactly why I decided to put pen to paper and write this blog.
My name’s Ross Edgley and this is how the World’s Strongest Marathon all began…
The year’s 2006 and I am a 20 year old student at Loughborough University. Studying sports science I — like most of my friends — spend my days either studying sport or playing it. Life was pretty good and I would look back at this time with complete fondness if it wasn’t for one single incident. It was during this time that one of my closest friends was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia.
He was an absolute specimen of an athlete. He basically played and excelled in anything you could race. This included cars. Now long story short, after intensive chemotherapy — and a bone marrow transplant — he made a full recovery. He’s an absolute Spartan, has now built a career for himself in the world of motor racing and I couldn’t be prouder of him. But it was the Teenage Cancer Trust that helped him during every step of his recovery. They created an environment where — despite having to leave University — he could continue with all the things he loved to do before he was diagnosed with leukaemia.
But I slightly digress, back to the original point of this post…
Why pull a MINI? Why run a marathon? Well, when I was talking to my support team at THE PROTEIN WORKS™ we agreed we needed to do something big, something that the media would say, “What a lunatic! We need to cover this.” So it was agreed. Running a marathon is good, but running a marathon pulling a car is (crazy and) newsworthy! So for the past 8 months that’s what I’ve been training to do.
Then why Silverstone? If I’m honest this was the only logical choice, both because of my friend’s connection with motor racing, but also because Silverstone holds a certain cultural significance for all British athletes, no matter what sport. It’s iconic and if I am to spend 24 hours (the estimated time it will take) pulling a car, I’m glad it’s somewhere as inspiring as Silverstone.
Lastly (and on this note) I just wanted to say a big “thank you” to the entire team at Silverstone who couldn’t have been more supportive of the event. MINI and Shaun Preece Design for creating the customised Countryman for me to pull. GoPro who provided the cameras to capture the footage of my training and the event on the day and Askmen.com who will be documenting the entire stunt.
Crazy training and diet pictures to follow in my next blog post. This includes a 4,000 calorie protein popcorn brownie, 14 hours training and a “test” lap of Stowe Circuit in the freezing cold…..