It’s March 18, 2007.
I stand on a track. It’s a race track, but usually for fined tuned F1 vehicles.
Around me is a 90% male race attendance. It was so full of men that there were lines for the men’s restrooms… and no lines for the women.
I’m freezing. Proper freezing.
I had bought a jacket and gloves at the race expo. Paid an epic fortune for them. It’s blustery, grey, and around me chatter radiates from all sorts of people.
I’m at my very first race abroad, because at the time I lived in Texas. I had bused up with a mess of people from London. On an odd chance I wound up sitting next to another American. He had come to the UK to visit his brother who was stationed here. We thought it was funny we wound up sitting next to one another.
I had never been so cold. I had been training in hot, muggy weather.
The start gun sounds and off we went. The screaming started shortly thereafter.
I was about to run through my first ice storm.
By the time I limped through the finish I would run through two.
My rewards for completing the race?
- A small medal.
- An extra large men’s t-shirt.
- And a vendetta.
I’ve run a total of 13 half marathons, and that race… that race… I have a desire to re-run that race. It might have been the terrible weather or the fact I was beaten handily by a man dressed as the Stig. Maybe it is my pride. I don’t know what it is but…
Here I am, eight years later, holding the longest grudge I have ever held ever against 13.1 miles.
One of my colleagues took up running last year, and just so happens to be a massive F1 fan. On a whim we both signed up to run Silverstone this year.
Him with his love of F1.
Me with this epic desire to finish the race with hands that aren’t bright red from the repeat pounding of shards of ice which cut like a thousand small knives.
When we made this pact to sign up I asked him, no, I begged him to pick a cause to run for. A purpose to channel what can amount to a deep and festering desire to pummel every Stig impersonator (or not) and scream, “I will beat you!” over and over again.
The race is March 15, 2015.
I intend to leave with a small medal, a tech t-shirt, and as much money as possible for a good cause.
Let’s put this thing to rest, Silverstone.
I’m coming for you.