In September of last year, my parents came to visit me in Singapore. And during their first evening, I dragged my keen but jet-lagged dad downtown to watch the world’s first Formula 1 night race, where we sat in a grandstand, looking down at cars that screamed through a tight bend, accelerated viciously, and then roared around a corner, under a bridge, and out of sight.
Last night, I was on the same route, with people looking down on me, entering that same corner, accelerating through it, and reaching my top speed along a main straightaway. The only difference between watching me and Lewis Hamilton was, oh, about 280km/h.
Instead of a Mclaren or Ferrari, I was running on Nikes. It was the annual JP Morgan Corporate Challenge, where I joined 10,000 others to run along part of the F1 course. Running with the leaders in the first kilometer, I accelerated past the small group of five, just as I approached the back of the F1 Pittstop.
One other runner came with me–the pitter pattering of his feet reminding me that at any point, he could overtake me, leaving my hopes of winning the race firmly in the dust. At 39, I’m a bit long in the tooth to consider winning such an event, especially one that’s only about 6km long–a distance well-suited to younger men.
Eventually being overtaken by the younger man at the 4th kilometer, I ran on his heels before making my decisive move. Of course, I hoped he wouldn’t have the strength to come with me.