The Red Bull Lion Heart race is kind of a big deal. All athletes have to submit a motivational letter to make the cut. You would have to be heartless (PUN!) to say no to Ian McNaught Davis’ tearjerker…

“Dear Esteemed Red Bull Lion Heart Athlete Selection Committee

Here are four very good reasons for accepting me as an athlete in your competition:

1) I AM A RUNNER
In fact, I’ve probably been running through your mind all day, driving you wild with the beguiling rustle of the wind caressing my hypnotic polyshorts as I glide through the air like a ripped swan in a novelty headband.

2) I DON’T DO DRUGS
Although my running times are outlandishly fast, they are all legal. In fact, I am willing to provide countless litres of EPO-free urine for proof. Because when it comes to trail running, it’s not about the bike.

3) I WILL GIVE YOU MEDIA COVERAGE
As the features writer at Men’s Health magazine, I’ll cover the event. And not like most journalists who say they’ll cover the event and they just go there to eat the canapes and samoosas. I will actually do this running thing, while giving it coverage and letting the masses know that trail running gives, like, lank rock hard abs. However, if there are canapes and samoosas on offer, I will most definitely eat them.

4) I LITERALLY LOOK LIKE A LION
I have a ginormous ginger beard on my face, and I can safely say that I will be the only athlete who can double as a mascot for the event. Except perhaps for AJ Calitz. But it’s not like he’s a big deal in the trail running scene anyway.

There you have it: A lion-like, drug-free, media coveragerising athlete. All for the price of one. I should be a shoe-in. I just made a pun on the word shoe. Because it has to do with running.

Yours in gravel travel,
Ian McNaught Davis aka The MacAttack aka McNaughtus Tortoise”