For some, Bullrun is a road trip, to others it is a chance to party hard for a week. For Bullrun veteran, Alex Proud, it's all about keeping his marriage going.
"Bullrun keeps my marriage going," Alex said. "Seven days of being single, travelling, fast cars, luxury hotels... We all talk about the dream... But to live a week of 'the dream' is perfect!"
Alex is a Bullrun regular, and has been actively rallying since Bullrun's humble beginnings in 2004. For his first rally, Alex and his co-driver, Nick Moran, a British actor, rented a red Ford Mustang and used Bullrun as an escape from reality. Little did they know that they would be returning the following year.
Taking to the road once more, the boys from London decided to do the rally in style. They drove in a Mercedes SLK and wore matching hats. Soon their car was dubbed the SL-Gay. Even Alex and Nick started calling it a 'hairdresser's car.' But they rolled with it and rallied hard until the end.
Alex has been a part of nearly every Bullrun rally, and it's easy to see why. Alex says that Bullrun keeps something inside of him alive, and year after year, he has an itch that he just needs to scratch.
By 2010, Alex said that it was his wife that began pushing him to do Bullrun every year, just to get him out of the house.
"My wife realised in 2010 that she needed me to go away for a week every year to be bearable for the other 51."
Alex's approach to Bullrun is quite simple; don't take yourself too seriously. During the 2012 rally, Alex commented that he and his co-driver were driving in a Porsche convertible with red leather seats that made them look gay - so they vowed not to take anything too seriously.
When asked if he would be in contention for the Navigator Award this year, Alex replied:
“What is the navigator award? I am sure we normally found the bar okay?”
Of course, you have those who are hardcore rally drivers, those who are in it for the fun, and those who are there to enjoy life. Alex says his favourite part about Bullrun is having no idea who he will be in the company of, where he will end up each night, what he will see and how he will feel. “As I grow older, that is a rare and very precious feeling.”
This year, Alex and his co-driver, Mr. Fuller, a well known and rather debonair director, will be calling themselves “Team America, F*** Yeah!” This year, they will be driving American Muscle!
Watch out for Alex and Mr. Fuller on the starting grid this year – they’re sure to have some good stories to tell!
Q&A with Alex Proud:
1) So Alex, you have participated in numerous Bullrun's, starting with the inaugural 2004 rally. What keeps bringing you back year after year?
Keeps my marriage going. 7 days of being single, travelling, fast cars, luxury hotels... We all talk about the dream... But to have a week of the “dream” is perfect... By the end of a week you realise the dream would be a nightmare, but for 7 days it is perfect and keeps something inside me alive. Some people go a therapist, some do lsd...others turn to Buddha...for me it is a v8 and the whole of America at the end of my foot....
2) If you could say you learned one thing from last previous rallies, what would it be?
The bad bits make the good bits great. So when your in jail. Stuck on a mountain with a flat and no one supplies it for 500 miles you realise this is the bit that makes everything else so golden.
3) Who will be your teammate for this year's rally?
Mr. Fuller, a well known and rather debonair (for a New Yorker) director... I play Michael Caine next to his Steve Martin from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels; obviously that makes me the handsome funny one...
4) How did you get involved with Bullrun back in 2004?
David and me have the same friends and i had a big gallery for him to open the party at.... I got to go and had the best time
5) What brought you back for 2005 and then 2010?
My wife realised in 2010 that she needed me to go away for a week every year to be bearable for the other 51.
6) As you said regarding the Porsche you drove during 2010, you and your co-driver were driving in a convertible with red leather seats and you looked gay in the car. Yet you also drove in a Mercedes in 2005 that you dubbed the SL-Gay. What makes it the ideal rally vehicle for you? What are you driving this year?
Well i am fed up of me and my temporary lover being thought of as camp gay, he may be, but i am all oil and rags... So this year i am a butch tough gay man in an all American Muscle (car).
7) What is your team name for this year's rally?
“America, F***K Yeah”
8) What would you say is your team's strongest asset?
Our hot rod
9) Are you planning on gunning for the Navigator Award this year, or are you Bullrunning more for the parties?
What is the navigator award? I am sure we normally found the bar okay?
10) What is your absolute favourite aspect of Bullrun?
Having no idea where or who i will be with, what i will see or feel or be. As i grow older, that is a rare and very precious feeling.
11) If you could summarize Bullrun in one word, what would it be?