Tell us a bit about what the Baja 500 is…
It’s a 500-mile race in Ensenada, Mexico, in June… an off road race.
You’ve never done anything like this before… so why are you doing this now?
There are multiple levels to that… In terms of the company, we’re at the stage now where for the last 10 years we’ve been working on the product and now I feel it’s time to work on the brand… People who don’t read Playboy know what it is, they know what Playboy represents… it’s the bunny, it’s like this feeling, you know… and I want to take BaDoink there.
Aren’t you nervous? It’s a dangerous race…
Oh yeah, I’m scared.
So what are you doing to prepare yourself for the event?
Well, I have a nutritionist and a workout person, so I’m going to follow all that to a tee. I have to cut out caffeine, for example, for concentration and endurance. You know, apparently, you’re going to have be looking just 10-ft in front of you… your focus isn’t going to be on the distant horizon… you’re going to be in the dust, so really that’s just 2-ft in front of you, and you have to maintain that focus and attention for 20 hours straight. That endurance and focus is going to be the biggest issue for me… Physically, I’m on a yoga regimen.
A couple of days before the race, I believe you get to go around the track and find out a little bit what the terrain is going to be like. How do you think you’re going to be able to remember all of that?
We’ve been put with this guy named Chuck Dempsey, who’s done this race 27 times and won it once… and he’s going to take me and Tim out for the 500 miles and he’s going to say ‘watch for this boulder’ and so on and we’re going to take notes.
There is a kind of GPS in the car so you can take notes and plug them into the GPS… like, this is a dangerous corner, this is a jump, stuff like that…
Will you be doing any off road racing beforehand to practice?
We have three days of just flat out off road training… and then two days of the actual 500 miles, of the race…
But you’re not doing any other race routes first?
So you really are going into this as cold as you possibly can?
And you’re not worried about coming out of it as cold as you possibly can?
I’m scared, but I think… and this may be my naivety… people not doing it, they think it’s this massively dangerous thing, but I think if you do it, you’ll be, like, ‘oh it wasn’t all that bad.’ That’s just the way I feel about everything in life…
For you, then, this is just… another day in the life of Mark?
It’s a fucking truck… it’s on the ground… it’s not like I’m doing a mathematics contest tomorrow… it’s not something I can’t do, right? Yes, it’s a big truck, it’s got a big engine in it… but it’s shit that we already know how to do. I’ve never done anything this risky before though, not so much in the public.
What about your relationship with Tim, your co-driver? Obviously there has to be a lot of trust…
Hell yes… I met Tim, online, about 14/15 years ago and we were about to do a project together, online… there was about 6 or 7 people in the group and we were supposed to set up a business together and that fell apart but me and Tim kept talking… Then one day we met up in New York City and ever since then we’ve travelled around the globe together…
Who are your heroes, your role models?
I don’t have any. It’s not that I’m fully confident or anything… It’s… I’m always seeking for my role model, always have been. It was the same as a kid, so I kept tapping away at what it was that I wanted to be… I just kept tapping away and here I am now.
So, what lies ahead?
The same shit… just keep tapping away. I wish I had a role model, you know, to give me some sense of direction, but I keep tapping away… a little bit every day. One of my sayings, for me to keep me going, I keep it really simple… I say ‘Greater, later… greater, later,’ and this is what I follow. It always has to be greater, later. That’s like my core philosophy. So I keep tapping away, a little bit, every day, for greater, later.