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4 mph challenge
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Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
4 mph challenge on 04/01/2013 21:51:24 MDT Print View

My first time I have ever finished 1st place in a sporting event ever!
Thank you Mark Swanson and the crew for putting on an amazing event. Maintaining 4mph was tough but for some reason, that day it just got easier with each passing lap. I hit a huge wall after coming in from mile 60. I wasn’t able to get my heart rate down and wasn’t able to eat. After sitting for 10 minutes my body was all of a sudden cold and I just did not feel like going on.

My wife never gave up on me and told me to get my butt out there and just slow down and I’ll get through it. I never would have made it past that lap without her. From then on, I slowed down down enough that I had less than 9 minutes between each lap (except the last 2 laps).
I also got colder after that lap and each lap after just seemed to become redundant and get easier.
At night, it seemed we went from 7 to 4 all too quickly. It was completely understanding at that point you just wanted the pace to slow slow down and be able to walk to let your body settle down or at least be able to have enough time to be able to get down a real meal.

I am not a fast runner and it was so much fun the entire day with everyone just being chilled out just maintaining the necessary pace.
Thank you Kent Dozier for keeping us going and huge thank you to Tim Larson.
He PR’d his longest distance ever by 22 miles through lap after lap of pouring rain.
On miles 78 – 84 the skies really started opening up and everything not only became soaked, but started chafing. This was Tims last lap. He missed a turn a ran almost an extra mile on the lap before and I kew he was beat. Just lining up for that last lap took guts. I know Tim knew that I only had about 8 minutes between each lap so right from the start I took the lead and wanted Tim to think that the pace I was keeping was my normal pace.
Just before the first mile I was a few hundred yards in front I could hear him let out this big sigh. I knew he was done and it seemed as if right there, he stopped keeping a 4mph pace. That gave me a huge boost and right there I put the throttle down. For some reason, that day, I still had so much left in me a could have gone for several more laps. It helped to have zero problems with my legs or feet and with the cooler temps it all just seemed so easy.
I didn’t see Tim’s headlamp for the longest time and thought, this just may be my last lap. It was so wet that lap and over half the corse had become a 4-6″ deep stream or puddles running down the trail. it was wet wet wet.
Then on the long switchbacks during the last 2 miles, there was his light only about 4 minutes behind me and it was obvious that he was going to make the time cutoff.

Back in camp Tim said the words I so wanted to hear, (he was done) which still meant one more lap for me.
At the start my headlamp was fading to the point that I could barely see. I picked up another headlamp and fresh batteries while at camp so I changed them out on the out and back. Nothing. Stupid crapy headlamp. On top of that I dropped my watch that I had in the same front pocket in my pack as my headlamp. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t have time to look for my other headlamp batteries and now I had no way of knowing my time left.
I had had enough and just went with the dying headlamp and started to head out on a pace that I would have no problems finishing in time.
I thought it was wet the last lap, this lap was insane. I just didn’t care about trying to stay on the outside of the puddles. At least 4 1/2 miles of the trail was covered in water and I was in it. None of that seed to matter though. Everything was for the last time. I tore through the flat first few miles and even managed to kept a 4mph pace up most of the hills. On top of the water, I was completely soaked and had the lining in my shorts chaffing me raw.
Knowing that I would make it in plenty of time, I hit what was know a completely wet Buck Hollow with a huge smile knowing that I was home free. With very little light I managed to run most of the last hilly mile and a half and when I came out of the trail to the road, there was Mark in his truck.
Time to put the hammer down, I ran all the way in completing the last lap in 1:15 which was not only my 2nd fastest lap but would have been my fastest with the 3+ minutes I spent messing with the headlamp.