Members of the Grand County Running Club recently participated in an intense running exercise in the mountains above Telluride, Colorado.
According to Trish Hedin, the club’s assistant coach, club members decided to duplicate the “3-4-24” event they staged in the La Sal Mountains last summer, wherein each runner completes a 3-mile run every four hours, over a 24-hour period, for a total of 18 miles.
“The high elevation, coupled with the intensity of the schedule really brings out the grit of the runners,” said Hedin, who added that the athletes typically eat and take power naps at the campsite in between each stint. They also wear headlamps for the nighttime runs, she said.
This year, a few Grand County runners decided to try completing a doubly grueling “4-4-48” training, running 4 miles every four hours over a 48-hour period, and completing a total of 48 miles in two days. Two athletes, Grand County High School senior Ryan Lewis and sophomore Evan Ellison, successfully completed the “4-4-48” feat,” Hedin said. Running along with them were GCHS senior Hannah Stripeka, recent high school graduate Tyrese Stash and assistant coach Dan Stenta, each of whom completed all but one or two of the scheduled 4-mile legs.
“The 2 a.m. one is the worst,” Lewis said with a laugh. “Nobody wanted to get out of bed for that one.”
After the first group of runners had completed their first 24 hours of running, they were joined by several other members of the running club, who then proceeded to tackle the “3-4-24.” Members of that second group, who each completed 18 miles total, were Jessica Anderson, Sadie Farnsworth, Michael Johnson, Braxten Pierce, Kylah Ricks, Malachi Ricks, Tyler Stash, Mona Taylor and assistant coach Hedin.
Hedin said the Grand County Running Club will participate in one more event this summer, a 14-mile dirt-road race near Carbondale, Colorado. After that, official cross-country practices will begin at Grand County High School in early August.