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12th Hour of 4x4x48

The first 12 hours of the 4x4x48 has been as I would’ve expected. High energy, excited individuals, and easy miles. Much of the time has been saved by the fact that we can all suffer together. I expect a challenge like this to build friendships due to a common enemy of fatigue and stress. For the most part we’ve all been able to see the humor in what we’re doing. Some of us are working our jobs remotely while running every 4 hours to support Eric Hewell. At the same time others are sleeping at their work (Runologie) to be able to see out the duration of the 4x4x48 challenge. Beds have been made out of cots, hammocks, and car seats. Anything to get some rest.

eric hewell starting the 4x4x48
Eric leading the charge. Photo by Justin Hall

A brief explanation of what we’re doing would probably be nice. Eric Hewell, our fearless dude, is training for The Speed Project. The Speed Project (TSP) has runners start from the Santa Monica Pier and run through the desert, mountains, and streets to the Welcome to Las Vegas sign on the glamorous Vegas strip. Eric is running the solo mission where one runner runs roughly 300 miles. It’s a race that even for the best runners will take 3-4 days to complete. Thus, Eric is training for the aspect of sleep deprivation he’s going to experience. So he’s running 4 miles every 4 hours for 48 hours. (bout 48 miles)

As a collective, we figured it would be fun to accompany Eric on his journey into the depths of sleep deprivation. When we started the challenge, the whole run club ran the first 4 with him. Spirits were high, company was plenty, and miles came easy. We’re now staring down the barrel of another 36 hours of this challenge and there’s a lull. Few of us are left. Those that remain cosplay their real lives as if we’re doing nothing different. I wouldn’t say moral is low, it’s just mellow. Indeed, an expected slump that will hopefully see a rise in energy as the day progresses.

a camp set up for the ultra running
The base of operations for Eric. Photo by Josh Dwight

I expect the vibes will rise as the day progresses. Luckily rations from Nike are still plentiful but I can imagine energy could waiver again. I still like our chances of surviving the challenge but only time will tell.