“It’s Only Four Miles”: TCTC Member Dave Morgan Takes on 4 x 4 x 48

TCTC Cook Medical Beat The Heat on Saturday, July 16, 2022, at Winston-Salem Fairgrounds in Winston-Salem, NC. (Photo by Robert Hill)

Ever heard of the 4 x 4 x 48 Challenge? This is an endurance test developed by former Navy SEAL David Goggins several years ago. The format is to run four miles every four hours for 48 hours straight. It doesn’t sound too foreboding until you realize that is almost two marathons back-to-back!

Long-time TCTC member Dave Morgan recently participated in this to “try something different.” He had turned 75 years old and had run seven marathons, so was familiar with the long-distance running mentality.

There is no registration for this challenge, no set date, no entry fee, and no awards. This puts the responsibility for the run completely on the runner and his support group.

Dave began training in September with a goal of running the challenge in December. He measured a four-mile loop from his home, which he admits was as flat as possible with a few rolling hills. In early December he did a practice run of half the distance (24 miles!). That went surprisingly well; so Dave felt he was ready for the ultimate test.

On December 14 at noon, he began his trek. Unlike typical races, there is no benefit to running your fastest. After every leg Dave text messaged his support group of family and friends. He ate and showered between every leg and alternated running shoes.  When he slept, he set two alarms to guarantee he would not miss his next start.

In the middle of the night, Dave did a few legs on his treadmill for safety, but the large majority of loops were on his neighborhood course. Dave says that the goal that kept him going was “It’s only four miles,” which was a change from marathon running mindset.

One of his granddaughters joined him on her bike for a leg late in the challenge.  And his family welcomed him when he finished the final run. Dave’s times varied from 40 to 48 minutes per leg.

His final thoughts are that it “was a great experience, but he would not do it again”!