Andy Emerson is used to long distance running. He’s completed 78 ultramarathons — all in the name of fun. Last year he became known as the last man standing after running for more than 20 hours in a new event held at the Lake in December.

Andy Emerson is used to long distance running. He’s completed 78 ultramarathons — all in the name of fun. Last year he became known as the last man standing after running for more than 20 hours in a new event held at the Lake in December. 

4 Fore 30 is a more than 4-mile course that gives participants an hour to complete (as fast or as slow as they want) before having to do it all over again at the top of every hour. The last man standing is deemed the winner. For Emerson that meant running from the crack of dawn when the race started and finishing at about 2 a.m. the following day. His strategy was to run at a “fairly easy” pace, giving himself 8-10 minutes to rest before having to take off for another loop. 

While a good portion of the race is in the day, when the sun goes down, it gets cold and some runners start to drop off. Having the event at a golf course makes it easy for spectators to watch and for racers to go inside and warm up in between laps. 

Emerson says the hardest part about the race is when it is down to the last two runners. “One of us has to stop at some point,” he says. “You have a lot of conflicting feelings.” When his competitor tapped out at mile 84, Emerson made one final loop and called it a night. 

Organizers and running enthusiasts Scott Page and Alysia Maschino decided to organize this new event, patterned after the Big Backyard Ultra held in Tennessee, an event that Emerson has completed five times. Over the summer Emerson finished a 100K in Colorado. His longest was a 48 hour race in Milwaukee where he completed 130 miles on an indoor track.  

Page says those who participate in these types of events just want to try something different.

“It is a novelty for a lot of people — to see how far they can go,” he said. “There are a certain number of runners who get comfortable with whatever they are doing. Occasionally you just want to shake it up and do something different.”