By Sgt. James Geelen | 4th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs Office, 4th Infantry Division
FORT CARSON, Colo. — How do you help build camaraderie during a global pandemic with social distancing, self-isolation and quarantining? This has become the challenge for leaders in today’s Army while still maintaining proper training and protecting Soldiers from COVID-19. Soldiers with the 4th Infantry Division found ways to keep in line with the commanding generals philosophy and the Mountain Post Living initiative.
Capt. Jonathan Hatch, commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Special Troops Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 4th Inf. Div., created a physical competition he called “The Ghost Rider 100 Mile Challenge.” Participants were asked to run, ruck or walk 100 miles during the month of April 2020, and track their 30-day progress.
“I’m very happy with the effort my Soldiers put into this competition,” Hatch said. “Sixty-two Soldiers competed and they traveled 3,787 miles as a group. It wasn’t just the lower enlisted Soldiers either.”
“Ghost Rider” Soldiers enjoyed the chance to compete against each other.
“I thought this was a great way to build bonds of friendship with my fellow Soldiers,” said 1st Lt. Tyler Ayres, executive officer, HHC, 4th STB, 4th SB. “I would like to see this become a battalionwide challenge so more Soldiers could participate.”
This challenge did not authorize Soldiers to go outside of the 40-mile radius or if isolated, to leave isolation. Soldiers needed to abide by all recent policy changes and guidelines.
“I achieved the most of my miles by running and walking around base, enjoying the scenery of Fort Carson,” said Pfc. Nicholas Ramsey, religious affairs specialist, HHC, 4th STB, 4th SB, and the overall winner. “I thought at first, 100 miles is a lot, but as I started to knock the miles out, I got better day by day. Then I started to build more confidence to where I thought, why stop at 100 miles? Why not go the extra mile? Or who said we had to stop when we reached 100 miles? So I pushed myself and finished with 415 miles.”
Nineteen Soldiers completed the task of running or walking 100 miles in 30 days, with three Soldiers doubling the requirement and two Soldiers traveled over 400 miles.
“I pushed myself to go further than I normally would have gone,” Ayres said. “I finished with 238.5 miles and placed third overall. I can’t believe that Ramsey finished with over 400 miles.”
The challenge helped the Soldiers to find their limits and push through them.
“This challenge taught me that if you’re passionate about something, the determination inside you will overpower the doubt that is trying to bring you down,” Ramsey said. “I had to find the confidence within myself … I can exceed 100 miles if I’m determined. I will continue to keep pushing myself even now that the challenge is over.”