The distance to drive from De Pere to Fond du Lac is about 65 miles. Imagine walking that with an extra 20 pounds on your back, in the snow and the cold. That's what dozens of endurance athletes will try to do this weekend in Kettle Moraine State Forest when they complete the Frozen Otter Ultra Trek.
Lt. Rick Faris is responding to calls today with the Fond du Lac Fire Department as a fire fighter/paramedic. Tomorrow he'll be tackling a 64-mile trek, called the Frozen Otter, through Kettle Moraine State Forest as an endurance athlete.
"It actually started with a Goruck Challenge," says Rick Faris. "And then the Tough Mudder. And then I came into work after both those events a couple of years ago and a guy at the table said, you know what Faris, you should try the Frozen Otter. I looked it up and I'm like I've got to try that."
The event is nothing to joke about. In fact, athletes like Faris will have only 24-hours to complete the journey, on their own with nothing more than the pack on their back and the shoes on their feet.
Says Faris, "It's going to grind on you. It definitely wears on your body."
This will be Faris' third attempt at the event. He completed the half, 32-miles, last year. And this year he says he's ready to tackle the full 64. He along with the other competitors will battle the un groomed, hilly state forest hiking trails along with the weather conditions and their own mental toughness, something that drew Faris to the event.
"It's the challenge," he says. "The challenge that it presents. The mental, physical challenge that not many people are able to complete this kind of event and I want to see what it takes to push through."
So, with his ruck-pack full of the required clothing, food and other essentials to get him through the miles it's almost go time for this man who is determined to cross the finish line in time.
"As ready as I'll ever be," he says. "I'm confident, I think I'll finish. I hope I finish."
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