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Repeating as Hard Charge champion

Alicia Lokken (middle) raises the Hard Charge Women’s Championship trophy for the second year in a row. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Detroit Lakes’ Alicia Lokken is a certified and proven workout warrior.

So much so, in fact, that she and her husband Steve Lokken and friends Sara and Mason Pender bought Any Time Fitness Gym in DL this past May.

But Alicia Lokken also has plenty of hardware to prove her workout warrior status, after she became the first female to win back-to-back Hard Charge Obstacle Mission championships in Fargo last weekend.

Lokken is making a name for herself in the obstacle race world with another title, which was earned after running through a mud-filled course.

“Leading up to the event, there was a lot of stress, because people had high hopes for me after I won it last year,” Lokken said.

““But I knew if I didn’t win it, I wouldn’t have been too down on myself, because there was a lot of good competition out there this year.”

But that competition wasn’t up to the task of catching the 32-year-old bundle of energy, as Lokken ran a best time of 44:21, which was first out of 58 female competitors.

This year’s competition featured only one race, instead of last year’s two races, which included a morning heat event and then a finals competition later that afternoon.

“I was very thankful I didn’t have to run that course twice like last year,” Lokken said. “This year, you knew that was the only race you had to do, so I could go all out.”

With the Lokkens and Penders taking over Any Time Fitness, Alicia is the only one who works full time at the gym.

It’s an advantage she used, as she developed her own training plan leading up to the Hard Charge.

“This year, I incorporated my own training,” Lokken said. “I did a lot of cardio and strength training.

“There were lots of push ups, pull ups and incorporating enough cardio to go along with the strength training.”

The Fargo course featured 13 obstacles, which was one more than the 2013 competition.

Lokken broke down each Hard Charge obstacle, en route to her second straight championship:

*Angled ambush:  “This is tough as it gets, with a lot of upper body to get up and over. Once I got up high enough I swung my leg up and got it.  Exhausting!”

*Back scratcher:  “This is the obstacle in which I took advantage of my opponent taking her shoes off. I pushed through there as quick as I could and moved on to the ‘Abusement park’ obstacle.”

*Blockage brigade: “This one has walls one after another. To get up and over, I jumped and swung, still very exhausting, especially after running a quarter mile through wet, muddy ditches.”

*Cargo Charge: “On this one, we all go under the cargo net and bear crawl to the other side. 

“I was unfortunate enough to have the lead vehicle (camera crew) drive over the top of it so I had to really pull hard on the net to get it up so I could go under. Once I got it up, it wasn’t too bad.”

*Deep Freeze:  “This is a tank full of very cold water. You must go under the bar in the middle.  Cold water on a windy, cool day, yes, it was quite cold, but it cleaned off the dirt, mud and sand.”

*Drag racer:  “Around a race track, we had to carry a sand bag. At this point my legs are tired, but I kept plugging along, trying to obtain a greater lead.”

*More cowbell: “You had to climb the ladder and ring the bell. Not too bad.”

*Muddy mission: “The mud throughout this course was terrible. It rained the night before, so the mud caked to our shoes. The worst was running around the track right before Back Scratcher.”

*No holds barred: “For the second time, these bars got me. My goal is to cross the bars next year.”

*Outta Gas:  “Here, you had to carry 100-plus pounds in cans. I worked on this maneuver by doing my farmer’s walk, so this went well.

“Plus it was near the end, with people cheering and adrenaline flowing.”

*Rappel hell:  “This was a new one. A bit hard to turn around and rappel, but I made it.”

*Trench trudge: “This took quite a bit out of me.  There were four mud hills and four mud and water trenches. You had to go up the hill and down into the mud/water. This is my least favorite, by far.”

*Wall or nothing: “I got over this last wall my first try. Last year, I struggled with calf cramps and it took me a few tries.”

With all 13 obstacles conquered, no matter where an individual finished, it was a major feeling of accomplishment, Lokken added.

“We had 13-16 people from Any Time Fitness gym take part and it was a great atmosphere after, since everyone hung out and watched,” Lokken said.

“I was also happy to see (hubby) Steve (Lokken) finish it, since last year he couldn’t after injuring his back.”

So for the 2015 Hard Charge competition, Alicia Lokken will be hoping for her own three-peat and now with her own gym to prepare, no one had better count her out.

Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN.