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    This question is to the "Speedy Gonzaleses" of the trail. I'm a
volunteer USFS firefighter.  The Forest Service is looking to adopt a new
physical training test to replace the old one.  According to the boss, USFS
is looking at a minimum standard test, where the firefighter must walk 3
miles in 45 minutes with a 45-lb pack.  No adjustments for age/gender. This
is on level ground (a track, etc.) with sneakers.  

    The really fast thru-hikers could probably give the best spin on this:
is this attainable by anyone other than a real athlete or an Army Special
Forces candidate (my 1st impression was that someone got this out of a Green
Beret entry qualification test)?   Personally, I tend to amble along when I
backpack--everyone passes me.  I'm training for this, though, and I'm having
to almost jog with a 20-lb daypack to hit 1 mile in 15 minutes.  Am I just
too low-intensity for this?  Is getting ready for this going to mess up my
training for a long section-hike this fall?

Jim Greenway