As you know, a gerund is a verb in its noun form. A pronoun could theoretically be substituted for the gerund or gerund phrase. Sentence # 3 could be, if the context were already established: THIS / IT demanded speed and endurance.
"Laughing" in #1 is a present participle, as is "interesting" in # 2. "Going" in # 4 is part of the main verb.
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