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Author Topic: 1 ruck sack, 21 miles, 12 hours...  (Read 10413 times)
Stonewall
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Posts: 3,887

« on: March 18, 2012, 03:56:54 PM »



After my first Go Ruck Challenge, my everything is sore. Seriously, my hair hurts.

21 miles in just under 12 hours (11:50), starting at 0100 and finishing at 1250.

I would love to describe Go Ruck, but seriously, I can't. Not to the fullest anyway. It's practically a religious experience and I'm not a religious man. It's sickening yet rewarding at the same time. You don't question your decision to drop $120 on this thing, you beat yourself up over the decision.

A cop even dropped out in just the first 10 minutes.

The rucks weighed between 35 and 40 lbs and it remained with you the entire time, never touching the ground. When we stopped for flutter kicks or crab walks, it moved to our chests. It really sucked when we lost the privilege of using the pack's straps.

Telephone poles. 4 footers and a 12 footer. They aren't light. The 4 footers were between 200 to 400+ lbs and there is no easy or painless means to carry them. You're going to bleed, sweat, get frustrated, bumped, and bruised. We ran everywhere unless we were carrying logs. By everywhere, we ran more than half the distance, which means we carried logs at least 8 miles. It took a LONG time. In some cases we carried the logs 100 yards before switching out. It's not just painful and frustrating, it's time consuming.

We waded through some lake at, I think about 0400, for about 45 minutes. Not up to our knees, but up to our necks...packs still on. If you didn't waterproof, you suffered.

Bear crawls...I HATE THEM! Not just 10 or 20 feet. But 100s of yards, concrete and grass. Your pack constantly banging the back of your skull, trying to come off. You have to take breaks, no one can actually do the full 150 yards (1 way). So you go to your knees to rest, but that's not much relief.

Crab walks...I HATE THEM EVEN MORE! I suck at them. Everyone sucked at them. With 40 lbs on your chest, it's just not something you can practice for. Without gloves (Mechanix Gloves), I don't know how I would have made it 30 minutes into the challenge.

Buddy carries....I can carry my buddy, Gerry, from my Guard unit, but I can't carry him with a 40 lb ruck on his back, and mine. He's 210 lbs, and I've carried him before. But holy hell, it's just not natural. I learned this lesson; I must get more upper body strength. I ran for 10+ miles with 40 lbs with little pain or discomfort, but my upper body strength is what is lacking. I just don't know if I have the time during my daily routine to work on this.

We ran through mud, water, people, vomit (it was St. Patty's day/weekend in Savannah). We were heckled and high-fived by drunken people. Many veterans cheered us on as we carried an American flag the entire challenge. Army dudes from Hunter AAF and/or Ft. Stewart ran along side us mocking us and/or cheering us on. It really depended on how drunk they were.

I consumed about 300 ounces of water. I sucked down 3 or 4 GU energy gels, ate 3 or 4 power-type bars. Munched on some peanut M&Ms, and chewed one piece of gum. I could have used another 100 ounces of water, but it wasn't available.

I am serious when I say my body is sore from head to toe. I mean, my right knee has locked up a few times and my ankles are ready to explode. But that is just the soreness of abusing your body for 12 hours. I got rubbed raw by my ruck straps under my armpits and my legs, shoulders, ears are chafed from carrying logs.

I loved it, but I am happy it's over. No one wants to quit, but you can't keep yourself from thinking about it. I had nothing to prove to anyone but myself, that I could finish it . To be quite honest, I don't think I'd do another one. If I did, it would only be to experience a different cadre member because no Go Ruck is the same, and no Go Ruck cadre is the same. There are current/former Green Berets, Force Recon Marines, and Navy Special Warfare members on staff, all of whom have different ways to challenge you. If they don't use telephone poles, they use 5 gallon water jugs. If they don't use a lake, they use an ocean. If they don't have you doing crab walks, they have you doing indian runs. My cadre, Patrick, is a SWCC Corpsman who happens to be a close friend. By close, I mean, we were in the Army together, deployed together, were roommates and did all the crazy things that single dudes do in their 20s.

The people at my challenge were a variety of sorts. At least half were just adventure race junkies. Hippies of the athletic world. Several were military veterans and a couple were law enforcement types. Two were tactics instructors from FLETC. It is a TEAM thing, not an individual thing. Whether you like it or not, you work as a team. If not, you fail. You don't even have to try to work as a team, it just starts happening. In fact, I'd say that you would have to try and NOT work as a team on purpose to fail.

For those of you reading this, I won't tell you to do this Challenge, but I will tell you that you will not regret it and you will instantly feel something different about yourself when it's over. You get a little Go Ruck velcro patch that says "GO RUCK TOUGH" and that's it. No certificate or trophy. We got shirts because we had shirts made for our class, Class #127. But that's it.

Check it out!

Class #127 about 2 hours before finishing.


Following pics are not from my challenge...still working on those.







« Last Edit: March 18, 2012, 04:32:51 PM by Stonewall » Logged
Perez
Member

Posts: 73

« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2012, 04:43:06 PM »

Is there an age limit to these marches? It sounds very intriguing, in a painful sort of way.
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Train hard, train smart, and love life.
Stonewall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 3,887

« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2012, 04:44:20 PM »

Must be at least 18.  No maximum age though.
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Perez
Member

Posts: 73

« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2012, 04:46:38 PM »

Interesting. I think I may give this a shot next year. I'm glad you thought it was worthwhile.
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Train hard, train smart, and love life.
isuhawkeye
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John's web site
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2012, 07:10:18 PM »

I'm a big fan of GoRuck.  I have the Gr2 And it's a great bag.  I'm building my pt routine to complete the challenge in the future
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Stonewall
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Posts: 3,887

« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2012, 09:01:05 PM »

I'm a big fan of GoRuck.  I have the Gr2 And it's a great bag.  I'm building my pt routine to complete the challenge in the future

If you're in average to better than average shape, you'll succeed.  After I signed up for GRC 127, but before I showed up to start, I found some AARs of other challenges and it had me worried.  People were practicing by running with their rucks 5 miles 3 times a week and doing tons of CrossFit routines to build their endurance.  Here's the deal - you can't practice or prepare for crab walks or bear crawls.  Those are a gut checks and you just have to gut them out.  Now, if you can't run a few miles, I would start running.

All I did was continue my normal workout routine up until 2 days before my challenge, with the exception of doing 3 practice runs with my ruck.  Two 5-milers and a 3 miler. 
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Stonewall
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« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2012, 09:08:48 PM »

A few pics of me in action...

A great view during low crawls out of the lake...


Gerry & I during a break.  No cell phones or watches allowed, but the cadre had him call his buddy in the Marshal's office to make sure his car didn't get towed. 


That's me on the front right.  We were given a "coupon" to help carry the heaviest log.


Me helping to retrieve a log.


I'm the last guy on the left.


Posing for a shot next to the "No Swimming" sign.
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Stonewall
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Posts: 3,887

« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2012, 12:44:06 PM »

A few tidbits of feedback about some of the gear I used that deserve mentioning...

1.  Salomon XA PRO 3D ULTRA 2 W trail running shoes.  I spent a lot of time searching for the right shoes for my Challenge, and I found the right fit in these shoes.  I tried a pair of trail running Asics, my Nike Air Weights, and another pair of Salomonís that were mid-top height.  I was about to consider wearing my Oakley Assault Boots because I had worn them on ruck marches before and they were broken in, but I didnít want boots.  These shoes proved their worth in, out, and after the water.  A concern I had was the comfort after being in the water and I had zero issues.  Gore-tex is a bad idea when working in an environment where youíll submerge your foot.  Itís fine for snow and puddles, but you need something thatís going to allow the air to flow.  I used Smartwool PHD light-mini trail running socks along with the Salomonís and they too proved their worth of $16 per pair.

2.  Original Mechanix gloves were the best option for sure.  I knew I needed gloves, although Go Ruck merely suggests them, but I didnít want to use my $100 pair of Kevlar WileyX tactical gloves and ruin them.  I headed over to the PX and dropped $19 for a pair of these Mechanix gloves and donít regret it one bit.  Wet, dry, in the grass, on pavement, or carrying a 500 pound log on your shoulder, I couldnít suggest a better glove for the price.  Dexterity is good and they breathe just fine.  Not too rigid and not too soft.  Seriously, some of the best gloves Iíve worn. 

3.  Sealine waterproof bags are worth their weight in gold.  Iíve used larger ones in the past on canoe camping trips, but I went out and bought a 5L bag for the Go Ruck. I needed space for extra socks, shorts, shirt, small towel, 1st aid kit, and a couple of other small items.  100% dry after being submerged for about 45 minutes in Lake McNasty.  I used Ziplocs for a few other unimportant items, and they all got wet, as I expected.  But they were already sealed (like GU gel, Power Bars).  I highly recommend one of these for any outdoor hike or expedition because when you donít prepare, thatís when itíll rain. 

4.  Although I have a handful of 3-day packs, I opted to borrow one of Go Ruckís GR1 packs.  I figured they designed them for this specific type of event, so it must be good, and it was!  For my build, I couldnít have found a better back.  Iím 6í 2Ē, and I wouldnít recommend the GR1 for anyone shorter than 6í 0Ē because itís a longer/taller pack.  Itís rather shallow, but that keeps everything very snug and keeps things from bouncing around.  A solid pack that I ran with comfortably while carrying approximately 40 lbs.  The 2 things I would add would be an internal hook to secure your hydration bladder and a sternum strap.  I notice others, veterans of Go Ruck Challenges, created their own sternum strap by using webbing and 2 carabiners.
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ol'fido
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« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2012, 07:50:50 PM »

Sorry, but after 4 years of light infantry and more road/ruck marches that I care to think about...If I ever go on a ruck march and again, my brand of rucksack will be Winnebago.

http://www.gowinnebago.com/products/2010/journey/
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Lt. Col. Randy L. Mitchell
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« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2012, 12:25:35 AM »

Sorry, but after 4 years of light infantry and more road/ruck marches that I care to think about...If I ever go on a ruck march and again, my brand of rucksack will be Winnebago.

I had one o' them in the Army, too:

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Darin Ninness, Lt Col, CAP
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ol'fido
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Unit: DOTCOTE.

« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2012, 08:01:04 PM »

Sorry, but after 4 years of light infantry and more road/ruck marches that I care to think about...If I ever go on a ruck march and again, my brand of rucksack will be Winnebago.

I had one o' them in the Army, too:



Rode a Chinook once on resupply run with about 20 cases of MREs slung loaded underneath during Cobra Gold '89. They dropped the load in the middle of this little Thai village and then landed to let me out. "Your unit will be here in about 5 mikes." Then they flew off and left me sitting on 20 cases of MREs with a unloaded M16 surrounded by about 100 Thai villagers who apparently hadn't gotten the word from the Ethiopeans(as in Meals Rejected by Ethiopeans). Fortunately, my unit did show up in about 5 minutes so I didn't have to explain where their food was...or my weapon...or my gear...or my clothes. ;D
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Lt. Col. Randy L. Mitchell
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« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2012, 04:14:18 PM »

Stonewall, I was reminded of this topic today. I ran into a Go Ruck team at Fort Adams, Newport, RI.

They were about 10 hours into the challenge, and were definately hurting. All seemed to be in good spirits, but not looking forward to carrying that log!
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stillamarine
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« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2012, 05:23:18 PM »

Although not GR I am participating in a 20 mile ruck through the metro area to collect canned goods for needy families. Not anything like that though!  This just be like one of those lazy Friday humps back at Lejeune.
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Tim Gardiner, 1st LT, CAP

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unmlobo
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Unit: RMR-UT-067

« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2012, 05:37:00 PM »

If you liked that then you should consider the Bataan Memorial Death March.  It was the single hardest thing I have ever done but so worth it.  You ruck 26.2 miles ( read a marathon) with anywhere from only your water to 45lb not including water.  You can do it in uniform or in civies.  Loved it and plan on doing it again this spring. 

http://www.bataanmarch.com/

This Go Ruck sounds awesome though I am going to try to do both next year.  Thanks for the info!
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Stonewall
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« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2012, 06:19:04 PM »

We had a team picked out for the Bataan but I don't get enough leave from my civilian employer for something like that. Definitely on my "things to do" list though.  I use my 2 weeks of vacation for personal and family time.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2012, 10:35:07 PM by Stonewall » Logged
Stonewall
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« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2013, 04:18:51 PM »

Myself and the other NCO who did the Go Ruck last year sponsored (paid for) 4 guys from our unit to do a Challenge this past weekend.  Here's the article...

For the squadron newsletter...

Four Defenders - Twenty Miles Ė Eleven Hours Ė Go Ruck Challenge

At 0100 hours on Saturday, January 26th, four 165th Defenders, SMSgt Sandbag, SSgt Shooter, and Senior Airmen Tentpeg and Tripwire, set out to complete a Go Ruck Challenge.  They stepped off from their starting point adjacent to the St. Simons Island airport after simply being told "itíll be challenging, but fun", by MSgt Stonewall, a veteran Go Rucker.  That was an understatement!

Tasked with carrying a 35 pound rucksack filled with 6 bricks, water, and food, the team was issued a heavy log, stake pounder, zodiac boat, and two other bags of something unknown; all referred to as ďcouponsĒ.  The course would take the group more than twenty miles in just over ten hours, and they were instructed not to let their rucks touch the ground, ever.  And the coupons were an added pleasure they carried with them over the course of the night and into the morning.  Walking was not allowed!

With the initial leg taking them two miles over roads and thick, muddy marshlands, they finally found themselves on sand, at the beach.  Push-ups; flutter kicks, and low crawls in the sand proved to challenge everyone.  Then, command to enter the Atlantic Ocean was given.  Although the night was bright with a full moon, the water was dark and bone chilling.  Even while performing group push-ups and flutter kicks, your body went numb as the waves crashed on their faces.  Returning to dry land for more push-ups, flutter kicks, and low crawling, the Go Ruck Cadre, Devin, a Green Beret with multiple combat tours, added buddy carries to the list.  Carrying your buddy is hard enough, but with the added weight of soaked rucks, it was almost unbearable.

Following the fun in the sand, they were tasked with filling the zodiac boat with sand, and then carry it for an unknown distance and location where they simply dumped the sand out.  And by the way, they were still shouldering the weight of the rucks and other coupons from the start.  Once completed, the next leg brought them back to the beach where they filled more sandbags than they had people.  The next task was, of course, to move the sandbags along the beach roughly two miles, again, with all the other coupons still in hand.

As the sun rose, most of the candidates guessed it to be between eight or nine oíclock, as watches were not allowed.  The final jaunt through the town, the longest of the challenge, took them all around St. Simons Island; through marshes, parks, neighborhoods and straight through the middle of town.  At about halfway through this last let, they stopped at a fire station for some thrusters, more push-ups and flutter kicks.  This time, a fire hose sprayed them with ice cold water.

This challenge was not easy in the least; there were elite athletes in the class that suffered just as much as the person next to them.  All were left bruised, battered, bloody, and exhausted, but somehow it was still fun.  The camaraderie, confidence, and experiences this challenge brings are unexplainable.  This was more mental than physical, but you canít have one without the other.  Everyone was drained, inside and out, but they pressed on.  These four, along with other Defenders that have completed a Go Ruck Challenge have proved, without a doubt, that when times get tough, they will not quit.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 04:28:46 PM by Stonewall » Logged
Rick-DEL
Forum Regular

Posts: 143

« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2013, 04:38:18 PM »

Good Lord....

And I am concerned with entering our local Mud Run followed by kegs of beer. That is totally awesome that you entered, and completed it. Congrats !
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isuhawkeye
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Posts: 1,305

John's web site
« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2013, 04:43:48 PM »

I am signed up for the Challange in April.
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Stonewall
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Posts: 3,887

« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2013, 04:53:58 PM »

I am signed up for the Challange in April.

It's fun!  >:D
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Devil Doc
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Unit: MER-NC-162

« Reply #19 on: January 29, 2013, 07:01:37 PM »

Ill Pass, not even in Active Duty, could i have done that :) I heard about go rucks, but i heards that the new MC Coyote Packs are top notch!!
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Captain Brandon P. Smith CAP
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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Tall Tales  |  Topic: 1 ruck sack, 21 miles, 12 hours...
 


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