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Featured Review: GoRuck Challenge, Boston, St Paddies Day. Alpha Team

Adam has kindly written a guest blog post covering his experience in the GoRuck Challenge, this past St Paddies day – as part of Alpha Team, with James Horgan (read his review here). Be warned, this isn’t a family friendly review – leave your swearing hat on.

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St. Patricks Day
Boston Mass.
By Adam Barbrie

The yearly tradition of people drinking a lot and celebrating Irish Heritage only happens once a year. What better place to hold a GORUCK Challenge than Boston. We all started pouring into the common to meet at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument for our 0100 challenge. We were there for a little while till the Cadre showed up and got the show on the road. When the Cadre arrived they did their usual attendance to see who showed up and who didn’t. Cadre Garrett was also wandering around doing a gear check briefly by flashing a flash light right before he had to deal with the first round of Boston Cops that showed up. After Attendance came the Welcome party.
During the welcome party we did a few different exercises not only to warm ourselves up but to start to work as a team. This is the usual case in any GORUCK challenge. The Welcoming party consisted of Push-ups, Elephant walks, Caterpillar push-ups, Flutter Kicks, Ruck press and on your belly, on your back, on your feet. (There could have been more but let’s face it, I wasn’t completely sober when I started). After the Welcoming party had come to an end which seemed shorter than usual. We split up into our pre defined teams that we set up from the beginning. Minus Cadre Lou moving six people to Team Alpha. I was on Team Alpha. There were many familiar faces on that team from past challenges and some new ones. James Horgan; a NESPAHTEN was one of the ones that got changed to Alpha. I don’t think that was part of his plan. After splitting into teams we all went our separate ways.

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Team Alpha was originally told to go to Bunker Hill. That didn’t end up happening. We made it about halfway out of the park and Cadre Lou didn’t like what he was seeing. He made us turn around and do low crawls for quite the distance through the grass in the common. I have done longer before but no matter what they still suck! Once we low crawled through the grass we were at the sidewalk. We were told by our Team Leader (Horse) that we were supposed to go to the bottom of the hill by the enterance to the common on the side of Cheers. We rucked too far so Cadre Lou had us bear crawl up the hill that was on the same street. About halfway up the hill we switched to crab walks going up the hill. Once we had completed that, we had our first task. We proceeded to follow horse while we were in ranks down towards the Ice Arena in the Common. It was there that Horse had told us that our first task was to move a mac truck trailer 50ft. We tried moving from many different ways but those things were not budging. Cadre Lou only wanted us to try that so he could put it up on the web site if we did it. After the failed attempt at moving the trailer we had to carry snow up and down the park to where Cadre Lou and Cadre Adam were. We had to keep building a giant pile so that way the next day the city may say “How’d that get there”.

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In between moving snow up and down the hill was a very humorous experience. At one point in time Horse had his mask on and was having a dance party for Lou. Another time Zebra had a road cone and started pretending to hump Cadre Lou’s leg. We were all laughing. Doing things like that, help to keep people sane during the challenge. Once we were done with moving the snow, we were told our next task. We had 2 Hours to get to Boston College. If any of you know Boston you know that is at the end of the green line in Cleveland circle which is about 6+ from the common. I’m not sure of the exact distance. For a while during the first two or so miles we were on and off rucking every minute. During the off time we were taking big strides as to help stretch while we were doing it. About a third of the way to our destination we were told that we lost strap privileges. Everyone except the people that were carrying weight could not use their straps. Some of us found different ways of hiding it from Cadre Lou. I kind of had the strap leaned over my forehead so that way it would relieve some of the weight at one point. I know a few others did as well. If they don’t see it you can get away with it.

Along the way while we lost straps Cadre Lou had started his game called Extreme Couponing Boston. While we were rucking along the Cadre had found a ladder in a dumpster. We carried that. Right around the same time they had also found some of those parking space cement blocks. We had found an easy way of carrying this until the ladder almost broke. As a team we would switch off carrying the ladder with the Cement blocks on top of it. We still didn’t have straps at this point either. A little while down the road we came to a seven eleven store. We needed to grab more water because people were running out. We had like a 10 or so minute break while some people drank some beer and some people had a snack. Almost all of us had flasks myself included. Especially Jon who had a half gallon flask filled with Jameson. Once we were done at the seven eleven we had our straps back.

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We kept going up the street and across and still along the way the Cadre were finding things for us to carry. They had found a car tire in between some cars. They had also found a cement pole like one that would have a parking meter on it or go near a fence. The car tire wasn’t so bad as you could just put it around you but the pole was a bit awkward. It could be carried alone but we did it in pairs to help make it easier. Swapping the shoulders helped as well because it kind of dug in after a while. A little bit more up the road the cadres had given us more things that we already had. We now had everything plus some cinder blocks. This made it so that about 20+ people were now carrying things at one time. Once we got to the pond right near Boston College we all took a break in the woods to relieve ourselves and then we just kind of hung out while the Cadre were looking around the area. Those of us that had done a challenge before knew exactly what they were looking for. They had found us a Log that only four people could carry at a time and it had to have weighed like 200+ pounds. I don’t know the exact weight to it.

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This made it so even more people were carrying weight. Once we got the log we were told to start making our way back to the Boston Common. At one point in time Cadre Adam had told one of the girls that if she could steal a dog from somewhere we could get rid of the ladder. That wasn’t happening. As we kept going and singing random songs we stopped a few times to take breaks as we weren’t on a time Hack. After a little while more down the road right by Fenway Park we came to the I-90 overpass. We were told at that point if we could stack the weight nice and neatly on the side of the road we could lose it. Most of us knew the reason behind this because they were going to have the 2200 class pick all the stuff up that we had left. Once we had dropped the weight off we were then told to go to the Ted Williams statue at Fenway Park. We then were told that we were gong to have a 20 Minute Break which usually does happen in the morning at some point. It was about 9 am at this time and we were told that if we were going to go to a store then we had to take a battle buddy because no one walks around alone. Hell no one pee’s alone either. Some people went to the convenience store and I went to the liquor store. I had been drinking Whiskey all night so I decided I wanted a beer. I gave a few beers out and I drank two. It was at this time that I had noticed that James Horgan was looking really tired so I gave him one. After that beer he seemed to be a bit more awake. It was at this point that Jon had reminded us again that his flask needed to be empty before the end of the challenge. This is when I started to become quite drunk as most people were aware.

At the end of the break Cadre Lou had told us to start stretching and that the night before was rough with all the weight and now it was time to have fun. He told us to start making our way towards tufts medical center because we had to move his car. This was said jokingly but hell I would have tried. Can’t be that hard with 30 people. We started to make our way to tufts medical center and halfway there Lou wanted to play a game. The game was called “Make Lou Laugh”. This game consisted of the girls going to find some random person on the street to tell Lou a joke and make him laugh. While this was going on, all of the guys were doing caterpillar pushups until the girls had found someone. It was just our luck that Cadre Lou laughed on the first one. After we had gotten up we had gone over to the guy and he told us the joke. It was at this point when Andrea had come up to me and said if we didn’t laugh we would be doing caterpillar push-ups again. We all laughed anyway. We then saw a crowd of people outside a Bar waiting in line for autographs from The DropKick Murphy’s. Once again as usual we started yelling the GORUCK chant as we were running just to draw attention to ourselves.

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After this we continued on our trek to tufts medical center. Our final task was to get two 30 racks from the package store along the way. After we took a break for a few minutes outside tufts medical center we proceeded on our way. This time people were getting killed off. As usual the heaviest person always get killed off. Then it was two other people that got killed off and had to be carried. At this point I was talking to Jon and I had told him I better not get killed off again. Not even ten minutes later we were stopped and we weren’t supposed to be. At this point Cadre Adam had come up to me and started counting down from 5. Instantly I though Shit I’m going to be dead. Sure enough he got down to one looked right at me and said “You’re Dead”. I was not happy. Everytime I get killed off I either get dropped or run into a telephone pole. Well this time was no different. I was dropped right before we went into the common. Once we were in the common we then were right near the statue that we sterted at.

We were told that we had to bear crawl up the hill with the ACRT (Active Cell Repair Technology). Once we were at the top we started looping around to go back down and crab walk down. This was apparently not good enough for Lou so we had to do it again. I came back around the second time to just about where I was before and we had to stop. Cadre Lou said he still didn’t like it so we had to sing Spongebob Square Pants in the common loud enough so everyone could hear. We did it. At this time while we were singing it we had a mini crowd around us as ususal probably mostly thinking “what the fuck is this”. Some people were also taking pictures. After this Cadre Lou had asked Cadre Adam if that was good enough and it wasn’t. We then had to follow Cadre Chris around the common rucking. While we were rucking we all though it was because we were killing time until the other classes got done. We made it back to the top of the monument and that is when Cadre Lou said congratulations you have completed the GORUCK challenge and to set our rucks down and to grab a beer. Which we all did rather quickly. A few minutes had passed and Cadre Lou was talking then laughing because someone made a comment about him not having sex in a while. He then had said that his good friend Richard had something he wanted to say. Richard had proposed to his girlfriend Lauren at the end of the challenge. After this is when Cadre Lou started handing out the patches and we had finished.

This GoRuck challenge in my mind was a very good challenge. I had never had Cadre Lou and was excited to see what he had up his sleeve. We had carried more weight than I had ever done in any other challenge and I had done two previously to this one. It was a great indication of how The 0100 Team alpha could work together and overcome everything. Including helping people with injuries and helping to keep people sane. We were always there for each other and making sure one another was good. For those of you who have done previous challenges and are already GRT you know how the newbies feel when first completing a challenge. Overwhelmed, Tired, Hungry. Knowing that you just got ass raped all night by the Cadre or possibly been Peen bumped by Team Farm (Cadre Lou in this case). You are now part of something bigger and you can move onto many different challenges that await as a GoRuck Alumni also known as GRT. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend this past weekend. Congratulations to all that completed their first challenge this weekend! Way to go, you all kicked ass and I hope to do another challenge with you!

I would also like to extend a thank you to Eric Gove from Eric Gove photography for taking pictures all night for Team Alpha. Some of the pictures are in this blog.

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