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The GoRuck Challenge is coming!

As the teams focus moves from snowy, cold obstacle course races in the northern states – the next event looms large. On St Paddies day weekend, GoRuck will be bringing the Challenge to Boston, and the Spahtens have a 30 person team taking on the 1am Saturday morning event.

It’s a daunting prospect – many (most?) of us are first time GoRuckers, and if you’ve spent any time around this crowd, you’ll have come across folks running, racing, crawling, climbing and training with a pack and telling war stories of their particular GoRuck class… GoRucks are typically (and purposefully) shrouded in mystery and misinformation and it is very easy to be intimidated – leading to plenty of over thinking and over analyzing.

Adam Barbrie is a multiple time GoRuck Tough (meaning – he’s completed more than a few GoRuck Challenges), and has kindly written up a guest blog for those of us who are new to GoRuck – with some insight into what to expect.

ps. there is swearing. If you don’t like swearing, you may want to rethink the GoRuck … just sayin’ …

GoRuck Paddies day

Notes for a GORUCK Challenge by a GRT

There are many things that you don’t really need to think about. Everything is fairly easy to figure out. You just have to unfuck yourself and think about it for a second. Things such as: Team Weight and what to pack in your ruck.  Another frequent freak out is about clothing. Personally if I could go naked I absolutely would 100%. You will find that the majority of the time if you wear too many things you will start to overheat and this is not good. Like any other winter event you want to be a little cold at all times but not too cold. If you find yourself getting cold jump on the giant log that we will be carrying. That is a great failsafe way to get you warm in about ten minutes. Let’s face it, you will be cold and wet and possibly miserable. That is all part of the pure enjoyment of a GORUCK or any other challenge for that matter. That is why you signed up. The Start point and other things such as ruck off before the challenge aren’t figured out until we get the start point which is generally 4 days from the challenge. You may see people asking about that sort of stuff in the challenge page before the challenge. NO ONE will figure anything out until we find out the start point because there is no point in doing so. The GORUCK website says 8-10 hours and 10-12 miles. This is a lie. Plan on 12 hours and going as far as 26 Miles or better yet don’t plan on anything at all.

GRC Block Island (73)

For packing a ruck it is fairly simple. You only need your bricks and a little bit of water. Everything else is unnecessary. You may put a pack of peanut m&m’s or two in there but that is it. Don’t try to pack a spare pair of socks. The chances of anyone stopping to change socks are slim and will never happen. So don’t worry about it. Just change them after and you’ll be fine. When putting your bricks in your ruck you want to try and disperse them evenly to help take the load off of your back. I usually line them up. When we did the drunk fun run Kay was having issues so I “unfucked” her bricks and she could feel the difference. My suggestion is to do that and you will feel much better about everything. So DON’T put one tied to the top and the rest on the bottom, I can guarantee that your vertebrae will get quite pissed at you. It doesn’t matter what type of pack you use. Anything will work as long as it can handle the weight. That’s pretty much it for a ruck. DO NOT EVER PUT YOUR RUCK ON THE GROUND. See that was easy.

GRC Block Island (67)

What you wear doesn’t really matter. Everyone should know by now to never wear cotton or you’re in big trouble. Being this challenge is on St. Patrick’s Day you will see many kilts and many flasks. Many people are trying to figure out what to wear underneath your kilt. I would suggest nothing but I know that is not an option for most women and men especially during inchworm pushups you may get a surprise. So you should wear what is comfortable such as some cold gear compression. You shouldn’t need anything other than that because let’s face it you will be swimming at one point so you’re going get wet anyway. You will dry. Wear either neoprene socks or smart wool. Those socks will have the capability to keep you warm even when wet. For the top layers just throw some compression gear on and a top. If you feel like you need an outer shell that works as well.


For the team weight, let’s not over think this. The GORUCK website says any weight at least 25 lbs. That is a lie. Do more not less. If you do the minimum; plan on carrying something extra that the cadre has. During the challenge you will also run into times that the cadre sees something fun to carry. Yes you will have to. They may also find something for an individual called a “coupon”. That is yours till you are told otherwise and don’t let anyone else carry it. They also encourage creativity when it comes to the weight. Make it unique to the challenge.


Now let’s talk flags. There will always be one American flag. This is on the GORUCK website as a gear list. Do not forget this as you will pay the price. You will also pay the price if you forget your team weight so let’s not do that either. You will see some teams with a GORUCK flag (mostly GRT Teams) but that is not necessary. As always never let the flag touch the ground. If you are doing an exercise the cadre will hold it. The more flags that you have the more sandbagging you will get from some of the people in the challenge because they will be on the flag more often. I hate carrying the flag.


You will have PT along the way and for maybe two hours in the beginning during the welcoming party. It is basically whatever the Cadre wants you to do. You may see bear crawls, inchworm pushups, regular pushups, buddy carries, monkey fuckers, crab walks. Every Cadre does something different and likes different exercises. Suck it up and do it plain and simple. Suffer in Silence and Embrace the Suck. You’re doing it as a team.


That is pretty much it. It is a pretty simple concept. Don’t over think anything and you will be fine. If you have any questions you should know how to reach me. I was in the same place as most of you at one point. I adapted and overcame. As a side note DON’T ASK QUESTIONS. You will never get an answer that you like from the cadre or the leader of any challenge.

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