We had heard about the event from a couple of friends and had to see it for ourselves, so we got in touch with Brian Lohr (one of our favorite Gametiime users and an avid runner, triathlete, and GORUCK event participant), grabbed our camera, and headed out bright-and-early on a Saturday morning to be a “shadow” for the event.
Via the GORUCK website:
The foundation of all GORUCK Events is the wartime experiences of our Cadre. They have all served in Special Operations and they are all decored Combat Veterans. Now their task is to teach others lessons learned on teamwork, leadership, and communication.
We were so impressed with the event as a unique and one-of-a-kind experience for all of those involved that we asked Brian Lohr if he would be willing to put together a quick overview of GORUCK for us and the rest of the Gametiime to understand more about it. He was kind enough to oblige.
Read his GORUCK summary below!
Brian Lohr, Guest Contributor (Seattle, WA) –
GORUCK is a unique organization because it started out as a gear company and then shifted focus to events. Their events are unique in that everyone who signs up is immediately placed on a team together – called a class. The class you start (i.e. everyone signed up for the respective event) is the team you’ll hopefully finish. I say hopefully because there’s always the chance that teammates will DOR (drop on request) and head home. GORUCK has increased the quantity of events that they offer from dozens to hundreds in the past year.
GORUCK started off with one event which was called “The Challenge.” They have expanded their line of events to include a “Light”, “Heavy”, and “Selection” versions of the event. All of their event pricing is tiered so the sooner you sign up, the cheaper it will cost. GORUCK Light events start at $60 and last 4-5 hours, GROUCK Challenge events start at $95 and lasts 8 – 10 hours, GORUCK Heavy events start at $175 and lasts 24+ hours, and GORUCK Selection start at $350 and lasts 48+ hours. The interesting thing about the expected duration is that it’s hardly ever accurate. Expect the events to last 10% – 20% longer than they’re stated to.
All of their events focus around the idea of a Cadre leading the class throughout the city. During the time at the event, you’ll be completing various objectives – all with time constraints – that can range from getting your team to a certain location to moving a large team log (yes, as in a big, heavy fallen tree!) across a certain distance. Every event is a different experience because each Cadre puts their own personal spin on it. This is one of the major draws which keeps people coming back again and again.
(Gametiime Note: While they’re listed as adventure races, in reality they’re not adventure races at all as all members in a Class work together to complete the objectives given to them by their Cadre. Everyone starts and finishes as a team.)
Like any endurance event, there is an equipment list that needs to be followed. Your essentials will include: a backpack, water bottles or a water bladder, windbreaker, food, cab money (if you, for some reason, cannot finish), headlamp (if at night), and bricks. The bricks (4 if you weight under 150 lbs and 6 if you weigh on or over 150 lbs) are to make life a little more difficult. Gloves and spare clothing are other beneficial items to have for a GORUCK event. My main advice is that you want to have a good, solid, sturdy backpack that will not tear under the weight that you have in it. Of course, GORUCK bags are ideal for this and can be found here. You can also pick up other GORUCK gear there as well, including accessories and apparel.
If GORUCK sounds like something that you’d be interested in you can check out the GORUCK website. which is a great starting location to learn about the events and required equipment. Once you’ve looked around there, then you can search for sites dedicated to helping first-timers I personally run All Day Ruckoff and frequently post about all things GORUCK, including: equipment reviews, training ideas, events & challenges, and morale patches. You can also find me tweeting at @AllDayRuckoff or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feel free to message me with any questions on GORUCK gear or GORUCK challenges! And, if you’re interested in signing up for a GORUCK event in the future, I’ll make sure to hook you up with a discount as well.
Photo 4 source (above: map): GORUCK
Update: Gametiime is now publishing GORUCK events in its directory! See them all here.
Brian Lohr | Guest Contributor | Brian is a runner, swimmer, triathlete, and heavy object lifter. He began competing in races in 2011 and has since started seriously competing this year. Always looking for his next challenge, Brian completed his first GORUCK Challenge as part of Class 053 in the summer of 2011 and has completed numerous GORUCK Challenges since then. When he is not participating in a GORUCK event, half marathon, triathlon, or other endurance event, he is a software developer at a company here in Seattle.
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