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Go Ruck Challenge Class 381

February 22, 2013

In January I completed the Go Ruck challenge. Having initially seen mention of Go Ruck combined with Tough Mudder in 2010, I always wondered if I could manage to complete the challenge. Go Ruck is no longer associated with Tough Mudder but I did see some people with Go Ruck backpacks at my last TM. Late last year I decided that when there was a challenge in Dallas I would do it, so I signed up. I bought a bag and got six bricks and thought about what to do for training.

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Having spent some time running with a weight vest on and done a bunch of different events and challenges I figured all I really needed to do was get ready for the weight of the ruck. The was poor planning on my part. I routinely complete a Men’s Fitness workout that I highly recommend for simplicity and challenge, Spartacus workout. I should have spent far more time Spartacus Training with my bricks rather than just running (rucking). The 3 months worth of rucking 2-3 times per week working up to 8 miles was some of the hardest running I have ever done. This included a few fun ruck events with friends and family including the Dallas Turkey Trot, dressed in a turkey costume but with a ruck full of bricks. I should have guessed how hard it was going to be when I had to walk during my first long ruck but figured I would continue to get stronger as I grew accustomed to the bricks both running and Spartacus training.

As the anticipation grew I came closer to the conclusion I would never be ready and figured I would just have to gut it out as I have done with so many other events, after all the training section on the Go Ruck site it does say:


Beer, aka the latest in advanced cellular repair technology, is the official drink of the GORUCK Challenge. Don’t take the Challenge so seriously. Go for a run or two, have fun, and just do it. It’s all mental.

Yeah that’s it, its all mental right? Short answer, yes actually it is all mental. The physical aspects were some of the toughest I have endured but becoming a team in grueling conditions in the cold sleet while running our missions was amazing, fulfilling, hard as f*&$, but I will do it again. I will not go through the total details of the challenge since I recommend anyone interested to simply give it a try and learn what “An original dose of good livin” can do for you.

Class 381:

Our squad met for our Ruck Off at a bar downtown near the start. The mix of people was great men and women, adventure racers, and novices, veterans and newbies, such good crew. Having ridden the train downtown it was funny to hear people consider going back to the car for this or that but at that point I was committed to what in my ruck and was ready to go. Meeting the team convinced me that I was somewhere in the middle as far as training went and was far more comfortable that this would be a test of mental grit as much as physical strength. We wandered to the starting point in a park in downtown just before our 10pm start time.

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The last guy to wander into the squad was G, he was doing a B2B and had completed the challenge the night before and only slept a couple hours. G is a beast and we were lucky to have him along. We lined up got our instructions and began our first “mission”, we were all giddy and ready to get started so we did not do well in staying together and moving as a group early on but all those things would change over the next 12 hours.

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IMG_5776-2327905843-OAfter establishing our comm we Indian ran across downtown to City Hall where we started our evening with some PT. Was a good time and I wish I knew how long we worked out for since it was one of the harder workouts I have done recently. Cadre Michael got us into the pond in front of City Hall to make sure we were working hard enough to stay warm I think.

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From there the missions continued until well after dawn and included getting in the Trinity River very early in the morning even though it was sleeting. As the night wore on many of us had opportunities to lead the team as well as carry other people and tons of other heavy sh!t

Rather than describe in detail the training, teamwork, obedience, challenge, leadership, and fun, I will just show some photos and assure everyone that it was the best physical challenge and team event I have ever done. I plan on running at least a few other challenges and probably some other Go Ruck events, Navigator is high on the list as well as Scavenger for fun.

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IMG_5950-2327952537-OOn our way back into downtown we were all really settling into our team movement and finally seeing that we may just get through this. Unfortunately two members of the team dropped out somewhere around 3am but the rest of us persevered and running up Main St. at dawn while doing some Go Ruck chants was fantastic and exciting. After getting back to the park and meeting up with a visiting Cadre and his family we completed some more PT before being presented with our patch. All in all waiting for the train to get me home for some well deserved rest I reflected on what I think is one of the premiere events out right now and would strongly suggest anyone who has thought about signing up must do so immediately.


The company makes a great bag, the cadre are an amazing group who have proudly served our country and deserve our respect and admiration. Supporting Go Ruck also helps supports the service members who are part of Go Ruck while also supporting America’s great Special Forces Community via the Green Beret Foundation. The hardest part is indeed signing up, I think I may just sign up again soon, not sure what city to try or if I will be ready but I will give it a try and again learn what it takes to make a group of individuals into a team.

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One Comment
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