A few years ago Jason McCarthy, a former Green Beret, started the GORUCK company. He wasn’t overly happy with the rucks that he had while serving and wanted to develop good quality, American made rucks. To help test the ruck sacks Jason came up with the idea of the GORUCK Challenge. The first few challenges participants would show up, be given a bag with bricks in it, and sent off for ?? hours with a former special operations cadre leading them. Now you have to show up with your own bag and bricks. You still don’t know exactly how long you will be going (they claim 8-10 hours), where you will be going (all you know is where your start point it), and you still have a current or former special forces cadre. Also, the challenge starts at either 10PM or 1AM.
My third GORUCK Challenge brought me to Hoboken, NJ for a custom event organized by a group called TeamFARM to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. One of the goals for our team was to raise $7500 by the time the challenge was done. If we accomplished this we would get a one of a kind GORUCK Tough patch that was black and pink instead of the normal black and white. Everyone was required to wear at least one article of clothing that was pink to help us look more like a team too. I must say the guys did a great job with some creative choices for their pink.
Our night began with meeting Lou and Brent, our cadre for the evening, at the 14th Street Pier. This is where we had our “Welcome Party.” Flutter kicks, pushups, and practicing picking up a buddy were all part of the party. We also did some inch worm pushups as best we could. All the while we have our bags with 20-30lbs of bricks in them. If you weigh 150lbs or more you are to carry 6 bricks. Fall under 150lbs and you only have to carry 4 bricks.
After the welcome party we headed out along the Hoboken waterfront toward the 6th Street Stairs. Along the way our cadre found us a railroad tie/log that we now had to take with us. The team also had 2 team weights coming along, a 40lb sandbag and a 25lb female mannequin torso. We hit the stairs and headed up with our weights. From here it was off to the main drag in Hoboken with all of the bars; nothing like some team lunging to show off to the bar hoppers. There were many curious onlookers asking us what we were doing. Donations from complete strangers on the street started coming in.
Things quieted down as we made our way through the train station and over to the Newport section of Jersey City. To get to our next park though we had to do bear crawls and then finally crab walks. As we were preparing to go into sand at the park a security guard stopped us and asked that we stay off the sand. Instead we made a giant human tunnel on the grass which everyone had to crawl under. Let’s just say this left a mark on most of us.
Our night went on with rucking around this area for way too long. We saw the Holland Tunnel more times than any of us cared. Finally, we were told to head back to our log and work our way back to Hoboken. The sun was starting to peak up over New York City and the heat was cranking up. We visited the 6th Street Stairs one more time for some bear crawls up and crab walks down. Once the log was back where we found it half the class had to be buddy carried. Some pairs took turns carrying each other while others were in beast mode and carried their buddy the whole time.
Eventually we made it back to the pier and our finish. GORUCK Tough class 691 was complete. 46 people started and 42 finished. In the end we as a team raised around $10,000 for Susan G. Komen and the pink patches were handed out to each exhausted participant.
Thank you to Eric Gove Photography for the amazing pictures.