Go Ruck…never heard of it? That’s understandable, so here’s what you have been missing out on.
Go Ruck was started by Jason McCarthy, a former Green Beret, who wanted to make the toughest Ruck Sacks (military style backpack) for military and civilian use. After producing the first bags, the GR1, Jason’s idea was to field test them knowing they would most likely see combat, so they had to be indestructible. He organized some adventure seekers and anyone crazy enough to agree, and they filled the bags with bricks and beat the heck out of the bags and themselves which served as the proving grounds for a fantastic product.
All Go Ruck events are lead by a Cadre, a decorated combat Veteran of Special Operations. The most popular events are the Light, Tough, and Heavy. There the participants fill their rucks with weight, hydration packs, and a few essentials and are led by the Cadre for a certain number of hours/miles determined by which event they signed up for and the degree of pain the Cadre desires to dispense.
I jumped at the opportunity to shadow a Go Ruck Light on 4-23-16 at 1400 hours (shout out to Class 1140). A Light is advertised as 4-5 hours and 7-10 miles, it’s a good way to get started for the longer events. The requirements for a Light are 10 lbs of weight in your ruck if you are under 150 lbs and 20 lbs if you are over 150 lbs.
Class 1140 was lead by Cadre Montreal, a Green Beret. There were 35 people in the class, 10 of which were still remaining from a tough the night before (Class 1913).
Go Ruck events start with a roll call, then proceed to gear check and then onto the “Welcome Party”. The “Welcome Party” is physically demanding activity designed to get everyone to work closely as a team in order to perform. This Welcome Party was nicknamed Sam’s Birthday Party for a member of the team.
For the rest of the night they crossed streets as a team, carried weights as a team, succeeded and failed as a team. After the Welcome Party they rucked to the woods, through the brush and into a river where they filled Cadre’s empty sand bags and buckets with rocks and sand. From here out they had to move their weighted rucks, sand bags, and buckets always with the American flag out front, moving from check point to check point always trying to make it in the allotted time.
There were penalties for missing time on a check point. On one particular checkpoint they failed and the Team Leader became a casualty and had to be carried on a litter and a new TL was installed. This slowed the team down exponentially because now 6 people have to carry the litter which means that there are now 6 less individuals to rotated carrying the added weight, a heavy ( pun intended) consequence for missing the deadline. Congrats to class 1140 for amazing teamwork and heart.
If you are still reading this, maybe it’s time to sign up for one yourself. My advice is to be sure you know what you are getting into, and train. You will love it! GO RUCK
Buy Local, Eat Healthy,
Live Fit CT!
Keith- Go Ruck Class 591
For a list of GORUCK events on CT here