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GoRuck NYC Challenge 2012 - Class 244 (Team 3) Sept 8 - Sept 9

The GoRuck Challenge.  What the hell is a goruck?

go·ruck [verb go + verb ruck] noun ruck is short for rucksack (aka backpack), it's also a verb: to ruck is to move with a rucksack, and implies action, energy, and purpose.

What is the challenge?

The GORUCK Challenge is a team event, never a race. Think of it as a slice of Special Operations training where – from start to finish -- a Special Operations Cadre challenges, teaches, and inspires your small team to do more than you ever thought possible. Leadership is taught and teamwork is demanded on missions spanning the best of your city. The hardest part? Signing up.

This above is taken directly from  I would describe it as simply HELL.  There are no other words.  Oh wait.. HELL with strangers that will become your brothers maybe is a little better.  Regardless, it was not easy and signing up was NOT the hardest part.  DOING it was the hardest part because there is not really much about this challenge online or even really too much on YouTube to know what the hell to expect.  

I've always had crazy respect and admiration for military men/women who risk their lives to protect and honor this country.  I thought i had a clue as to what its like; their training, some of the shit they go through.  I had no clue.  This challenge took us about 12 hours to complete.  It was fucking REALLY hard and grueling.  I am almost 100% sure that this was such a small fraction of hell that our men and women face on a daily basis while serving this country.  My hat goes off to you all.

Why did i sign up?

Why not!  My resume prior was a few tough mudders and some smaller mud runs.  I train at Krankamania in Nutley NJ and play soccer weekly.  I thought shit, i can do this.  A buddy of mine at our gym told us about this last year.  I thought at the time he was crazy and i would never do such a thing.  But after finishing 2 tough mudders back-to-back and getting in the top 10 in 1 of them, i thought i can do this.  Sometimes confidence can lead you into trouble!

Our gym Krankamania formerly Krank Systems got involved as one of the training spots for GoRuck.  This means we HAD to do it.  5 of us signed up. I was hoping more would join.  Unfortunately, the challenge comes with a heavy price tag especially if you have to buy a bag.  Therefore, a lot of people backed out.  Blame it on money.. but i blame it on not MANNING UP! 2 of our peeps had to bail; 1 with a bad back injury during ruck training and another one had to work.  BOOOO.. So there was only 3 representing.  To be honest, i dont know if i would have did this if i was by myself so i thank those other 2 for keeping me dedicated.  

So what the hell did you have to pack in your bag?

We had to have 6 bricks in our bag.  Now you can goto Home Depot and buy these types of bricks:

which weigh in at around 2lbs each OR you can get the real bricks:

which weigh in at around 5lbs each.  

This equates to close to 30lbs of manliness.  I also packed some chewies (gummy sugary energy shots), cliff bars, change of clothes (i left it in the car..thank god i did), insect spray, chapped stick, 8 packs of FUN size peanut M&Ms (which got water logged and had to be thrown away), a headlamp and a pair of trail gloves.  I also brought with me a CamelBack Hydro bladder.  Thank god i did as it was VERY VERY much needed.  That filled up to about 70oz which put the total bag weight to about 40lb.  DUMB weight. 

Here is what it looked like just prior:

If I could do it all over again i would have packed more cliff shots and bars.  They were very much needed.  Hydration was key and i felt like i never had enough water.  Everyone shared their food and water so i guess it was never really an issue but i just felt like there was never enough.  We were able to refill at a gas station which is a story in its own.  The ziplock bags that i packed most of my stuff in broke immediately and were water logged.  Thank god i did NOT pack my phone.  i did loose a Cliff Bar, a pack of cliff shots and all my M&Ms.. muthafucker!!!

Before I start:

Meeting Point

We met at 26 Wall Street in front of Federal Hall.  The weather was shitty as a tornado touched down in Queens a couple hours prior.  It was raining and a bit chilly out.  

This touchdowned in Queens about an hour or so before our ruck run.  I really really wish it came down on us when we were running.  Now THATS a challenge!  

Meeting point

We immediately made our way to the right side of the 100 or so people.  This decision determined the brotherhood that we would soon form; Team 3!  There were some questions about what team we were on. I had not a clue what anyone was talking about.  We realized later that we never signed up for a team therefore all the "extras" went to Team 3 aka Class 244 aka the BEST team!  

There was some nervous talk of whats to come and what to expect. You can clearly pick out the people who have done this before and those who have not.  There was some douche bag who was showing off in front of some girls doing pullups on the scaffolding that laid above our heads.  I think all of Team 3 wish he would have fallen.

Our Cadre

Our Cadre's name was simply Silver... i think.  He didn't talk much.  I think he may have said 12 words the entire 12 hours.  He was young and thin. I thought immediately how i can take this guy but Silver would probably KICK THE LIVING SHIT OUT OF ME!  I didnt speak to him much. I joked with him a lot as we did the challenge to try to break him..just as he tried to break us.  He didnt break.  Just kept that straight face with an occassional smirk. That goddam smirk..ughh.  Throughout the night he was either behind us or in front of us or nowhere to be found.  He did his part though, we DID come together as a team and to be honest he wasnt really needed at all by the end of the night.  We were in complete control of our team and i think that was the ulitmate goal.  So, having said that, he did a great job.  I just wish i could have had that magic elixir he drank all night.. coca-cola + ????

Mission #1 - Physical Training (PT) Green Beret Style

The cadres made their speeches.  They all included our fallen heroes as well as the 9/11 heroes.  There was a lot of cursing and mother fuck this and mother fuck that.  Almost all the cadres look like they were drinking for 8 days straight but who i am to judge.  I say this now in a blog because they would beat me up if i mentioned this to their faces ;-)  

We had to line up 1 arm length apart in front of the Federal Hall steps and memorial statue.  It took us forever to figure this out but we finally got it.  There were 2 lines. I was in the front line. Immediately one of the cadre started yelling something about getting down.  So we did in pushup position.  We held this position for what seemed like 2 hours performing pushups and other shitty calisthenics.  My lower back immediately went on fire.  It was dreadful.  The point was to break us.. and they were.. one by one.  Let's not forget the entire time you are wearing your bag.  That god dam bag. 

The Kool-Aid man in the background did NOT participate.. just stating that

looks easy..but it suuuccckkedd

After the pushups, situps, squats, chain pushups, leg raises, 6 inchers, up and downs, we were back on our feet and ready to rock.  This was the only time in the entire 12 hours that i thought about quitting.  If the entire challenge was like this i would have probably called a cab somewhere in the middle of Brooklyn to get my weak ass home.  But it wasn't and that was a good thing...sort of. 

We got in 2 lines and we were finally beginning our march through NYC.

Mission #2 - Military March 

Our first military march was actually fun.  We were in 2 lines and running in cadence. There was 22 in our group.  A good bunch of girls... in all shapes and sizes.  There was talking, joking and joyful playing going on which i am sure the Cadre was NOT happy about.  These were things that would NOT happen in the next few hours to come.  Our bodies were beaten up from the calisthenics so i guess teh run was a relief in a strange way.  We yelled random shit but one of the things that stayed with us our entire time was GO - RUCK.  One person (normally me) would yell GO and the rest of the team would yell RUCK.  Keep in mind that we are running through the streets of NYC at 9:00PM in the Tribeca area.  There are lots of people around and many of course staring at us.  At all times we were to carry our bags, a team weight which was a wrapped up fire hose with a 9/11 patch on it and an American flag.  So seeing 22 dudes wearing black bags running with a flag high above our heads leading our group was definitely something to take pictures of or at least question what it is we are doing. 

Our Team..Team 3!!  Note.. im the idiot in the background playing with my headlamp.

Ok..ill come on the right asking my buddy Kenny if the headlamp i am wearing left a mark.  Yes.. true story

Our destination was to a park just north of the WTC along the river.  I have never been to this park before and no it wasnt Battery Park. I believe it was Rockefeller Park but i am not sure. Here we had our briefing from our Cadre.  He would ask for 2 volunteers and assign a Team Leader (TL) and an Assistant Team Leader (ATL).  He would then explain to the leaders what our task was and it was our leaders job to tell the team what we had to do.  All communication was to be through our leaders and only the leaders were to talk with the comrade. 

In this park was our first test as a team to test our performance.  We had to do military style drills and practice doing simple things like moving in 1 straight line.  This sounds simple but it wasnt. Our team were idiots and couldnt get it right. We had to repeat alot of the drills over and over again.  On top of doing these drills we still had to carry our bags and our team weight (the 9/11 Fireman hose) which I volunteered to pull with another fellow teammate during most of the drills.  The worst part about all this was that it was raining so the grass was soaked and we were just completely filthy immediately.  I liked it but people were bitching.  We slowly started to come together as a team coordinating and correcting our silly mistakes.  Not long after we were in straight lines and banging out what the Cadre threw at us.  We were ready.. or were we??

Mission #2 - Canada attacked NYC.  There are 8 wounded that need to be transported to Brooklyn on foot.  We have 1.20 hours to meet up with the doctor.

Our new volunteer leaders were briefed.  We were told that we are under attack by Canada and those dam Canucks have wounded 8 of our best eh.  Of course, our best were the lightest!  ;-))   We had to carry them from the park we were at to across the Brooklyn Bridge where the Dr waits for us.  We had 1.2 hours to complete this mission. The distance was about 2 miles. 

Hmm.. ok so i guess this is the beginning of whats to come.  It took us FOREVER it seemed to get situated. We needed to carry 8 wounded.  Obviously nobody was really injured so the wounded had to volunteer.  This took like 10 minutes to figure out. Finally, the lightest were "wounded" which made it easier to carry.  The 8 had 8 bags obviously that needed to also be carried.  So this meant the 6 people that weren't carrying anyone had to carry the 8 bags AND lets not forget the team weight (fire hose).  

I grabbed one of the lighter guys and proceeded with the others.  I'm not going to lie, it was tough. I have never really did buddy carries before so i didn't really know how to hold the person. Eventually i figured it out but it took a while.  Your back just tightens the fuck up immediately.  It is not a pleasant feeling.  I dont know how Forest Gump did it!  

As a team we were all over the place.  There were large gaps. We weren't together in a straight line.  But then as we got closer to the bridge we came together nicely.  It was the beginning of us coming together as one.  

I switched carrying bags and people until we got a couple blocks from the bridge.  I then picked up this dude David and carried his ass for a mile and half across the bridge.  It was tough. We took breaks.. alot.  We would stop every minute or so, rest a bit and then carry on.  There were tons of people looking at us.  Taking pictures.  Asking questions.  Our Cadre would quickly go over to the spectators who were asking us questions and brief them on what we were doing.  He could have been trying to recruit them..i have no idea.. 

We got to the Brooklyn side of the bridge with 2 minutes left to spare.   We all cheered and refueled with bars, sugar shots, water, etc.  David and I hugged it out like 2 women. I saved his life and he was grateful.  Something he will remember for the rest of his life.. he better!

The highlights of the bridge were the 2 girls making out that we did NOT stop for but should have, the angry pedestrian who yelled at us and even pushed me stating that there are 2 lanes and we are taking them both up as he passed us, some of the teammates pissing on the bridge (when you gotta go), one of our wounded teammates banging his head into a sign while being carried, how loooonggg that god dam bridge is, and of course us becoming a team. 

Mission accomplished. 

Fantastic picture by Jim Lopes

Mission #3 - Must reach the water to wash off the chemical weapons deployed by the Canadian forces.  Stealth mode is required to avoid the enemy. 

Hearing "wash off" made me cringe.  We all knew that there was water involved in this challenge but knowing its coming SUUCKKED.

We were briefed.  We had chemicals all over our bodies from the chemical weapons those dam Square headed Canadian forces deployed on us.  We had to wash them off and be quiet as hell as we made our way to our next stop...the shore. 

We lined up into 2 lines without saying a word. There were a lot of hand motions that i only saw in movies and never really knew the meaning.  The leader would raise his hand which i assumed stop. I just followed everyone else. Once again, it was refreshing to run again.  

We did a slow jog about a half mile or so to Brooklyn Bridge Park - Main Street which convienently had a rocky shore giving free access to the East River.  When we arrived at the park a couple walked by us.  It was clear they were doing more than holding hands about 10 minutes prior.  Who hangs around a park in the middle of the night and in the rain besides us idiots! 

We were told to form 1 straight line across, arms length, and walk into the water.  Immediately, the toxic water hit my feet sending tiny needles throughout my body. It was cold but it wasnt bad.  It actually got refreshing.  I got my first mouth full of water when we were told to lay down on our backs and perform flutter kicks.  A big splash send water flying in my mouth.  I immediately tasted the salt or sewage reminding me of where i am.. yuck.  

We had to perform some treacherous exercises.  Not sure what this had to do with getting the "chemical weapons" off of our body but i guess this is how its done.  Our bags were now water logged and added an addtional 20lbs or so. We had to lift those above our heads and perform push presses.  Apparenlty, this is the only way to clean off the chemicals. 

Then we had to get in a pushup position.  Yes, you guessed it. We had to do pushups which meant submerging our entire heads into the toxicity known as the East River. He would say Down and we were to submerge our head and get it out.  We must have done this 60 times. I found out later my buddy Kenny refused to put his beautiful head in the water. Therefore, the cadre made us do many more as punishment.  Thanks Kenny.  

MMM.... pollution

After what felt like infinity we were out of the water.  It got cold.. quick. Immediately I was glad that i wore a cotton shirt over my compression shirt.  Those who had long sleeve compression shirts on only were shivering.  It could have been the micro organisms and bacteria from the polution infested rivers that was itching away at our bodies or it could have just been the fact that it was 60 degrees out and rainy.  Who knows.  

After standing around for a few minutes and taking a breather, I did the unthinkable.  I took a piss... with all my clothes on.  I said FUCK IT..i gotta pee.. and went.  Others soon followed.  You could hear the piss hitting the gravel below us.  It was a true moment indeed!  We came together as a team..sort of.   

Mission Accomplished!

Mission #4 - Meet up with Kenny Fucking Powers at the Williamsburg Bridge in 2 hours and deliver a WMD and 5 IEDs

Kenny Mother Fucking Powers.  This was the shitty part of the race. No pun intended.  At the shore we were briefed by our new volunteer leaders that we had to pick up 5 IEDs aka 5 big rocks and bring them to Kenny Fucking Powers at the Williamsburg bridge about 3 miles away.  Just as we were gathering our quite large rocks, ranging anywhere from 50 - 80lbs, our leader tells us that we need to pick up a WMD as well.  A what?  The leader directs us to a HUGE LOG which conveniently was sitting along the shore.  Looked like an old piece of wood that held railroad tracks or something. It had spikes in it and everything.  It was brutal.  It had to weigh..shit..anywhere from 400-800lbs. I really have no idea.  I do know that it took 8 people or so to carry it and we didnt get far at each interval. 

We make our way off the shore and back onto the street with our bags on our backs, our 5 HEAVY rocks, our very LARGE log, our team weight and our American Flag.  This was the Daddy of all challenges.  It was fucking tough.  We strategized on how to carry this colossal log and our rocks in a steady and safe fashion.  We originally put the bags underneath the log to form like a bed and then lift the bed by the bag handles.  This worked nicely.  The problem was it was hard to walk because the straps were so awkwardly low on your body forcing your body to sag when walking.  The straps also were a little slippery and it was hard to get a good grip.  We lasted around 1/4 mile when i suggested that we put up on our shoulders.  A HUGE mistake but probable the only way to really do it. 

We never had a real good direction on how to do this as far as people placement on the log.  We simply lifted the log up and put up on our shoulders and walked.  The problem here was the weight distribution. I was one of the tallest so getting underneath the log meant that a LOT of weight was now being placed individually on me.  I immediately felt my shoulders being crushed under the weight.  

We, as a team, maneuvered the best we can swapping in and out and switching people.  There was a time, around a mile in,  where i just personally couldn't hold the log any longer and switched to carrying the heavy rocks.  I picked one of the heaviest. I felt compelled to knowing that i will not be on the log for much of the walk.  I made a pact with one of my teammates, Martin, to switch back and forth carrying the rock the rest of the way.  We would carry to a certain mark -  a lamppost, a traffic light, a car - and then switch to give the other a break. It worked.  We carried that mother fucking rock a solid 2 miles.  

This was the log that we had to carry.  Dont judge..that shit was HEAVY!!

Kidding of course.. This was the log that we carried:

This shit was heavy!

Maybe about halfway in we stopped at a gas station, put down our rocks and HUGE log, and headed into the convenient stop to refill our waters.  It is there i noticed that my ziplocks broke and everything was wet, including all my M&Ms, a cliff bar, and a pack of Cliff Shots.  FUCKK. 

We were in the middle of HIPSTER town and well i can certainly say that we saw some strange characters.  From gangsta rap blaring out of scary looking people's cars to a group of Hacidic Jews following us, it was weird.  First off, its 2 or 3 in the morning and on many occasssions people were riding bikes next to us; joyriding.  Who does that?  Let's not forget the HUGE collaboration of Hacidic Jews that were at the gas station doing god-knows-what.  Weirdarama. Anytime someone would ask us what we were doing our Cadre, who at times was nowhere to be found, would pop up out of nowhere and talk to the spectators. At one time, we had a van of Jews following us for what seemed like an hour.  They were just creeping along us on the side of the road, sometimes holding up traffic.  Strange town. 

Dam hipsters

There were lots and lots of stops as expected. I am not sure of the actual time it took for us to get to the bridge.  I wanted to punch Kenny Fucking Powers in his face but he didnt exist..only in Hollywood.  During this "walk" i was getting TIRED. Mentally and physically.  In a strange way it was boring. Not much going on except carrying these HUGE loads.  Once we got to the bridge i refueled by chomping on some Cliff Shots filled with caffeine and the last of my Cliff bars.  

My hat goes off to some of our teammates who stayed on that log the entire time.  I really don't know how you did it but much respect.  Beast Mode SON!

Mission Accomplished!

Mission #5 - Get back into Manhattan by crossing the Williamsburgh Bridge avoiding Canadian snipers along the way. 

Ok so we just finish our Kenny Fucking Powers mission and once we got all the huffing and puffing and cussing out our team leaders tell us that our next mission is to now cross the bridge to get back into Manhattan.  Simple enough.   But then they tell us that we have to stay low because there are Canadian snipers who will be targeting us.  Hmmmm.. 

We immediately start off in 2 straight lines and bear crawl up the HUGE walkway to the bridge.  This took us some time and it was exhausting.  We were also off pace and everyone was all over the place.  When we got to the top our leader suggested that we do semi duck walks. This seemed easier; at least at the time it did. Our Cadre then yelled at us stating that we need to stay below the hand rails.  Below the rails??  This included our back.  Everything was to be out of sight from those mother fucking Canadians. This sounds easy...but it wasnt.. it was torture.. torture i tell ya!

To get an idea, check out the high railing not her ass.. the railing!  We had to keep our entire bodies, ruck and all, lower than this railing.  The bridge is about 1.5 miles long.  It was treacherous. It looks higher than it is but it wasnt.  Your teammates behind you would sure enough let you know when your bag was over and being tall this happened a lot to me.  I hated it. 

Right off the bat i felt my lower back tighten, my knees buckle.  Sweat began to puddle on my body.. something surprisingly that didnt happen too much.  Immediately, we realized this 2 line formation was not working and our ATL suggested that we form 1 line and stay along the right railing so we can get a good indication of how low we are and also use the railing as support.  Genius idea as our Cadre said later on.  It worked.  It took us, shit i dont even know how long.. At one point, the sky began to lighten up.  My assumption it was around 4ish.  But we werent even half done at this point.  So maybe it took us an hour and a half. Again, no clue.  My body at this point was sooo fucking tired.  Lots of guys started experiencing knee and back issues.  I thought for sure we were going to have some people bail out.. but nobody did.  Everyone finished this mission as a team.  Something that seemed so simple was one of the hardest missions we faced all night.  Who knew that simply squat walking can take such a tolll on your body. Then again, it is for over a mile.  

I wouldnt have been surprised if our Cadre threw this type of surprise at us!

We stopped..ALOT.  Probably every 100-200 feet.  Rested about 2 minutes and then continued.  This routine just worked.  Some complained that the stopping was causing more pain but i believe it helped out some of the guys who were in really bad pain.  The little break certainly helped me out as well.  I remember when we got to, what we thought at the time, the end of the bridge.  We turned this small corner only to reveal another looooong straightaway ahead of us.  I remember all of us bitching and hating life at that point.  It was a long walk to the other side.  Fucking God Dam Canadian Snipers!!!!  

Our Cadre held the flag the entire time for us but he was standing straight.  How come he didn't get shot at??? My theory is that the Canadians are a terrible shot.  As strangers passed us on the bridge looking at us like we are crazy, i would yell to them "Be Careful.. there are SNIPERS!"  Some people wouldn't even look at us. Either they were afraid or just use to strange people doing strange things in NYC.  No clue... was fun.  A couple hipsters would ride by on their "pocket" bikes in suits at 4AM.  Whatevs man. Whatevs

Mission Accomplished!

Mission #6 - Carry a box of ammo to Seward Park.

When we got off the bridge there was convienently a log - much smaller than the one prior - waiting for us on the ground to the side.  We immediately put our bags on it and tried to hide it from our Cadre.  He just smirked and walked away.  Fuck.  

We refueled with water and chewies.  Some peeps took a piss on the bridge while traffic flew by them.  There was a police station directly across the street from us with a cop I'm sure saying "Are you fucking kidding me??" as he watched one of our cadets piss on his bridge.  

The smell of marijuana filled the air as some hipsters formed a small huddle near us.  Our new team leaders were briefed on what we were to do and so we were told "We must get to Seward Park while carrying this box of ammo" as he pointed to the log.  "Thats a big motha fucking box of ammo", i thought.  I dont have a pic of the log.  It was definetely much smaller and easier to carry than the other one but after hours and hours of beating up your body, that shit was heavy. 

Luckily, I was given the flag to hold; something i was proud of doing. I would be lying if i said that i was more proud to be holding it cause it gave me a rest.  I'm just kidding.. ok.. i'm not.  It was the first time carrying the flag and i was proud to lead my team to Seward Park.  Now if i just knew where the hell we were going.  My flag carrying was over when i noticed one of my comrades looking really fucking tired after a small break.  I immediately swapped him out and took my turn under the log.  It hurt...... bad. But I contributed until we got to the park where we lifted it up over our heads and threw it away to the side.  I'm sure another lucky team in the next couple months will have to bring it back to its home.  But for now we were done.

Seward Park... very interesting.  There were a lot of Asians.  It had to be around 5:30AM at this point.  There was a woman doing Tai Chi by herself, a man doing moonwalks or somethng back and forth, 2 women walking in circles, and a family of some sorts on the swings all speaking an Asian language.  It was wierd..really weird.  Nobody every questioned what we were doing but we sure as hell questioned what they were doing.  Fucking NYC.. gotta love it. 


This was the easiest of our missions and we were almost done with our challenge.  The sun was slowly making its way out.  I was tired but not as much as i thought i would be. Perhaps the 700 grams of sugar i took in were still playing its part.  Regardless, my body ached EVERYWHERE.  Shit i think even my dick was hurting and i didnt think that was possible. That could have been the Herpes i caught in the East River.. i dont know!  


Mission #7 - Team Wars!!

Prior to the briefing i took a leak in the public bathrooms that were suprisingly open.  I went in and really expected an Asian couple singing karaoke or something.  When i came out of the barhroom there was a briefing of what we were to do.  Of course i missed it all so i asked a million questions probably annoying all my teammates.  Also, i was getting eaten alive by mosquitoes.  I think the Asians were putting Mosquito curses on me.  

This is how i felt

So while i was swatting mosquitoes, i was told that we had to get from one side of the swing set to the other.  Once your teammate is across teh other side and down the slide the next person can go.  Both teams were to go at the same time and both starting from different ends.  The swing set had a slide on each end and in the middle was like all other fun shit i would have loved to play with if i wasnt doing this challenge.  But there was a path that led you from slide to the other. Each team had to run up their slide and get to the other person's slide and go down it.  The team with all their men across the other side wins.. 

Part of the play set. Our team had to run up that stupid fucking corky slide!!

Let me just start by saying that I was originally on Team 1.. but somehow i realized that Team 1 had 12 men, so i took the liberty of walking over to Team 2 to make it even - 11 on 11.  What a dumb move.  Team 2 had a corkscrew slide to run up while Team 1 had this nice short straight DRY slide to run up.  Of course our team got destroyed.  To be honest, i think i got the most hurt on this fucking mission then all the others.  There was an epic battle between me and 2 of the other teammates.  As i was trying to climb up my slide a team member from Team 1 was coming down.. ouch.  Then when i got up I bombarded one of the dudes running towards me.  It didnt do much but it was fun.  We still got our asses kicked.  I believe we still had 3 men who didnt go yet when Team 1 finished. 

The winner got the reward which was to give their rucksack to a member on the losing team to hold.  Fuck.. more weight!  One of the members on Team 1 made a suggestion that we are all 1 team and that we should just carry each other's bags.  So we did.  We swapped our bags with members from the winning team.  It was a nice offering.  Everyone was happy on our team and of course most of the people on Team 1 as well..except Kenny who bitched and yelled. It was quite funny. 

I got stuck with some dudes bag that was just awful. I really dont know how he carried this bag for so long. It was like one of those long cammping bags.  His bricks were packed terribly and they sat on my ass.  It wasn't a pleasant feeling.  The straps dug into my shoulders..ughhhhh.. Regardles, mission 7 was complete!  Peace out crazy Asians!!

Mission Accomplished!!!  

Final Mission - Mission #8 - Run home to victory!!!

We were briefed..but i dont quite remember what was said.  I just remember carrying this god awful bag and forming 2 lines and running again.  Something about getting to Division Ave.  At the time i had no clue that we were heading back to Wall Street aka HOME. I just thought we were going through a nice stroll through NYC.  Some of our team members were saying we were done but i didnt believe it.  Everything that i did find online about this challenge stated that it went on until like 14 hours.  We were only approaching our 11th hour of nonstop shit! 

We ran and chanted GO  -  RUCK ..  GO   -   RUCK.   TEAM   -   3...  TEAM   3.  It was nice.  We were one.  A family. We ran in order and in cadence.  Not too fast.  Not too slow.  Our fellow NYer teammates guided us home.   (btw.. thank god for them because we would have soooo been lost half the night).  The sun was up.  The quiet Manhattan streets started getting a little more louder as we yelled GO RUCK and TEAM 3 over and over again.  We passed another crazy Asian man who was wearing what looked like a Viking hat.  We should have stolen it for our victory march.  He was mumbling something in Chinese.  Probably "Go fuck your mothers you piece of shitters." but i think it was something about loving the US.  

We were proud to hold our flag up high and mighty.  Smiles on our faces.  The last 11 hours was painful but it was a small fraction of what our everyday men and women overseas face on a daily basis.  We looked proudly across the NYC skyline at the new Freedom Tower knowing that the pain we endured was dedicated to the pain that was felt 11 years ago.  Something that none of us will never forget.  The people that i ran with, my new brothers, are also ones that i will never forget.  I'm sure some of those guys i will never see again.  But we will always have that 11hr epic journey in NYC memory that will be shared by us all forever.

Class 244 aka Team 3


The challenge took us about 11 hours to complete. The distance was somewhere between 10 and 12 miles.  It was something that i never thought in a million years I would do.  We started at about 8PM on Saturday night and finished around 7:15AM on Sunday.  

We arrived at our starting point, 26 Wall Street, and our Cadre took the stage.  Finally, we heard our Cadre say something other than "i dont know" or "you'll find out" or that stupid smirk that he wore alot of the night.  He said he was proud of us and that we were disgusting in the beginning but really came together quickly as a team.  He said that we were one of his best classes (which isnt saying much because i believe we were only his second class ever) and that some of our ideas that we did to get by just worked.  It was nice to hear this from him.  The man of 10 words finally said something nice.    

Our cadre handed out our GoRuck patch.. the un-official Badge of Honor .. at least to me it is.  

Will i do it again?  Good question.  Usually when i do a tough mudder or something similar i get really excited before it, anxiety hours before the run and then a feeling of why-the-hell-did-i-sign-up-for-this-shit.  Usually after the run, i never want to do another one.  Then the next day, i see the pictures.  I continue to talk about it and the next thing you know i want to do another one.. ASAP!  Well, the same applies to this challenge.  Immediately afterwards i said to my buddies that i will never do another one. It was a cool experience and i passed but that's it for me.  That was a week ago.. now i want to do another one ASAP!   Sooooo... im hoping that my new GoRuck brothers will look me up and let me know when to sign up for the next one!   



  1. Come out to Class #1000 in San Francisco! #GRC1000 !

    Great Post! I'm doing the 2014 9/11 Challenge! Can't wait. Thanks for amazing detail!


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