A team event, never a race. The Challenge is significantly harder than any race because a team is capable of infinitely more than the sum of its individuals. Therefore the Challenge is greater. The team (it’s your team) starts and finishes together under the guidance of Challenge Cadre. The route is unknown, the distance is unknown and the Challenge can last longer and/or go for greater distances if the team needs it in order to fully become a team. 8-10 hours, 15-20 miles is an estimate, not a promise. Every class is different, but the bond by the end is always equally powerful. - GORUCK Challenge FAQ
Make no mistake, this is not a solo event and this is not a race. It's an evolution. You will learn the true meaning of teamwork. The Challenge is best when shared with friends but if no one wants to join you, don't worry, you'll make some great new friends.
I can't promise that it will be easy, but it will be worth it. After all, if it were easy, would you do it?
Step off of the normal path. Go for a run, GORUCK style.
Image via GORUCK
Can I Do This?
I did. That means you can too. It's so much more mental than physical and I can't stress that enough. You do need to have some foundation of fitness because after all, you'll be carrying bricks, logs, each other, etc over an 8-10 hour [or more] period.
The biggest thing that turns people off is the distance. My class did around 17 miles and the furthest I've ever run before on my own was 14. How was this possible? You don't run the entire time and when you do, the pace is entirely up to your team to decide. I was better at running while others were better at lifting and we learned how to utilize all of our individual strengths and weaknesses.
Send me an email if you have any questions about the Challenge: mikepetrucci [at] gmail [dot] com
What to Expect
How Much Does it Cost?
If you're smart, you'll sign up really early and get in at $120. If you wait though, the price can go up to $160.
Is that a lot of cash to part ways with? Maybe, but really look at it. What do you get with that much? What ways can you cut back or save? I bet you have some Craigslist/eBay worthy stuff to sell or you can skip a few times of eating out next month.
The same as 2 Xbox games (If you bought the latest Call of Duty and The Elder Scrolls games, you could have just signed up for the Challenge)
Tough Mudder Registration (Can cost up to $150 and lasts only 2 hours while the GORUCK Challenge is cheaper and longer. More good livin' all around!)
Typical Marathon or even some Half Marathon registrations
You get the idea. I read this somewhere online and thought it sums things up nicely:
If it is important to you, you will find a way.
If not, you'll find an excuse.
Looking for a deal?
Times are tough and saving money wherever possible can really help. That said, I can get you $20 off registration but only if you haven't signed up yet. Unfortunately, there is no way for me to add it retroactively. Send me an email and I'll hook you up: mikepetrucci [at] gmail [dot] com
Recommended Further Reading
To get you started, I recommend you read these two posts:
This is just about every 'after action report' of the GORUCK Challenge I could find online. Each class is different and you'll notice that in the writing but what's important is the shared camaraderie.
Stay tuned for updates as more will be added when I can find them.
The GORUCK Challenge is back in the nation's capital but won't be around again until June. There are a few more spots available for the Sunday December 11th class and you need to act fast.
Photo by GORUCK
Since you are signing up late, the price is now $160 but I can hook up with a discount code worth $20. Just promise next time to sign up further in advance! Challenges are best when shared with friends so grab a couple and get them in on this deal.
Also, $140 may sound like a lot but you're actually getting a lot more in return. Challenges are full day affairs with plenty of time to hang out with your team before or after in the form of a 'ruckoff.' Once you complete your Challenge, you'll join the exclusive GORUCK Tough community and receive invitations to upcoming events such as Ascent, Beached, and Scavenger.
Photo by GORUCK
If you're in the DC Metro area, Balance Gym will help you get prepared physically and I highly recommend reading this post for more prep tips in general. As always, let me know if you have any questions or comments.
On May 7th, I completed the GORUCK Challenge (class 031) in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware and will be forever changed. If you aren’t familiar with the Challenge, it’s billed as a team event that lasts 15-20 miles and around 8-10 hours. Although, the cadre loves to under promise and over deliver.
Straight from their site, here is the Challenge in a nutshell:
You and your fellow Challenge takers all wear GORUCK backpacks throughout the Challenge. Yes, your bags will be weighted down with bricks, but if the Challenge were easy you wouldn’t sign up. In fact, the greatest hurdle is signing up. We are proud that the pass rate is over 98%.
You won’t know the route but it showcases the best of every city. Think of it as a guided tour. The miles don’t disappear on their own, and 8 to 10 hours can feel like a lifetime. Welcome to our version of good livin’.