The GORUCK Challenge


What is the GORUCK Challenge?

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. 

Cost Comparison

  • 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: 
  • Good Livin': The GORUCK Challenge [Mike Vallely]
  • Packing and Preparing for a GORUCK Challenge [Kit Klein]
If you still want more information, check out my ever updating post containing reports from previous Challenge takers as well as videos and some other bits of Challenge knowledge.




But wait, there's more...
Short URL: http://goo.gl/V11Kl

First Barefoot Run!


Resting my new running 'gear.'
Well, I just completed my first run with no shoes on. I did a mile, just because it was feeling so good. I really should have gone less. Actually I should have just walked but it felt so free to be running with just my bare feet hitting the pavement.
I’m reading “Born to Run” and if you’re into running at all you need to check this book out. There are so many interesting things in this book & it’s one of my inspirations to try barefoot running.
I know that a lot of you may think its goofy or even just dangerous but I think there might actually be something there and I need to try and figure it out. I can’t remember where I heard it but there was a quote that I enjoyed and I feel it relates to this.
Those who say it’s impossible should not interrupt those doing it.
Earlier today while at work, I got the idea to start barefoot running. You have no idea how bad I wanted to take my shoes and socks off and start walking around barefoot right then! Then the whole Metro ride then bus ride home I was just itching to set my piggies free!
Right when I got off the bus, I rolled up my pants and stripped off my shoes and socks and walked home. Everything from the sidewalks to the fresh cut grass felt new and intriguing. Like I’ve forgotten the texture of them all together.
The grass was so welcoming that I couldn’t help to run a few steps just to see what it was like. My legs just wanted to run! As soon as I walked in the door to my house, I changed into my running clothes with running shoes in hand and bolted back out the door.
When I started to run, I suddenly realized how ‘free’ everything felt. I really did feel like a kid again, with not a care in the world. Just running. I thought about my mom telling me to come home when the street lights came on.
I passed a few people on the sidewalk trail but in their defense they were moving pretty slow. I wasn’t exactly setting records but I felt amazing. My back was straight and my legs had no pain or anything. I truly amazed myself as to how fast I was moving. I wonder what I could have done if I were on soft earth and running on grass?
Right near the end of my barefoot trial I felt a pain in my left toe. It felt like a small thorn or something.  Well, I would be done in a moment so I just let it go. After I stopped and parked myself on a bench to reflect on the run, I looked at my foot and realized there was what looked like a blister that just formed, popped, and was now a flap that was open. Ouch!



No big deal though. I just threw on my running shoes and made my way back home. After cleaning it and putting a pair of socks on, I think all is well. Though I do feel some pain from it right now. Also other parts of my feet that aren’t use to running out of a shoe! But that’s to be expected.
I promised myself that I’m not going to push anything and I’m going to take it as easy as possible so I won’t become injured and not be able to run period. Being barefoot is such an interesting and liberating experience and I bet that not a lot of people know at all what it’s like.
Do you run barefoot? If you don’t, I want you to try it. Be safe though. Maybe just trot around in a nice field but make mental notes as to how you feel.
I’m afraid that I’m hooked.