A small preface to this AAR: I have completed four GRCs and one GR Heavy. I train a good deal with TRVLSQD and know my way around these types of events. It’s hard to take the smile off of my face and I generally look at everything in the most positive way possible. This was the first GORUCK event I’ve done with my wife which really put an interesting spin on it.
I used my GORUCK GR1 for the event. This bag has been with me through all of the GORUCK Challenges I’ve done to date and is still holding strong. I wore a standard race tee that I received from a local 5k which held up well. I used the dry bags that I own and they kept my food and clothing perfectly dry. For pants I wore the Triple Aught Design Force 10 AC pants and they protected my knees from all of the sharp rocks in the water. For shoes I wore the same Merrell Ventilator Mid boots that I wore during GORUCK Heavy.
Training for GORUCK Light
I came into this event after completing GORUCK Heavy and a Half Ironman triathlon. I didn’t do much GORUCK specific training but I fit in enough TRVLSQD training between GORUCK Heavy and GORUCK Light to have a great time.
GORUCK Light 067
“Front, back, front, feet, back, front…” and so it continued. Within twenty seconds of Cadre John AKA “Big Daddy” showing up to GORUCK Light 067 he was already issuing commands. The 59 people of Class 067 flopped around on the ground until Big Daddy stopped talking. We formed up in six rows of ten (or so) and listened to him give the opening speech. Turns out this “Light” challenge we all signed up for was going to be a bit more. During roll call my wife’s name was not called. When he gathered the names up for people not on the list he asked Katie (my wife) if she had any relation to me. She said “Yes” and he replied that she was probably going to wish she wasn’t pretty soon. That’s when I knew things were about to get awesome real quickly. After completing roll call we did some PT right in front of the Space Needle (with the Space Needle staff looking around in confusion) then headed out for our adventure.
We didn’t make it 300 feet before Cadre John stopped us and informed us that we were doing it very, very wrong. He had noted in his speech that you must stay within an arm’s length of the person in front of you. Some people weren’t following this and when you don’t follow rules at GORUCK you get to experience some PT.
After the one hundred four-count flutter kicks we were off! But within 50 feet we were stopped again because there were still people unsure about the arm’s length rule. No problem… just move up to the grass and prepare for more PT. And by more I mean 45 minutes worth. Cadre John had a nicely prepared laminated card of workouts that we were blessed to be able to work through. The worst, by far, would be the multiple sets of 100 four-count flutter kicks. After this session my ABs were on fire… which is something I was not expecting.
We headed out yet again to continue on our mission… which we were probably half an hour late to at this point.
Our destination was a park on the water… a park I knew very well from GORUCK Heavy. This was the first location during GORUCK Heavy that Big Daddy made us get in the water and I expected some more water fun again. However, before we could make it to a park we had to wait for a VERY long train to pass. We all know that only lazy people wait for trains by standing around talking… people in GORUCK events pass this kind of time with flutter kicks.
Back on track we made it to the water where I was indeed correct… we would be entering. Most GRC and GRL events involve the following when it comes to water: enter the water, perform some pushups and flutter kicks, leave the water. Big Daddy has his own ideas when it comes to water and he made sure to share them with us.
One of my favorite memories of GORUCK Heavy is when we got down to the beach Big Daddy was already in the water performing some amazing water to land infiltration move. When we got down to the beach here Big Daddy was already in the water swimming around with the crabs and fishes. This is one thing I love about this cadre… he’ll get into the water with you and stay the whole time. There’s something so awesome about seeing him in there before everyone else and I wish I had a picture of that. Instead I have this badass picture of him and a giant seaweed monster.
We were tasked with performing “I’m up, he sees me, I’m down” in the water ten times in a row. Turns out we couldn’t perform that together enough so we had to complete it 25 more times. I mentioned at the beginning that my wife was doing the event with me. My wife HATES the cold ocean water which is what made me nervous here. I made sure to check up on her after the water area to make sure she wasn’t getting hypothermic or anything. Personally I could have stayed in there all day but I’m weird like that.
After the “I’m up, he sees me, I’m down” exercises we had to swim out to John, turn around, and swim back. We repeated that about 10 times then were allowed to exit the water… only to be told to return for a nice long class picture.
When we finally got out of the water most people were cold and uncertain. This was supposed to be a “nice” and “light” event but it was quickly turning into a cold suck-fest. Before we could leave the beach we had to take another picture of the huge team.
Before we left the beach we were tasked with carrying three large logs. In addition to this everyone who had completed a GORUCK Heavy event was tasked with carrying their own “special” log. Cadre John was handing them out like Santa hands out presents on Christmas.
Our next task was to get to the Church of Scientology building in Seattle. Like with all things we had a time hack. I don’t remember what the exact time hack was but I remember laughing to myself because it would have been doable if I were alone… but with 59 people I knew it wouldn’t be possible. Sure enough we didn’t make it in time (we actually walked right past the place) and had to put up with some more PT. This was a real special workout though because one group had the logs and the other was doing body weight + ruck workouts then they switched. We were in this parking lot for a good half hour I’d guess but by this point my sense of time was kind of disappearing.
From there we went to the International Fountain in Seattle which was fairly close to where we started. This was about three hours into the event (maybe a little more)… an event that is marketed as running four to five hours. Some people were getting excited because they thought that we were close to being done. I, on the other hand, have experienced these and knew much, much better. At GORUCK they ensure you get your moneys worth. And by moneys worth I mean in terms of hours per dollars you are getting the BEST deal with GORUCK events.
From the fountain we quickly trekked up Queen Anne hill, through Queen Anne (stopping for some inch work pushups in a park) and down the other side into Fremont. At the top of Queen Anne is where Big Daddy took all of our food (except one piece) and put it in a huge sack. This surprised a lot of people but those who had done Heavy knew it was kind of his standard operating procedure. This sack of food turned in to the most delicious smelling team weight I have ever experienced. I had put a huge back of Skittles in there and their amazing smell was coming right through.
It was also in this stretch that Big Daddy made me a casualty and I was placed into an ACRT soaked litter. We were originally given this litter at the beginning of the event but didn’t really know what to do with it. We ended up storing empty ACRT cans in there and recycling them when we were able to. This is what I got to lay in.
That made me smell excellent for the remainder of the event. This portion of the event was when we started to mesh better as a team. We were making great time and people were subbing in and off of logs appropriately. This is also where Big Daddy started talking about a place called Green Lake. For those of you who don’t know Green Lake is an amazing park about four hours from where we were. We’ve had a few TRVLSQD events there and it’s always a blast because they have high-dives and other diving boards. I was kind of hoping we were actually going but the other half of me knew that if we got there it would push this into a VERY long event.
From Fremont we ended up heading east towards Eastlake then south towards the starting point. We didn’t meet our time hack (again) and had to do some amazing crab walks and bear crawls along the water. It was here where we had someone puke up a bit into the water. I didn’t really know what was happening because my back was to him but I could hear it. Lots and lots of puke. I was convinced that he was going to drop but he toughed it out. That was awesome and inspirational to see someone rally from that. Because we didn’t make our time hack to the Eastlake location we had to keep 14 causalities for the remaining mile and a half to the end point.
This made for a long ruck with a ton of “slinky effect.” Lots of starts and stops were brutalizing the team but we kept pushing forward. When we finally made it back to the fountain we spent some quality time exercising (flutter kicks, jumping jacks, and pushups) with a HUGE crowd watching then received our patches.
After all of these the event was finally over and we were all able to relax.
I’d like to give a huge thanks to Gametiime for coming out and taking a ton of pictures. I’d also like to thank our two awesome shadows for supplying us with some much needed ACRT and taking our pictures as well.
Overall this event was tough as nails. Big Daddy came out and delivered a GORUCK Light event for the ages. It totaled 12.9 miles over 8 hours and 2 minutes which greatly exceeded the 4 – 5 hours and 7 – 10 miles. Most of the newbies were not ready for this but everyone made it through which is awesome. I’m proud to say that I’m now part of the GORUCK Light community and completed this event with class 067.