I don’t usually write about things that are posted exclusively in the GORUCK Tough Facebook group. That being said this announcement has leaked to other places on the internet so here we are.
The GORUCK Cadre Reunion Tough & Light challenges happened last weekend which was, what Jason calls, “a return to the form of the early days of GORUCK.” According to Jason it was raw, brutal, and kicked off with a 6 hour welcome party. Everyone knew the Cadre Reunion event would be a tough one and that kind of just cements in there how special it was.
One thing to note is that none of this is 100% official until you see it updated on the GORUCK Events website. Jason has previously used the GORUCK Tough Facebook Group to get input on ideas so, as with all things, he’s completely within his right to go back on, or not do, any of these things.
GORUCK Light Now GORUCK Basic?
The following quote is from Jason’s post on the GORUCK Tough Facebook Group.
The “Light” is going away in 2021. There will be a Tough, a Heavy, and a “Basic” to replace the Light (same-ish length, more bang for your buck). And for Basic, the weight standards are the same as with the other two Challenges – 30#/20#.Jason McCarthy, GORUCK Tough Facebook Group
So the GORUCK Light is going away and there’s going to be a new event called GORUCK Basic. Here’s a quick history on the GORUCK Light. When the GORUCK Light first rolled out it was essentially a 5 – 9 hour Tough with less weight. After the first year or so of GORUCK Light events Jason put out a blog post about how the Lights are supposed to be fun and going forward they will be. That has been the case for years where Light challenges, for the most part, have been more obtainable. Now it seems like the pendulum is swinging the other direction with Lights being replaced with the tougher “Basic” event.
I don’t know what this means for anyone currently signed up for a 2021 GORUCK Light event but you’ll probably find out when/if GORUCK goes forward with this and makes an official announcement. Weights will be changing so I’m sure they’ll be contacting people currently registered for events.
Intro to Rucking Events
We have a lot of other events now, Cloverleaf and Star Courses, which are a lot more defined for your ability to manage your own pain, and train for it. Show up and do the miles, do the work.Jason McCarthy, GORUCK Tough Facebook Group
The GORUCK Light event originally felt like a introduction to GORUCK for people not sure they could manage the Tough. It was also a fun event for people who just wanted something easier. It’s important to remember that the Light wasn’t always around… at first it was only the Challenge (rebranded to the Tough) then eventually the Heavy and the Light. Now that GORUCK has Cloverleaf and Star Course events do they still need the Light to ease people into the Challenge style events? I’m not sure… and there’s probably going to be a lot of discussion around this.
The thing that drew me to GORUCK back in 2011 was how difficult, challenging, and unknown it was. It sounds like the GORUCK Challenge (aka Heavy, Tough,
Light Basic) will all be scaled up in the pain department. If you’re looking for something on the lighter side then there’s the Cloverleaf and Star Course events… which is how GORUCK is now introducing people to rucking.
Please don’t bug or email GORUCK about any of these changes until they’re on GORUCK’s website. If you want to give Jason some feedback the proper venue is definitely his post in the GORUCK Tough Facebook Group.
Just in case you came here for my take on this here it is. I should also mention that it’s subject to change as I think more about this and consider more perspectives.
I was never disappointed with the difficulty or length of the early day GORUCK Light events. They were always at, or past, 5 hours and always a healthy dose of pain. In the past few years I’ve had GORUCK Light events come in at under 3 hours and under 4 hours… I’ve also had longer ones but that was never the case in “the earlier days.” I know you can always make events more difficult by shouldering more weight but you can’t really make events longer. I guess you could do a bunch of PT in the parking lot after endex but that’s not really the point unless you’re looking for the Cadre Handsome Mike patch. I’m excited for a tougher event in the time frame of a Light. I’m also excited for a more standardized
Light Basic experience. I’m not thrilled on the name change from Light to Basic… does that mean if you complete a Tough / Basic you’ve finished TB instead of TL? Shoutout to Derek for that 😅.
In the most recent State of GORUCK Jason mentioned that event numbers are down so I can see why they wouldn’t have both Light and Basic events living next to each other. With the way GORUCK silos their events it makes sense to put the shortest Challenge event more in line with the other events in the Challenge category. With this change it sounds like there should be more consistency within that GORUCK Challenges event silo.
I still feel like there’s a place in GORUCK’s event framework for more approachable events and that seems to be filled with Cloverleaf and the Star Course. My only complaint here is that there’s so few Cloverleaf and Sprint Series Star Course events on the calendar for 2021 that hardly anyone will be able to experience them. I emailed GORUCK about getting a Cloverleaf for our area and was shot down immediately. I really hope that there are more of these events on their way for 2021.
This is a pretty big announcement to digest and I’d love to hear your thoughts on these changes in the comments below.