Bryce Mahoney is a fellow GRT and the current director of the Darby Project. He completed his first GORUCK event in October of 2017 which was a Mogadishu Mile Tough.
I’m a huge fan of virtual events and when I found out about Run Ranger Run I thought it would be great to chat with Bryce and possibly have him on the podcast.
During this interview we talk about Bryce’s first GORUCK event, how he became the director for the Darby Project, and what to expect with the Run Ranger Run virtual event.
- GORUCK & Rucking Glossary
- GORUCK Ruck Clubs
- F3 Nation
- Gallant Few
- The Darby Project
- Run Ranger Run
- Tim Ferriss “Tribe of Mentors”
- Sam Harris “Lying”
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Brian: I’m here talking with Bryce Mahoney who is the director for the Darby Project, and I’m very excited that he’s here today talking with me. We’re going to talk about his first GORUCK event, because he is a GRT and from the community. His role in the Darby Project and what the Darby Project does, and then we’re going to talk about Run Ranger Run, which is a virtual team event that lasts for the entire month of February. So I’m very excited to have Bryce here with me today. Bryce, how are you doing?
Bryce: I am doing well, Brian. Thank you for having me on the show.
Brian: Absolutely. It’s my pleasure. Before we get started talking about your first GORUCK event, do you want to tell the audience a little bit about yourself?
Bryce: Absolutely. My name is Bryce Mahoney. I’m originally from Virginia Beach, Virginia. I joined the military back in February 2001, served till 2007. When I got out of the military and move back to North Carolina to join up the family construction business and did that for a little while and moved up to Raleigh a couple of years later and have been here ever since, and got into rucking in the military and found F3 in 2012, and it was just really the resource that I needed to be at. So very thankful that I found F3 and the rucking community.
Brian: That’s awesome. Your first GORUCK event, was that custom F3 event?
Bryce: Yes, it was actually. It was this year’s Mogadishu Mile. I believe that’s a Tough event. I think we did it October 3rd, that the actual day of the Black Hawk Down event in Somalia, and what an amazing event it was. I mean, not only to be a part of that and to be asked to come out and share the experience with the F3 Raleigh guys, but I got to hear firsthand from Clay who was a Somali veteran and it just really solidified how important that fateful day in 1993 was in military history, and I consider myself to be pretty up-to-date and up to speed on that whole story, but listening to him and just kind of hearing his insight, they really made the event even more better than it was. Just to see the guys — This is a 12 hour, 20 mile event. There were times when the guys were really sucking and it was great to see a community and a group of men come together and lean on each other and make it through the whole thing. He was a guy that was pretty ready to quit halfway through and they helped him get over the hump and he finished with all of us. So I’m just proud and honored to be a part of that one.
Brian: That’s great, and t’s really incredible, I think, what GORUCK has done with those Mogadishu Mile events. Bringing out the veterans to talk at the start of them, and it’s just been, I think, really well-received this past year especially. So very cool that you’re able to make it out to one of those.
Would you say it was tough signing up for the first one? You were in the military for — Was it six years? So you are getting paid to ruck and now you’re essentially paying to ruck. Was it tough to get out and get signed up for that?
Bryce: It was at first and I’ll have to be honest. I didn’t pay for that event. The cadre actually let me, I guess, I’ll say audit the event, because I was a Ranger in the military, so I guess I got a free pass for that one. But the idea of getting out there and to do 20 miles to most people would probably be a little bit sadistic and crazy. But to be honest, to me, rucking has been one of my biggest coping mechanisms for the struggles that I had after leaving the military. Mostly we put a lot of terms into posttraumatic stress and these things. I don’t consider myself to have posttraumatic stress. I consider myself to have separation anxiety. If I was part of the very tightknit community in the military that was driven by more than just money, it was pride in it was acceptance of mission. When I left the military I, I lost that community and it was devastating to me. I didn’t think about that when I was leaving the military. I didn’t think that I would be leaving. I would be ripping out a part of my soul and leaving it where I was. I’m like I won’t even think two words. I won’t even think two thoughts about these groups of people. I’m just ready to go and I felt empty inside, and it wasn’t until probably late 2008. I had veteran buddy that was working with me. We just decided to go do like a 35 mile hike in the mountains, in the Smokies in North Carolina.
I just remember during the trip, it just sucked so bad, but like that embracement of that suck is what kind of help me get out of my own head and really focus on just what was right in front of me, the next step, and I was able to forget about all my family problems and my business problems and how upset I was at leaving the military incorrectly.
I remember when we got done, it was just kind of like, “All right, cool. We know we’re going to do that again.” Really, it turned into this reoccurring hiking trip that me and him would go on and had some other friends go on it. I did a couple by myself and it’s just been amazing to find a community of people that want to do that kind of thing. You ask the average guy like, “Hey, do you want to go walk 15 to 25 miles?” They just give you this look of like, “Are you kidding me? I drive that distance. I don’t walk that distance.”
To find that group was of men that are willing to go do that with you, it was the light at the end of the tunnel that I was hoping was going to be there. I’m still — Just every day that I get into that community, it just recharges and re-energizes me to continue to do it.
Brian: That’s really, really well said. When you show up to an F3 workout, you’re with a group of guys who are willing to wake up at 5:45 in the morning, so you have that — Already, that collective mentality there. When you show up to a GORUCK event, you’re with people who went to the GORUCK website, said, “This looks like a good idea,” and signed up. So you’ve got that. You’re already with a group of people who are on the same track of thought as you. So it’s great to find those connections, and I’m definitely glad that you did.
Bryce: Yes, I am. Like I tell people, “F3 saved my life.” I go back to that loss of community and I’m thankful that my buddy emotionally head locked me out to my first workout and thankfully Dread was there at that workout as well and he’s the one that bestowed the name Darby on me, which is kind of foreshadowing, because I got that name in 2012, and here many years later, I’m now running an organization called the Darby Project. So it’s funny I like to think of this as I am my own project. My transition from the military and my struggles are exactly what I’m trying to prevent the next generation and the generations after them from happening to them, because it doesn’t have to be this way. We can make the change and we can set guys up for success for when the inevitable day that they leave the military and welcome them in communities like this and just ensure that they are mentally alert, physically strong and, through the group, morally straight, just as it says in the Ranger Creed. It’s one of the things that we typically kind of discard when we get out of the military, like we like to think that we follow the creed, but life tends to get in the way and we make decisions that aren’t conducive to that creed. I’ve been thankful that my F3 community has held me accountable on many accounts when I didn’t want to follow that.
So it’s just been an amazing transformation and something that I’m readily available and willing to express and tell everybody, every man that I come in contact with of, “Hey, you need to get out of this. You need to find this community where you live,” and just show up one day. That’s all I care. Just once, and I guarantee you’ll get hooked, or if you don’t, maybe it just wasn’t for you at that time, but you at least gave me the one chance of trying it out, because I’ll tell you, you’re going to find a community of guys that are willing to break their backs for you, and it just doesn’t exist out in normal society anymore. I look at F3 as that beacon of light, that’d be the change we wish to see. They are doing it. We, as the community, are exhibiting that change, and I’m just so proud to be a part of it.
Brian: That’s awesome, and this podcast will be airing in around the middle of January. So if you’re listening to this and you feel like you need that sense of community or your New Year’s resolutions, we’re two weeks in, they’re not going the way you expected and you want to be surrounded by a group of people who are generally very positive in nature. If you’re a guy, do check out F3. If you don’t feel like F3 would be for you, there’s tons of ruck clubs, tons of supportive rucking groups throughout the entire United States. We’ll have links in the show notes for both those, the ruck clubs and for F3 so that you can get tied in with some community that will help hold you accountable and make 2018 definitely a great year for you.
Bryce: Yeah. I would just add too that anybody listening, you decide your own level of involvement. This isn’t a community that’s going to come and hold your hand. In life, it isn’t about handholding. It is making a decision to be a part of something and it isn’t going to be convenient all the time, just like it was 4° this morning. That is last — Like I don’t want to work out in those temperatures, but people are counting on me to be out there, and there’re days when I want to fark sack and it’s just like, “Oh man!” but I can’t, because my brother is expecting me to be there. I would just encourage everybody. It’s not always going to be pretty and it’s not always going to be what you want to do, but once you do it, you’re going to be glad that you did.
Brian: Absolutely. There’s just something about those blankets of 5 AM where they’re especially warm in the bed is double comfortable. It’s tough to get out, but that feeling after a solid workout in the morning while everyone is still sleeping and you know the you’ve already done something amazing in your day before the sun is even up, before people are even up. It’s just an awesome way to start the day.
Bryce: Yeah, I have been reading Tim Ferriss’ Tribe of Mentors somebody got for me for Christmas. An amazing book, and there was a quote in there that I’m going to start using. It basically said, after something physical like F3 at 5:45 in the morning, you can basically look at the rest of your day as nothing is going to be as hard as what you just did, and it’s just something about getting up in the morning, doing PT, getting those endorphins running, getting your blood moving. I noticed a significant difference in my day when I go to F3 and I workout, when I don’t. When I don’t, I’m groggy, I’m pissed and I’m always regretful of not posting or not doing something that morning, and that’s just kind of building on the community aspect. When you have people holding you accountable, it just makes it easier to break through those barriers and get out of those warm comforters and detach from your warm M and get out there and embraces suck as a community together.
Brian: Absolutely. I’ve heard really good things about the book. I might have to grab it one of these days.
Bryce: I’ll tell you — I mean, and especially for me, as a veteran I feel that veterans typically kind of latch on to other veterans in success platforms, and it’s just really encouraging to read. This book is really just a Q&A that Tim Ferriss sent out to hundreds of people from all walks of life and have them answer these questions. It can really solidify your train of thought, your way of life, and it’s just an amazing to read the kind of the thought process behind some of the most brilliant people on the planet that aren’t veterans. It helps me break out as that very comfortable bubble of looking at other veterans that are successful and looking at what realms their successes in. I like hearing from business people that have had major successes that have kind of not thrown it away, but just kind of given it all up to really — To kind of turn inward, and they become writers or other things like that where they just kind of see the significance in the little things, and it’s comforting that that’s kind of taking place and that you look at a world that’s just so fast and so quick moving, and here today and forgotten tomorrow, that these people are just really slowing down and going — It’s just this concentrated messages, chill. Just focus on what’s good, focus what’s in front of you, discard what’s not valuable, and life is going to be good. Yeah, I would completely recommend getting that book.
Brian: I mean, in a world where social media; Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, just everything’s coming a million miles an hour. Everything’s only speeding up. So I know personally I find the days that I enjoy the most, and I think back on our days where I’m probably furthest from my phone or I get a longer workout in.
I know Tim Ferriss, it was the end of last year that he did. Was it a week in silence, where he meditated in he didn’t talk for an entire week? I think he had Jacko take over his podcast for that week. But is is a four days or a week? But I mean for someone who’s so popular within the space that he’s in, to take an entire — Even if it was just two days or four days, but to take anything more than a couple hours for meditation and to be silent, I mean he’s missing a lot that’s going on, but it just shows how important that is.
Bryce: Yeah, exactly, and Tim Ferriss, he’s definitely out there, but he is what I call a master learner. In a world of kind of having to label yourself or project yourself in this professional aspect of the pecking order of things, like if more people could continue the mindset of always be learning, I think it would just help our society have a lot more empathy and a lot more humility within themselves. I feel that we’re so quick to kind of shot other people off in their ideas, in their thought process, because we’re afraid their pecking order is going to be above ours. There’s just so much knowledge out there to learn from people, and I like that in this book too, it talks about it’s not always about what to do. The greatest lesson my dad ever taught me was you take two things from every experience. What to do and what not to do, and that what not to do is just as important as the what to do, because it is one of these things that we don’t look at our failures as a learning experience. We just look at them as this like burning fire that we shouldn’t touch, and I feel like the more people fail, that the more they should be learning from those failures, and we all could take the time to really adjust and see the value in that. I feel that we would be a lot tighter as a community and as a population, I think.
Brian: Yeah, absolutely. And I think one of the big pieces of that is accepting failure and knowing that failure is not necessarily a bad thing, even though it’s in society it’s always treated as the worst thing that can happen is failure, but some of the biggest learning moments have been from failures that I’ve had personally. So it’s always important to embrace it.
If you’re listening to this and you’re failing at something you do, you can always turn that into at least a somewhat positive spin by analyzing what happened. Figure out why something failed and how to turn it around, and even if you are not able to turn this one around, then you can at least learn from it and prevent it from happening again. There’s always a learning opportunity, and I think it’s incredibly important to be open to always that continuous improvement. Just always learning and always trying to improve yourself.
Bryce: Completely. Honestly, truth be told, I would not be anywhere near where I am today had I not failed miserably, and it is really focused around my first marriage and the kind of person I was in the military and then after the military. I wasn’t like I was outwardly lying. It was I just was a dishonest person. I was omitting information.
Another great book out there, real small one by Sam Harris, is a book called Lying. It really explains the definition of lying, lies of admission and then lies of omission, and I feel like we are omitting liars more so than we are admitting liars, and had I not completely failed in that marriage, I mean I lost everything. I lost all finances, house, custody of children, and had I not lost that in beginning of 2012, I wouldn’t be the person I am today, because that failure showed me, made me incredibly humble to where I was. I lived on a friend of mine’s couch for 8 months, reinvented myself. It was really after reading that book, Lying, that I just turned everything around and learned from that experience and became a better man, re-dedicated my life to Christ, and that was the pivotal moment of realizing that it’s when we lose everything, we’re free to do anything. That moment was the snapping of the chain, like I am not connected, I am not tied down to this life and I can do anything that I put my mind to that I realistically think about and I plan and I learn from the failures and I just keep trying in the best way possible to get where I’m going and learn to deviate when I’m not doing the right thing. But just to kind of have a core value and go with it.
Sometimes the hardest part is us taking that first step. Just like these GORUCK events, the hardest part is signing up, and the hardest part about F3 is showing up to your first workout and getting past that intimidation factor of, “Man! These guys —” You go to some F3 workouts and these guys are like borderline professional athletes. They’re so physically fit. I consider myself to be pretty physically fit and sometimes I’m intimidated by their workouts. So I can understand where your average sad clown isn’t too stoked about going out to one of these workouts, but I can’t reiterate enough just how much of an impact it made. I would continually encourage every man to do it.
Brian: The only time it’s too late to make a change is when you’re dead. So if you’re listening to this and you’re alive, you can change anything you want to change.
Bryce: It will be all right in the end, and if it’s not all right, it’s not the end.
Brian: That’s right. This has been awesome. You’re the director for the Darby Project. When did this happen? When did you become the director for the Darby Project?
Bryce: I became director October 2016. Little background on the Darby Project, the Darby Project is the Ranger division of GallantFew, which is a larger veteran service organization that encompasses all branches, all military, all time frames. Darby Project is just a little bit more concentrated on the Ranger community. When I say Ranger, that’s anybody that’s graduated from U.S. Army Ranger school or been a member of the 75th Ranger Regiment. I’ve been the director for about a year and three months now, and what a ride it’s been. From when I started to now, it’s just been an amazing journey.
Brian: That’s awesome. How did you get involved?
Bryce: I got involved with the Darby Project as a volunteer at first. GallantFew has been around for — Going on six years, seven years now, and it was started by Carl Monger, who is Ranger as well, and a couple of years after kind of noticed that there needed to be a little bit of division, because true to form, Rangers typically talk to Ranger. So the Darby Project was born and it was run at first by Grant McKerry, and this was three years ago. But Grant had — I have full-time job and Carl was busy growing GallantFew, so it just kind of ran stagnant for a little while and it changed when Grant’s commitment level, he couldn’t take it anymore. Switched over to another director, and along the same lines, other aspirations and no faults of their. Just it wasn’t the biggest priority for them.
Around that time I had gotten involved locally here in Raleigh. I wanted to do more Ranger kind of link ups. The Rangers are well known for gathering in masses. They do monthly breakfasts around the country in areas where there are large concentrations of Rangers, like Fort Bragg and Seattle and Savannah and Columbus, Georgia, and Washington, D.C. and another places like that. Kind of going back to that hiking and outdoor activities, I saw the value from going in doing those activities back in 2009 and 2010 and I just started putting more events on the schedule. I’ve been a surfer since I was five, so I would plan the surf link ups and ask, “Hey guys, do you want to come out and surf?” And if people wanted to come and they didn’t have boards, I would let them use my surfboards or we’d rent long boards or I had some local friends down at the beach lend their. I’m an avid rock climber and I got guys out on the rocks and got them there and just any outdoor activity that I did. I just kind of tried to rally other veterans out there just to kind of show them the impact that it was making for me and to really solidify and validate why I was doing in the first place.
Just the benefit behind most of these activities is its mindlessness. When you’re 60 feet up on a rock face, you’re not thinking about what you’re having for dinner or the problems you have in your life. You’re thinking about your disco legs that are shaking underneath of you and getting up to the top of the routes. When you’re sitting out in the water on a surfboard and the wave comes and you’re riding that, you’re not thinking about the bad things going on in your life. You’re just in the stoke, and when you’re done on a wave, it’s like a drug. You just want to get back out there and you want to do it again and again and again and again.
These are quick, easy things for people that live around these particular sports and hobbies that you can get into for relatively low cost, and it’s just a way to kind of disconnect from your own head for a little while.
I saw Darby Project and I saw what it was trying to do, so I kind of piggybacked on and started a Raleigh North Carolina Darby Project chapter and posted a couple of local events, just bar link ups and breakfast and things like that. Around September of 2016, they messaged me and said, “Hey, what would it take for you to be the full-time director of the Darby Project? We noticed the necessity of having a full-time person in charge of this, and what would it take for you?” I remember thinking like a pulse, “I’d love to do this.”
Over the month of September with my Ranger buddies kind of helping me out with recommendations, and I had an interview with Carl, and I drove from Raleigh up to Washington, D.C. to interview with the interim director at the time, Duke Durkin, and just getting their sign off on it. It was amazing to see the support I was getting for this particular position.
So I started October 1st of last year and I’ve hit the ground running in and we’ve made advancements, leaps and bounds, and even though it might seem like we’ve come so far, we have so far to go, and I’m really stoked to be able to have my passion be my profession. That is just one thing that not a lot of people get to do and I wake up every day thankful that I get to do this. I get to help other rangers. I get to help other veterans not go through the same hell that I went through getting out of the military.
Brian: That’s absolutely incredible. That’s amazing, and I’m so glad that that worked out for you. That’s awesome. Man! That’s awesome. That’s just an incredible story.
Bryce: Yeah, I can’t believe it.
Brian: That’s awesome. They have a full-time director. I mean, we talked about this a bit previously, but it really takes someone pouring their heart and soul into nonprofit work full-time for everything to truly succeed, and when those competing priorities and people are doing either a part-time or for free. It’s just tough to get that forward progression that you’re really trying to achieve. Like you said, every time you complete one task, that you just learned that there’re two more tasks that need to be done from the completion of that one and it’s never-ending.
Brian: It’s always more to do. You think you’ve hit the top and you realize there is a lot more to go.
Bryce: Right. I mean, ask my family. They’ll tell you. I pour my heart and soul into this. There is nothing more important to me than this being successful. It takes just a different kind of person to want to do this. I guess do I get paid to do it? Yes. Do we have operating cost? Absolutely. The things that we’re doing, they cost money, and I’m very thankful that we have a support base that sees what we’re doing. It sees our mission and wants to support it. If we weren’t making a difference, they wouldn’t be supporting us, and I would completely understand why they don’t.
It is one of these things that — Like it isn’t sexy. I’m not going on awesome veteran vacations with other veteran service organizations and going scuba diving or getting free gear and all these kind of stuff. I’m talking rangers, I’m talking veterans out of suicide and I’m having to hear some of the most people with stellar military backgrounds just completely falling apart and just in other depths of substance abuse. What is the problem with the veteran community? What do I see happening? Disconnection, isolation, self-medication, and it’s tough listening to that, because I take this so seriously, that when guys are in trouble, I’m in trouble. I feel their pain. I understand what they’re going through, and sometimes I feel the way that some guys kind of talk to me. Sometimes I feel like guys think I’m some retired four-star general that’s making six figures and had a cushy transition and went straight from the military into this job. I suffered just like the other veterans. Homelessness, check; broke, check; lost custody, check. Like all that stuff, and it’s so — I hate to say gratifying or amazing, but like when they finally get it — Like I hear sometimes, and like you don’t understand, and then I give them my story and they’re like, “Wow! I didn’t know that you were at that level,” and it’s just reassuring. Like, “Hey man, I was where you were, and I can help you come out of that, but you got to get out of your own way. A thousand hands are reaching for you and you won’t reach for them.”
I take it so seriously sometimes and my wife — Like I said, my wife will tell you. It gets in the way of my family sometimes, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. If I wasn’t as passionate about this, it wouldn’t be to the level that it is.
Brian: I think this is really important before we get into Run Ranger Run, but how can people get in contact with the Darby Project? Where can they find you? Where can they reach out to the Darby Project?
Bryce: You can reach the Darby Project, you can find us at darbyproject.org. You can find us at gallantfew.org, which I’m sure, Brian, you’ll put these links up for people to find.
Bryce: I’m Facebook, I’m on Instagram, I’m on Twitter. F3 Darby is my twitter name. Mahoney Mo Problems is my Instagram name. Bryce Mahoney. It’s a big old fat picture of my face on Facebook. I’m all over social media. You can contact us on our websites, but honestly that’s honestly the hardest part, is reaching out, raising your hand and saying, “I’m in trouble. I need help. Can someone help me?”
Anybody listening, if you’re struggling, it doesn’t even matter if you’re a Ranger or not. If you’re veteran, reach out to me. I will talk to you. I will put you in the right hands of somebody that can help you get through what you’re going through.
Brian: Thank you, and it’s just amazing that the Darby Project has someone just as passionate and incredible as you as a director. They’re very lucky.
Bryce: It’s definitely a team effort. Carl, my boss, he motivates me every single day with what he’s doing. My two IC with the Darby Project, Leslie, she handles a lot of the backend stuff where all the fancy posts and pictures and things that we have, that’s not me, that’s her. I can’t emphasize the team effort more, but just having a group of people that are motivated as is the GallantFew team is.
We also have — Sorry, I didn’t mention this, but we have a Marine entity as well called the Raider Project, and they’re another resource. If you’re a Marine, you’re MARSOCk, raiderproject.org. That’s another group that’s like — There are days like anybody. Man, there are days that just sucks, like this job sucks, and I look at what they are doing. I look at what Carl is doing and turns that around for me and I’m like, “Bigger picture. Today’s going to suck. Tomorrow’s going to be great,” and I ball that day up. I learned from the mistake and I drive on. I wouldn’t be able to do that without a team. I’m a pretty driven guy. I’m pretty happy, but I wouldn’t be anywhere where I am today without that team, for sure.
Brian: It’s interesting, I mean you can take the most driven individual, but when they’re coupled with a team, there’s just some you added boost that comes from that. When you’re with people who are as passionate as you are and the ideas start going and — I don’t know. It kind of comes back to F3 and it comes back to GORUCK events, and just when you’re with a group of people and a team, you just get so much more done.
Bryce: Completely. One of my idols or I guess I don’t know if idols is the right term, but just I really resonate with his mindset of what it was, but Chris McCandless, he coined the phrase, “Happiness is only real when it’s shared,” and I completely agree with that. I’m a person that froths on engagement of other people. My wife will tell you that I am a massive eavesdropper. If I want to be in a conversation that I hear at another dinner table or on the bus or wherever we are, I’m getting into that conversation. That’s my energy. That’s what recharges me, is just meeting other people and being receptive to what they’re saying and hearing their story and talking with them. You just never know what you’re going to find out there if you’re not open to just being a part of something bigger and allowing yourself to be a part of a bigger community.
Brian: That’s awesome and it’s so true. It’s so true. Speaking of community and getting involved, it seems a great segue into Run Ranger Run.
Bryce: Yes, I think so.
Brian: Would you like to introduce the event? Is this is the sixth year?
Bryce: This is the sixth year. Yes, it is.
Brian: So it’s an established event. It’s been around for six years. Would you like to introduce it? What the challenge entails? What the teams are like and just how everything works?
Bryce: Absolutely. Yeah. So Run Ranger Run is the GallantFew community. When I say that, it’s GallantFew, Darby Project, Raider Project. It’s our annual awareness and fundraiser campaign. It’s how we raise our operating costs for the year, the message of what we do, and it’s a very simple concept. Teams of 10 located anywhere in the world collectively pledged to run, walk, skip, hop, whatever movement-wise 565 miles from February 1st to February 28th.
Doing that as a team, that works out to about 56-1/2 miles per person, two miles a day. What that does is that raises awareness for what the GallantFew community does and facilitating our mission, which is helping facilitate a successful transition from active duty to civilian life filled with hope and purpose. That’s the GallantFew community mission.
Those teams of 10 can pledge to raise funds, and I’ve gotten a lot of questions about, “Well, is it — Are you having people pledge per mile, or what is it?” It’s really the up to the individual and the team to create a pledged amount. Let’s say $565 for per team. When you sign up, you’re given a personal link and a team link and you share that link with your social media following, your family and friends and they can go on and donate $5, $20, $500. It doesn’t matter. Anybody that does the event or pledges amount of money and doesn’t raise it, no worries it. It doesn’t matter if you don’t meet your pledge goal. I cannot stress enough that just participating in Run Ranger Run facilitates us raising awareness, and your participation equals the awareness. If that connects one veteran with GallantFew, then that’s a win for us.
So the registration for Run Ranger Run has been open since October. This is year number six and we just continually grow. I think we’re like 140% over where we were last year at this time with sign-ups. My goal this year is to have maximum participation across the board. I think we had 214 teams last year. I would really like to see 300 teams sign up this year and run the miles.
Brian: That’s phenomenal. That’s just incredible growth. Congratulations. So Run Ranger Run, it’s a team event, 10 person teams. If you’re listen to this and you’ve got a ruck club or you’ve got an F3 group, this sounds like a great opportunity to get some extra miles in over February.
Bryce: Absolutely. So this is actually the second year that we have done the F3 Darby challenge. This is kind of an internal challenge for the F3 community within Run Ranger Run. We had two teams last year sign up and they raised over $1,000 for the event, which was awesome. I think this year we already have four teams established for F3. We’ve got one in the Pacific Northwest. We’ve got two in North Carolina and one in Virginia, I believe, but even that growth has been amazing. It’s just an opportunity to engage a community like F3. These guys — Two miles a day for F3 is not — That’s at the drop in the hat, and guys that are getting prepared for the Palmetto 200 or the next Blue Ridge Relay, these are the miles that you’re already doing.
Really trying to spark the interest within the F3 community. A little spoiler alert, we’ll be making an F3 Derby challenge patch for everybody that participates this year. Pretty excited that to just continually grow the commitment level within the F3 community. I see guys supporting events all the time through other venues. So it is my hopes that more guys will want to get involved with this, and especially now, I’ve seen — It’s kind of interesting, I’ve seen the growth of rucking specifically over the last year within F3. Truth be told, I’m not a distance runner anymore, and rucking to me actually kind of — I enjoy to ruck more than I do to run, and it’s really awesome to see the rucking communities kind of pop up there too. This will be in another opportunity for guys to get more miles in, because Run Ranger Run is something that your team can be located anywhere in the world and you log your miles online. It’s an honor system. You don’t have to do two miles a day. Heck, you could say you could do all 56 miles the first day and be done. I see something like this as a rucking group doing 14 miles a week on a Saturday in the morning. That’s 3- 1/2 hours, 4 hours of rucking.
So super excited to hopefully see a lot of more engagements and involvement there through the F3 community. This is an annual thing for us, so really excited about the growth this time and I just know next year, it’s going to be even better. Guys are going to see their buddies with their F3 Darby challenge patches and be super jealous and they’re going to want theirs. Next year it will be a different patch or a different trinket to earn. Just really excited to get them on board.
Brian: You heard it here from Bryce. Get that 56.5 miles a done, day one, then point and laugh at everyone else for the remaining 27 days in February. You’ve got this.
Bryce: That’s right.
Brian: That’s awesome. For people who aren’t part of F3, you mentioned the F3 Derby patch. I’ve been on the website on Run Ranger Run and it looks like there are three different medals that are associated with this race. Do you want to get into those?
Bryce: Yes. There are three different medallions for different levels of commitment to Run Ranger Run. I want to be completely clear on what those medallions are. I know one of them, you get one medal for completing your 56 miles. You get a medal for raising over certain amount of money, and then the other medal, I don’t remember what that one was for, but the medallions that we have for Run Ranger Run all come from completing a milestone. It’s always easier. It’s always better when you have something to kind of cared on the end of the stick. I finally found the medallion challenge.
So you get a medallion for raising $250. You get a medallions for you raising 250, your team raising 2,500 and your team logging the 565, and then you get a third medallion for just raising 2,500. So those are the three medallions that you could potentially earn for Run Ranger Run 2018. It’s always nice to have incentives to work towards, and this is a really unique set of medals to win. I’m excited to see people come out for it.
Brian: Absolutely, and that third medal, the 2500, that’s the team raising that.
Brian: Then all three of the medals, they’re really cool. They’re all in the shape of an R, Run Ranger Run, and when you line them up, its RRR, and they look nice. It’s really well done. I’m excited about this. If you’re listening, I know we have a lot of listeners on here who are taking part in our charity challenges, thousand mile challenge. This is a great way to get your team motivated and get some awesome miles in for that thousand mile goal in 2018. So I would highly recommend checking it out. I’m definitely going to be checking it out, and I’m excited about it.
Bryce: Awesome. Yeah. I would just tell any F3 guys, if you’re interested in getting involved, if you do sign up and form a team. If you’ll put F3 in your team name, that helps to single out those F3 teams, because I am keeping track of all of them. Like I said, F3 guys that sign up and complete their mileage will get the F3 Darby challenge patch and the team that raises the most funds will get a surprise thing, incentive if you will, on top of that as well.
Brian: There you have it. So when is the latest that people can register for Run Ranger Run?
Bryce: The latest people can register would be the end of January, January 31st.
Brian: So if you listening to this episode a little bit late, you have until January 31 two register for Run Ranger Run, and if you’re listening to this past January 1st or January 31st, then unfortunately it’s too late, but there’s always next year, I’m assuming.
Bryce: Absolutely, and for everybody listening as well, even if you don’t want to sign up and create or join a team and pledge to run these miles, you can look and donate to any team that you choose to. If you’re an F3 guy and you’re not really interested in running the miles, rucking the miles, help support another F3 team, and donations can be taken all the way up through February and into March. So just even if you can’t commit to pledging the miles, your donations are still definitely accepted. I definitely want to reiterate that, yes, this is an awareness campaign for us, but it’s also how we raise the funds for what we do with GallantFew, and we wouldn’t be able to do what we do without the support from Run Ranger Run.
Brian: That’s awesome. That’s always good to hear that you guys are just running such an amazing event, that you’re able to bring that in. So if you are listening and you don’t want to put in the miles, you can always post up the money. Otherwise, if you don’t have the money, then I’m guessing sharing just the link on Facebook, Twitter, stuff like that, just getting the word out for maybe you have friends who do want to participate in that, you don’t, but —
Bryce: Absolutely, yup. People sharing their friend’s teams and sharing the information. We’ll be putting a lot of these out on Facebook and Twitter and social media. The more people that share it, the more people that are going to see what we do. Even if they don’t get involved with Run Ranger Run, they see GallantFew, they see how to get in touch with us, and that saves lives. That share, that like, that commitment to pledge those miles. Those miles are going to change lives. It’s going to reach another veteran that’s on the fence, that’s thinking bad thoughts, and they’re going to connect with us and we’re going to get them the help that they’ve been looking for, and I’m just so incredibly excited to start the event in February. We’ve been leading up to it now and I’m just excited to see the involvement across the community.
Also, be on the lookout too. We’ll be having some kickoff events. We have confirmed locations now, January 27th at Point Defiance in Tacoma, and the same day in Columbus, Georgia and Raleigh, North Carolina, and you can find all that information out on runrangerrun.com.
Brian: What could people are expect at the kickoff events?
Bryce: Just an opportunity to — Because the kickoff events are the weekend prior to February 1st. It will be an opportunity for people to get in miles before February 1st. But it’s a chance to kind of spread the word even more. We’ll have a table and a pop-up and things for people to get an information for people to get about GallantFew and our programs. I know at the Raleigh location we’ll have a couple of sponsors that are bringing stuff that we’ll do a little giveaway for the people that show up. It’s really just kind of a community engagement part for Run Ranger Run in their respective communities.
Brian: Very cool. So, Point Defiance, that’s just an hour and a half /2 drive for me, hour maybe. So I’ll definitely try and make it out to that. This is awesome. Where can people go to register for Run Ranger Run? We’ve been talking about it. Is it runrangerrun.com?
Bryce: Yes. Runrangerrun.com is where you can find out all the preliminary information about how to register and either create or join a team. For corporate people out there too, we have corporate packages as well where you can develop your own corporate landing page for your employees to get on board, and runrangerrun.com where you will find all that information out.
Brian: Perfect, runrangerrun.com. Very excited to register. This has been awesome, Bryce. We talked about — I’m just so much more than I even thought that we would’ve gotten into. This has been an awesome call. Thank you so much for taking the time.
Bryce: I’m very excited and thankful to be able to spread this message not only about Run Ranger Run, but just about F3 and to share my story a little bit. For anybody out there on the fence or that’s hurting, just to hear my story in, and my story is a lot like other guys’ stories. For people to just know that you’re not alone, what you’re going through, somebody else is going through it too and I’m just excited and just honored to be able to be on this and spread that message and just put the word out for what we’re doing and what F3 is doing and I’m just very thankful to be a part of it.
Brian: That’s awesome. Thank you so much for taking so much time out of your day to be on the show. Is there anything else that you want to talk to related to GORUCK events, your involvement in F3, Darby Project, Run Ranger Run, anything at all that you want talk about before we go?
Bryce: No. I think we covered everything and more.
Brian: I think so too. I think this has been just an awesome time. Bryce, thank you so much, so, so much for taking this time out of your day to chat. I know you’re incredibly busy. Run Ranger Run starts roughly a month from when we’re recording this. So you have to have your hands just full. I am thankful that you took just an hour+ out of your day to talk with me, and this has been great. Thank you.
Bryce: Thank you very much. I’m very honored to be a part of it.