- Workout Date - 03/24/2017
- Q In Charge - Cadre JC and Cadre Jeremy
- The PAX - Hoser, Studebaker, Bling, Kegstand, OneCall, Valvano, Turn & Cough, Flop, High Interest, Meatball, UHaul (Florence), Pole Dancer (Florence), CanYouHearMeNow? (Greenville)
- AO -
So this weekend, YHC had the honor and privilege of participating in and completing a GoRuck Tough with 9 of my local Brothers, and several other F3 men from across the area – CanYouHearMeNow? from Greenville, UHaul from Florence, and Pole Dancer from Florence. This is simply my brief thoughts, along with some fun notes from the PAX.
F3GrandStrand was launched on June 13, 2015. Typical stories of #sadclowns and all that. We all started getting better. The MudRun was our first #CSAUP and it was awesome. There is a great BB of that if you want something fun to read. Many of our PAX had never done OCR’s, or even 5K’s. Lots of men trained hard and completed what they set out to do. Then, over time, various other things popped up, and some men participated and others simply cheered them on. For quite some time, nobody had any clue what rucking was.
Then, Hoser and Studebaker signed up for a MB GRT. CanYouHearMeNow? told em about it. An overnight event that none of us had any idea what that remotely entailed. Well, I know there were several like me, who went to youtube, google, and of course, the GoRuck website to see. HOLY SMOKES. WHAT? Yeah, no way.
Well, both of those men finished their GRT and earned their patch. Many props. Huge T-Claps. Then they both did another one, but this time some of us had gently dipped our toes in the shallow end of doing some pre-rucks. Fast forward a year plus later from that original event, and with a lot of Pathfinder training, rucking a half marathon, rucking the Fox in Hartsville, tons of pre-rucks, long rucks, a Bling training session in the ocean, countless ruck workouts, and with several doing the Mogadishu Light in Charlotte in the fall, 10 local men were signed up for the MB GRT. This rucking thing has developed into a sort of cult-following among the dedicated few. We always have extra rucks and weights for whoever wants to try it. YHC knows Billboard and Quaker have tried rucking and will get more involved. Varsity started, but then had to train for the P200, so he will be back.
There was a lot of pre-event chatter. Nutrition. Gels. Tape. Nipple Tape. Socks. Footwear. Shorts or Pants. Costco pants. $20?!? Wow! More Costco pants. Valvano’s legs are too long for normal Costco shopping so he had to go online. Free shipping! Gander Mountain Pants. Injinji socks – what? Yep! Trust Bling. Lube for your toes and feet. Compression or not. Long sleeve or short. Watching and reading AAR’s galore. Where the heck do we park? The list goes on and on, and was definitely the subject of much laughter, and fear – are we dressed right, packed right, have enough, have too little, etc.
Alright, enough of all that, let’s get to GRT Class # 2218. The event itself was amazing. Brutal, but amazing. Our Cadre was JC. This was his last event before going overseas in service to our country. He chose to spend time with us when he could have been with his family. So we thank him tremendously for that, as well as the example he set for us, and the leadership skills he helped us develop. Stay safe over there Brother! The shadowing Cadre was Jeremy. Another 20 year veteran of our military and another great example for us all.
The class was made up of 24 people – 23 men and 1 woman. All started. All finished. Some needed help, and that is what we all did. We helped. We struggled together. We laughed. We got to know each other.
The event itself went something like this:
Welcome Party at Chapin Memorial Park, which, thank goodness, has been cleaned up quite a bit from the times when there were needles and other dangerous things all through the park. Plant the flag. Set up the team weight – a very cool red, white, and blue concoction brought from one of our teammates. A 15 lb kettlebell with a 5 lb chain around the KB and a 5 lb weight plate. Line up in formation. Sharon was our first TL. Do everything as a team. If one fails, we all fail. Equipment check. Empty rucks. Fill rucks. Didn’t do it in time? Punishment. Why? Because in the field, you don’t have time to be sure this Gu is in this pocket or your extra gloves are set up nicely. You chuck stuff in your bag and roll. So we did pushups, and flutter kicks, and a loooonnnngggg time of 6”, 45 degree, 90 degree and back and forth and back and forth, and overhead hold and then squats with overhead presses, and a bunch of other PT. Another key point here – we had to rotate rucks around and when it stopped, you did not have your ruck. So you may have had someone else’s ridiculously heavy ruck, or gotten lucky with a light one. One unlucky soul got one that didn’t zip. Bling got one that was basically a noose as the water bladder came out and the tube it was hanging from kept choking him. The point of this was to think about it…what may be perfect for you, may hurt a teammate. You bring a bunch of extra stuff that is unnecessary, and maybe somebody else has to carry it. Think about that.
After the welcome party – and there are some great pictures from Studebaker and UHaul’s wives – we started out toward the beach, where we lined up. We had to fill up 12 sandbags and then dump these upside down into 12 others to double-bag ‘em – these had to be 60 lbs each. JC had a 25 pack of sandbags, so that left 1 odd bag out, which we had to fill halfway. So there were 13 of these coupons. Then, 2 water bladders, which had to be filled, as weight, and also so we would have water. Several of us went to fill the water jugs. We were going to use the shower, not knowing if that was potable water, but we needed water. When we saw the super slow stream, we knew that would take forever. So we went around to the boulevard and found a security guard behind a locked fence and gate, and asked if he had a spigot. He did, but we were not allowed beyond the gate. So this dude took both water jugs, filled them for us, and carried them back to the street. Very cool. #RestoredFaithInHumanity. So with the sandbags, water jugs, team weight, and flag, there were 17 coupons.
Once this was done we lined up in formation on the beach. Low crawl to water, run back. Bear crawl to water, run back. Backward low crawl to water, run back. Crawl bear to water, run back. Wheelbarrows to water, run back. Switch partners, run back.
Load up and ruck. We trudged along the beach all the way to MB State Park. It was far. The weights were rotated on a pretty regular basis. Sharon kept people rotating. At some point we stopped for punishment for some dropped sandbags. More PT – 10 reps per drop…4 drops.
Sharon was fired at 17th Ave South. Noah, active duty, was hired as TL.
Once we got to MB State Park, we snuck around since it was late and there were campers and such getting their rest. Made it to the road and went to a certain golf cart competitor of a local F3 PAX for our first real break. 15 minutes. Hydrate, eat, relieve yourselves (yes on the competitor – had our local PAX been there – #satisfaction). Buddy system at all times. You see a lot of camaraderie during this time. People sharing nutrition, talking about their backgrounds, where they were from, etc. As we were loaded up, the 5.0 came wheeling in to see what was up. They just rolled around and parked and watched to be sure we didn’t do anything off the grid. Like 26 total people, with an American Flag planted in the ground, and with headlamps and rucks with reflective gear were up to no good. Sheesh.
Noah was fired and Jeremy 2 was hired as TL. We kept on rucking. After the break, some things started to break down a bit with certain people not being able to get into regular rotations of the weight, so that put some more burden on others. And this is where the team mentality can get tested. How do we handle it? I am glad to say that those that stepped up, stepped up big. Carried sandbags forstinkingever without complaint. We got a casualty that needed to be placed on a gurney for 6 people to carry. This dude was heavy!! Add that up. Sandbags, water, team weight, flag, 6 on the gurney. That’s 23. 1 on the gurney. That’s 24. Yep. And this got tough. Real tough. Some people were smoked, so others carried water strapped to their ruck, or had 2 rucks, or had water, sandbag, and carried the gurney, or a sandbag and the gurney, or 2 sandbags. It was brutal. But we moved on.
And this was the pattern for the night. Ruck quite a ways, carry a lot of stuff. Get punished when a sandbag dropped. There were several times when people wanted to quit – but the group did not let them. People took extra weight, took rucks; did whatever was needed to keep the team together and moving. We had a few different casualties throughout the night, and when we could pick, we went light! Sharon went first. Then Meatball. Then Uhaul. Not many under 200 lber’s in this group!
With around 3 hours to go, we were given a challenge. How long to go 1 mile to get to the beach to lose the casualty for the last approximately 3 hours of the event we were asked. Some numbskull said 10 minutes! Not many people ruck fresh a 10 minute mile. But we had some smoked people, a ton of weight, and some people that were barely walking by this point. So after some kind negotiations by JC, we were allocated 25 minutes. We could also choose our casualty and could reuse one. Soooo, of course, Sharon being the lightest was chosen. The team really really came together, and we hauled buggy…had to be around a 16-17 minute pace, and when we were 1 block away, boom, hot zone. JC steered us off and we had to turn left and go 10 extra blocks. How would the team react? Get bummed and give up? Get pissed? Or suck it up and crank? As expected, it was choice 3. The team sucked it up big time and cranked that extra distance, avoided the hot zone, made the time hack, and were able to revive the casualty!
Jeremy 2 was fired and Noah, our Polish brother with an accent, was hired. And it was back to rucking the beach. JC did also allow us to get rid of some of the smaller sandbags (some sand got lost throughout the night as bags broke). This ruck was awful. 1) Everyone was tired. 2) Some people hung in the back and didn’t carry anything. 3) The pace set was terribly slow, which made it harder. But we rucked and we rucked and we made it.
Then it was time for punishment for dropped sandbags. 60 reps were owed. When JC said rep 1 would be a sprint from where we were to a wood sign probably about 30-40 yards out and back..well, YHC definitely thought we would all pass out if we had to do 60 sprints. But just take it 1 at a time, support our team, and do it. So we did that 2x. Then 8 burpees. Which sucked too! Then 1 sprint and 9 burpees. Then pushups. Then flutter kicks in the ocean. Then something where we pretended to be sea turtles and just threw sand up in the air and onto each other, and I still have sand in my ears. Then some ocean PT. Then we were told we could sprint or do sprints. Our choice based on how we did. Entire team must make it to pier and back. Not sure how far – probably close to 100 yards. Someone asked for an hour! LOL. Someone said 4 minutes. No way, we had people that literally could barely even walk at this point. We negotiated for 8 minutes. And we all made it, pushing one another, carrying other’s rucks, whatever it took – in under 6 minutes.
JC then wanted to be sure he sent us home clean, since that is how we came to him. So….link arms and march into the water. Now, when some people are 5’6” and others are 6’4”, the littler ones will be head under when the bigger ones are chest deep…which was good for some laughs, but we went in deep, we came back, we had to completely submerge and then we were on the beach and finished!! 11.5 hours. 17 miles – 9 on the beach. Over 800 lbs moved.
The patching ceremony was emotional. Jeremy and JC said some strong words – always remember what they said and what these men do for our country. 10 newbies got patched. 14 others who had done at least 1 other event got patched. Again, lots of great photos from some wives. Beer and donuts and sausage biscuits were there too from some wives! We did at some point realize we were still like 7 blocks away from our cars – which was a horrible realization, but we left our rucks in the parking lot and just walked/gimped to get our cars and meet everyone else back.
So, there it is. My attempt at an AAR. If you would have told me I would be doing something like this before I started F3…ain’t no way. But working hard every day with my Brothers, pushing ourselves past our limits, being there for each other on a daily basis, there are no finer people I have ever known. Would I do it again? That’s a solid Hell YES! Will my Brothers be with me? I can only hope so.
Random thoughts/observations from our group:
- All of our F3 brothers greatly contributed to the tough. Great night boys
- There were many many comments worthy of HeardatF3. Some YHC doesn’t remember, but 2 great ones were:
- Just get behind him and push. Push hard. Don’t stop.
- You grab mine. I’ll grab yours. And we’ll just yank them off.
- Apparently, tagging your jacked up truck with your Instagram handle and cruising back and forth on the boulevard with no muffler is all the rage. #WhoKnew?
- There was a rather well-endowed woman who came out of a bar, saw Bling, ran across the street screaming about how strong she was and flexed for us. #Motivation. Come to think of it, there were woman coming out of a bunch of bars that ran toward us screaming when they saw Bling.
- At one point, a sandbag slipped off of Hoser’s back…and to save the group from 10 more penalty/punishment reps, he dove, using his left elbow as a pivot, and got under the sandbag throwing it up, while YHC got it to keep it off the ground. It was an amazingly graceful move, and an incredible show of self-sacrifice for the team. O, did I mention he was also wearing TWO rucks at the time?!?
- Flop got injured. Seriously injured. Not the o it hurts, I am hurt 0- boohoo. The injured. And he pushed and refused to quit and with a little help from his Brothers, particularly Valvano who was wearing his ruck during the sprints and burpees, he fought through it and beat down his injury and finished the event.
- Turn & Cough was naked in the Pottery parking lot. Butt ass naked. And he shook what his momma gave him!
- High Interest is our newest rucker and he HC’d and finished this thing and contributed in big ways! T-Claps
- We have read about in other AAR’s the man that carries the flag the whole night. We had him in this group. He had no idea what he was in for apparently, when he signed up and got his ruck the Monday before! But he made it.
- He also happened to be YHC’s partner in the wheelbarrows and apparently I just pushed his face through the sand when he couldn’t stay up for the wheelbarrow.
- We came across some odd odors on the beach as we passed a group of people heavily toking some illicit substances
- Meatball unfortunately got dropped when he was the causality and Hoser crushed his hand when he stepped on it – but he was good!
- Kegstand throws a sandbag on his back, sticks his hands in his pocket and just simply strolls. No struggle, never tired. #Beast
- Studebaker doesn’t seem to get tired either. But his ruck is heavy, and filled with skittles!!
- Some people ate food off the ground
- Penelope HC’d for this event. Then un-HC’d. Then he HC’d to shadow it to take our awesome photos. Then he un-HC’d. Then he claimed he went to Jamaica. #WeStillDontKnow
- Lombardi was a SC, but then the M planned a 20 year anniversary trip, so he did the smart thing and went there!! Congratulations on 20 years Brother. #SettingAnExample
- Billboard should have HC’d, but he is in for the next one.
- Let me also put this in here. F3GrandStrand had an Ultra (6 man) Masters (all over 40) P200 team. Punch Bug, Bubbles, Varsity, Lincoln, Komunyakaa, and a friend of Punch Bugs. They placed 41st overall, were the ONLY Ultra Masters team on the roster, placed 3rd for the Ultra teams, and 1st for ALL Masters divisions (9 and 12 men teams). These men did incredible!!! T-Claps to them. And to Papa Smurf for being their driver!