While preparing to go to Selection, there is a lot of individual work that must be put in. Finding and breaking in the best boots for your feet and prepping your feet for the long road ahead. Then there is the Land Navigation training and map reading which, if you aren’t ready for can be daunting. Then, of course, is the physical training, and finally, the rucking that goes in to prepare. No one says you can’t have a little fun while rucking and preparing for Selection which leads us the GORUCK Challenge.
What is GORUCK? GORUCK is a company that was started by Jason McCarthy after his Special Forces service with the 10th SFG(A). He originally was trying to just sell his gear that he was manufacturing. But then he got an idea to promote the gear and let people, many of whom had never rucked or experienced anything close to being in the military a little taste of what Selection is like.
But this event is built on having fun, sweating up a storm, working within a team and accomplishing a goal under the watchful gaze of a Special Operations cadre member. It is built around events that you’ll encounter in Selection, doing PT in the sand, or in some cases the water, carrying heavy objects as a team, (logs, telephone pole sections) and then building an apparatus that has to carry about 500 pounds and then moving it around a city in the US. Sounds strangely familiar?
The different GORUCK events last anywhere from:
The Light – 4-5 hours, 7-10 mile distance
The Tough – 10-12 hours, 15-20 mile distance
The Heavy – 24+ hours, 40+ miles distance
Selection – 48+ hours, 80+ miles distance (has a less than 5 percent finish rate)
They also have an Orienteering course, a Scavenger Hunt, as well as others.
So, while you’re having fun, you are also getting some difficult and useful training in. Preparing for Selection is a lot of work. It is demanding, tough and generally a lonely process, as the onus is on yourself to get ready for the challenge ahead.
This is a chance to put together a like-minded group of individuals to enjoy the camaraderie of the course, getting some challenging training in, all while in a much more light-hearted atmosphere than the Selection courses.
If you want to give your friends a taste of wait awaits you or just want to get training partners involved in a break from the monotony of singular training than the GORUCK challenge would be a fun way to do just that. And if your Land Navigation is a particularly weak area, the 36-hour Navigator course, taught by Special Forces cadre members will be a good, learning tool while also being taught some survival skills.
Now don’t think that this is a harbinger of things to come at Selection. There is no way, I’d ever try to sell you that and the GORUCK people wouldn’t either. Their course is based on having fun while you’re working your tail off.
I’m in the midst now of trying to convince some friends and family members to put together a team and attempt one of the challenges that are upcoming in the next few months. My wife thinks I’m insane to want to do this, “After all this time, you want to go back to being in selection?” Perhaps she has a point.
But being a Special Forces guy means always being up to the challenge, right? That’s what it is all about. That and doing what we love and most importantly doing it with the ones we love. That being said, I doubt I’ll have any luck convincing anyone to do the Selection challenge, but hey, it is time to throw the ruck on and get outside and work out the kinks this morning. Let’s go rucking.
Photo courtesy of GORUCK