A few weeks ago I participated in my first GORUCK event. I chose the easiest one as my first – the GoRuck Light. We covered about 5 miles in 4.5 hours.
I made this decision back in January and never planned to prepare specifically for it. I exercise 5 days/week and each spring I train for and participate in my brother’s memorial birthday walk. This year it was 35 continuous miles. Therefore, I didn’t train any differently than I normally do.
Looking back, should I have prepared? What gear did I use? And what would I change?
Let’s face it, if you are relatively active, this won’t be a problem. It’s more about camaraderie and teamwork. We had a great group of 23 folks. We even got a short tour of Sloss Furnace.
I’m going to answer a few question that I had before doing it.
- Do we need our own team? No. The entire group is the team. Show up by yourself or already knowing someone. Either way, you’ll make new friends and you all have the same goal to finish.
- Who determines the team weight? A Facebook page will be created for your event. Participants can decide on what to use and who will bring it, along with one USA flag that will be carried the entire event. Many on our team consisted of people from Red Mountain Ruck Crew. They were very welcoming and helpful to those of us who’d never done this event before. They also provided the team weight.
I have the GR2 backpack, which I highly recommend due to the quality and comfort on my back while carrying heavy weight. But, this is definitely not required for the GORUCK Light event. You can get by with any comfortable pack.
The temp was in the 50’s, so I wore a couple layers. I used Mad Grip gloves for part of the event (carrying watermelons and lifting railroad crossties). I’m a large, but these come in L-XL, so the fingers are a little longer than I’d prefer, but they were just fine. Other people seem to like Mechanix Gloves.
For food, I put a granola bar and string cheese in my pocket and was glad to have them. I brought an extra bar and shared with a friend. I think he was thankful b/c he thought he wouldn’t need anything during the event.
For socks and shoes, you can refer to this post.
Here is all the gear in my pack. GORUCK tells you what to bring – I’d bring everything they suggest. The cadre may be a stickler and want you to have everything exactly as he posts on the FB page beforehand (i.e. spare batteries, cash, phone case, name on ruck plate, etc).
Basically, just do whatever the cadre asks. Follow all traffic laws. The push-ups, air squats and bear crawls were easy. However, the flutter kicks were tough. I couldn’t keep up and pretty sure most in our group couldn’t. We finished up on them. But, no two events are the same, so there are infinite exercises the cadre could choose.
Would I change anything if I did it again? No, the Light isn’t anything to sweat about. Just prepare if there will be extreme temperatures. Since ours was in the 50’s and maybe 40’s by the end, it wasn’t bad. If it had have been warm, I would’ve needed a bigger water bladder.
If you’ve never walked/rucked with weight on your back, then you probably need to do that before the event – for your body and to test out your gear. Never show up to any even with untested gear (especially backpack, shoes, socks).
It’s a unique event and I recommend doing it. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me.