This weekend my husband and my SIL’s husband completed the GoRuck challenge in Philadelphia. My SIL Rachel and I were just along for the ride, and for goading our reluctant hubbies out the hotel door to be on time for the 1am start.
What is the GoRuck you ask? It’s ridiculous. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to some individuals, but it resonates with a few. It’s an 8-12 hour, 15-20 mile event rucking with a 45lb ruck PLUS additional weights from 25-50lbs randomly distributed throughout AND a bunch of grueling exercises interspersed-with the 45lb ruck on at all times of course. It’s a team building exercise on steroids appealing to masochists everywhere. Read more about it here. There are events across the nation and this weekend’s event was in Philadelphia.
We’ve already established that my husband is a little bit insane when it comes to endurance events (I couldn’t be more proud of him :P) but what really surprised me was the ease with which he roped Jimmy (My BIL once removed) into participating as well. I believe Jimmy having spent the past 4 years cooped up inside over his lap top finishing TWO Master’s degrees might have contributed to the eagerness with which he jumped on the crazy bandwagon, but he has since embraced the nuttiness with complete abandon, good naturedly wrapping up his six bricks in duct tape and bubblewrap and squishing them into his pack. Brian is trying as hard as he can to get him to run the Promise Land 50k this April and Jimmy has yet to outright refuse.
It was fun for me to have Rachel along, a fellow spectator to our respective husbands’ strange behavior. Someone to laugh with as Brian and Jimmy work themselves up into a complete grumble fest of misery as they wake up from their short naps to prepare for the event. Maybe it’s a guy thing, maybe just a personality thing, but when I get ready to complete something challenging (an Ultra, let’s say) I mentally try to cheer myself on, get all excited and pumped up. Brian gets increasingly gloomy and pessimisstic and talks about how everything is going to hurt and be awful and it’s probably a really bad idea-and then afterwards he signs up for more events. I guess we have different motivational styles? Anyway, Rachel and I dutifully kicked them out of the hotel and dropped them off at the Art Museum (Rocky steps, that’s where the GoRuck started and ended). We tried not to rub it in TOO much that we were headed back to the comfy hotel beds for a good night’s sleep while they were slogging through mud and grass and the ick of Philadelphia streets at drunk AM…ok, we rubbed it in a little bit, it was funny.
The next morning they limped back to the hotel. The are currently very bruised and battered, but they survived and earned their GoRuck patches. (All that for a single patch.) You’d have to ask them for the details, but from the snippets of stories I’ve heard it was definitely a challenge. Jimmy at least admitted that he had fun (several hours, at least one good meal, and several naps later), Brian is still grumbling-but he already has the patch on his hat.
**I’m a little bit jealous. I’m glad Brian has being able to do so much running, but I miss running with him, and I miss Ultras. I miss being a little bit crazy, too.