10 Years of the GORUCK Challenge

I can’t believe it has been 10 years since I took my first GORUCK Challenge. Time flies!

Yeah, 10 years ago I decided to challenge myself to do something different and see if I could beat my mind at its own game. The Challenge at the time was very new, and there was very little information out there. Jason McCarthy, a former Army Special Forces and the founder of GORUCK, purposely gave no information about it. He just announced: "Yeah bring a rucksack with bricks in it and a Green Beret will lead the class from start to finish. Want some additional information, here ya go with a smile: Details not forthcoming."


The original GORUCK Challenge was something else for sure. This was a physical and endurance team building event, patterned after the training that the Army Special Forces goes through. Jason, the only Cadre at the time, set it up to be a grueling mental test, with “no set distance, no set time, no published route, no finish line, and no prize money”. Essentially a come and suffer for a while event. Yes! But it was so much more. Hidden within it, there was so much to be had, and you have to give it to Jason for not disclosing this.

You can read some more about those early Challenges in the GORUCK blog, but suffice it to say it was tough, and awesome, and it gave me a lot of perspective about what was possible.

Overall the experience was amazing and I was able to test myself in a very extreme way. I carried my 35lb of bricks in one of the original GORUCK GR1 rucks, the one piece that started their business, and it delivered on all fronts. I loved the suckiness so much that I went for another three more. And several other of the GORUCK Events as well.

Here's my GR1 after the Challenge. With the - now vintage - GORUCK Tough patch, that is always earned with sweat and effort (pardon the 2011 low quality picture).

OG GR1 with Tough Patch

Go read the roots of the Challenge, and then sign up for one. It's different now, the current Challenges are more mission oriented, but man, you will have a lot of fun.

Thank you Jason for bringing the Challenge to the world, and for making me a better person.