I didn't do much training specifically for this event. It was 12 hours and overnight. I did one incline treadmill rucking workout with some ruckless body weight strength exercises after each of the three one mile rucks, a couple of weeks earlier, but that was the only ruck-specific one. I figured that my usual combination of strength and cardio for Spartan training would be enough to get me through.
It was different to have an event on a Friday night. I drove down to Columbia after work and killed some time after getting there early. I found a parking spot and went to Finlay park where fellow ruckers gradually amassed. When it was time, we got in formation with our rucks in front of us, and the Cadre came. There were three for this event, since a large group of 60-70 was expected, although just 44 showed up at the start. Cadre Montreal, a super funny guy, checked our names off the list. One Cadre was named Shredder, which is frightening. There was a surprising amount of women at the event, and a good mix of newbies and experienced ruckers. It was different, not quite knowing what to expect. I had checked on a couple of blogs the previous day, so I got the general idea, but this would be interesting.
This event ended up being a special one for Veterans Day. Each of us brought the picture and story of a veteran to honor during this ruck. A few times over the course of the event, we'd stop and share the stories of our vets. There were many who had grandparents who had served, and it was really touching to see the ruckers challenge themselves with this event in their honor.
We continued carrying coupons through different parts of town. There was one coupon called the Krakken, which was three logs tied together with heavy ropes, and no part of the Krakken could touch the ground at any point. There were time hacks in this event, too, although unlike the HH12HR with individual challenges, you passed or failed as a group, and failure meant more PT. All of the coupons were heavy... you thought the sandbags were heavy, but you try the pumpkin and ammo can, and it's no easier. All heavy. I no longer think happy thoughts when I see pumpkins, haha. I thought farmers carries were my strength, but the coupons showed my weakness.
After the first couple of legs of our trip, where the men had taken on the Krakken, there was a surprise twist... the females had to take the Krakken now. I thought "no way", but we started. I thought we'd just have to take it a short leg of the trip, but we ended up taking it for a few long [never-ending] legs. I wasn't able to contribute that much, unfortunately. I was a few inches shorter than the rest, so I couldn't carry any of the load while on teams of three. In teams of two, I don't know whether it was where I was relative to the center of mass, or whether it was like that for everyone, but it was only tolerable on my shoulder for very short periods of time, before someone had to pick up my slack. A couple of times, on teams of two, I could actually make it, and it seemed to be when the log was able to sit on my ruck instead of my shoulder.
The other women, though, they were beasts. Some weren't much bigger or taller than me, and they suffered through that thing for long periods of time like champions. It wasn't easy. I felt pretty useless, but they'd be carrying it then lifting it overhead repeatedly, to switch shoulders, and they'd take on the weight when others needed switching out. They were so tough. There was even one girl who had shoulder issues but toughed it out and would help with that crazy heavy stuff as much as she could.
Final Thoughts: What a tough and dedicated group of people. Met some great people who were very encouraging. At personal cost and pain, many took on great loads for the good of the group. Like with some other events, in the midst of it, I think "one and done", but a few days later, I start thinking about signing up for another. Supposedly, each GORUCK event is a bit different, so there's always something new to look forward to.