Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Embrace the Suck - GoRuck Challenge (part 3 of 4)

This is part 3/4 on the GoRuck Challenge. Make sure to check out parts 1, 2, and 4.

Grabbing Some "Wood Fusion"

Our first mission was to go grab "wood fusion". We headed along the railroad tracks and grabbed 2 railroad ties, each of these weighed about 200lbs. We essentially carried these the rest of the night. We had a set of rules that applied to carrying these:
  • They don't touch the ground unless told to
  • They must not ever be more than 6 feet apart
  • If we pass a body of water (ponds or fountains), we had to soak the wood
  • If we go over a bridge, we have to pay a toll
  • If we go over a bridge, but forget to ask the toll before heading over, we pay the toll twice.
We then headed off towards Freedom Park with the railroad ties. It took us a little trial and error to figure out the best way to carry the ties. The issue was having people of different heights made carrying them a bit challenging. We first split into two groups of tall and short (I was on the short group). The best method we ended up with was 2 people carrying each tie and regularly swapping people out. The swapping was actually pretty easy and didn't cost much additional effort. So, we would switch people out every 3-4 minutes. With this rotation, it wasn't too bad.

Our standard railroad columns throughout the night

Submerging the Railroad Ties

After awhile, we came across our first "body of water", which meant we had to soak the railroad ties. This happened to be a fountain in front of Gallup. Unfortunately, the fountain was only 4" deep. The first way we tried to soak the ties was to have everyone lower the ties into the water and then rotate them in the water. This didn't work well. We then realized that we could just run them through the fountain.

After we were done, the cadre inspected the ties but we didn't get the ties completely wet. So, this time we got to get ourselves completely wet by doing flutter kicks in the fountain. We then repeated our fountain strategy and made damn sure to get them soaked.

We got on our way again and came across a pond where we had to soak the railroad ties. This time, we realized the best way to do it was to just own up to getting wet. A few of us jumped into the pond and then had people on the shore hand us the ties. Once in the water, we just shoved them under and we were good to go.

Opportunistic Actions

We finally made our way to Freedom Park and got to set the railroad ties down while we took part in some "opportunistic actions". Opportunistic actions are a special ops term for when you already have forces on a mission and you want them to do an additional action while they're in the area.

No fishing going on here officer...
Our mission was to take out a boat. To do this, we had to take out the "guard house" first, before moving on. At this point our only light is the moon, so I had no idea what the Cadre is referring to, but other people seemed to know, so I went with the crowd.

Watch out ghost of Osama
We broke up into Alpha and Bravo (I was on bravo) teams and mimicked a raid on the "guard house". The guard house was simply an abandoned mobile home. This went down like the police raids you've seen on TV with people running up to the door and then busting through the door. Once inside we learned that the abandoned mobile home was primarily used for booze and pornography based on what was scattered on the floor.

After the guard house, it was time to take out the boat. I kept thinking that this wasn't actually going to be a boat since the "guard house" was a mobile home and we weren't really around any water. As we got closer, I saw that it actually was a boat. We ran up the gang plank and once I was on the deck there was a "holy crap" moment where I realized this was a legit boat. there were anti-aircraft guns and other types of firepower. It was the USS Hazard, which is an old WWII anti-submarine boat.

If they didn't want to be boarded, why did they leave the gangplank down?
This was easily the highlight of the night. Running around on top of an old school military ship in the middle of the night after many hours of exhaustion was a nice break. It was now time to head back.

Watch out Germany

To the Pedestrian Bridge

We hoisted up the railroad ties again and started to make our way to the pedestrian bridge. We passed the same two bodies of water that we dealt with before but did a much better job of soaking the ties. The ties seemed to be getting heavier and heavier, but I'm fairly certain that it was exhaustion setting in.

We got to a clearing and got to do some bonus activities with the ties. The first was to push a tie in groups of four about 75 feet. The key was that we had to push it, not roll it.

We then had to carry it back the other direction by doing a leap frog sort of thing lifting it above our chests.

The next section was an interesting bit of teamwork. We had to do 10 burpees, sprint down 50 yards, do 10 more burpees and sprint back. Our first one sucked, so the Cadre didn't count that one. Our second one set our team's target time. We then had to keep doing them until we beat that time. Unfortunately, we had one guy slowing us down every time. After about 3 more of not getting faster, we realized we needed to help the slowest person. This meant someone grabbed his ruck bag (remember, there's bricks in there) and carry it for him so he could keep up. Eventually we got it done.

On our trek to the pedestrian bridge at one point, I noticed the birds were singing. I was ecstatic because I knew the birds started singing at about 4:30am. Someone happened to see the Cadre's watch and said it was actually about 5:30. I was pretty happy about this news and was confident that I would make it through the event.

Check out parts 12, and 4.

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