Wednesday, June 18, 2014

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

This is part 4/4 on the GoRuck Challenge. Make sure to check out parts 12, and 3.

The Pedestrian Bridge

As we got to the pedestrian bridge, we asked what our toll to cross the bridge was. The toll was to carry the ties above our heads across the bridge. I was concerned because my upper-body strength is subpar, so I felt that I was going to be a drain on the team. Both teams (tall group and small group) had rotations of 4 people and would swap out 2. We ended up going 1 or 2 squares of cement at a time and then we would take a break and swap people out. It was slow and exhausting work.

Look how much the big guys are struggling
Eventually we got to the Iowa/Nebraska border at the middle of the bridge. We stopped and our Cadre said that if we could hold the ties above our heads for a solid minute, then he had a treat for us. He also did a little shaming saying that we were grown men and should be able to hold these for a minute. Holding it for a minute wasn't actually too bad. I learned to just bend down a bit and lock out my elbows instead of using my muscles to hold it.

Once the minute had elapsed, the Cadre went into some diatribe about something or other without telling us to lower the ties. The tall guy group slipped a bit and he proceeded to berate us a bit more. He kept talking and talking while we held it. Finally, he said we could throw the ties in the river. Dammit that was fun. This was the 2nd best part of the event. Hilariously, the railroad ties came together in the river and didn't drift 6 ft apart.

Eff those things
To go across the rest of the bridge, we had to do an elephant walk where you grab the hand of the person in front of you through their legs (see picture below). Stupidly, I got behind the shortest guy, which meant I had to bend over a lot. One guy's lower back started cramping up enough that he almost dropped out. This had to have been a sight to see. The rest of the city was waking up and numerous people saw the most awkward group going across the bridge.

Is that your hand or are you just happy to see me?
To get back across the bridge, we then had to do a two-man casualty carry. I helped carry the lightest guy, so I had an easier time of this compared to the folks carrying 210# guys. This wasn't too terrible and we got back over the bridge much faster than it took to get across the first time.

Random biker got an interesting story to tell. Giant John was being lazy as usual...

Wrap it Up - Paying the Penalties

Over the course of the night, we accrued 5 penalties for various infractions. To make up for these we made our way back to the Gene Leahy mall and got to do 50 modified man makers. This involved throwing our backbacks into the water, doing a "push-up", and then lifting the bag overhead. Our packs were already 30-40lbs and they would fill with water every time we threw them into the water. This made the packs 50-60lbs.

Not particularly having fun here...
At about 18, I started to think that I was going to have to drop out. There was simply no way I could do 30 more. I told myself that the Cadre had something up his sleeve at halfway, so I just needed to get to 25. I got to 25 and there was nothing. So, I said I just needed to get to 30 and he would have something. We got to 30 and he told us to pause. I was so so so so happy that I didn't have to drop out right at the end.

We were given the opportunity to try to eliminate some man makers. Our first way to eliminate some was to have everyone sit in the water, link arms and then roll backwards to touch our feet behind our heads, and then roll back forward. We could eliminate one man maker for each one we successfully completed.

Notice both ends have a late start
Being on the end, this was actually pretty difficult because I didn't have anyone to pull me on one side. These kind of sucked because you got a bunch of water where it wasn't supposed to be as well as hit your head on the bricks under the water every time. We tried about 5 times and successfully did 2.

Next, could do an underwater leap frog sort of thing to eliminate 3 man makers. Everyone had to get into a downward facing dog sort of position and then each person would take a turn swimming through the line of people. This was actually pretty easy. You just had to be comfortable opening your eyes underwater.

Grab the wrists!
All-in-all, we eliminated 5 man makers. That wasn't the important part, the important part was that we had 20ish minutes of rest. I picked up my bag and started hammering them out. We got to 45 and the last 5 were switched to 8 count body builders. For me, these were immensely easier than man makers, so I was happy to switch.

Finally, he said we were finished. Everyone was all smiles. I wanted my dang patch for my bag. We went through a little patch ceremony and received our patches. Everyone then went to Wheatfields for breakfast and stunk up the place because they wouldn't let us sit outside. It was an exhausting, but fun night.

Best Velcro patch ever

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