Ok so it’s been a year since the Triangle GoRuck. YHC is going for the record here for longest wait! This backblast has haunted YHC for a while now. A good portion of this was written right after the event, but trying to cover three platoons of what happened has proven challenging. YHC was in Red platoon so this is written from its prospective. White and Blue Platoons were awesome and are encouraged to share their war stories in the comments. YHC is also happy to edit the main post.
65 pax answered the challenge that would be The Triangle GoRuck. The event started out a little hectic. Parking was a challenge at Duke Park so most of the pax met over at the Big Lots on the other side of the highway. Nothing like a nice mile hike into a GoRuck! There was also some confusion on where to meet. The instructions were to get into three platoons on the main field. Yea so there isn’t a main field at Duke Park. There is the old pool which kind of looks like a field and the rest of it is woods. We ended up in a small clearing just past the play set. We had all of 3 minutes to get everyone into their platoons. YHC started firing off names and the guys fell into formation surprisingly fast. We were to have a TL, a Flag and a team weight in front of each platoon.
Red Platoon – Sandbag (To show Columbia that they are in our thoughts as they deal with flooding.
White Platoon – Oak Plank (To symbolize Raleigh, hand made by Franzia and fully equipped with a bottle opener)
Blue Platoon – Lo Pair’s Ruck (If you haven’t read Lo Pair’s story here it is http://f3nation.com/2015/03/06/what-are-we-training-for/)
Ruck check, Squats (ruck overhead), Flutters, Shoulder taps, Ruck swings (Kettle bell style), Jumping Jacks, Reverse Plank Jacks, Merkins, Mountain Climbers, Curls, etc.
Welcome Party Contd – Cadre Phil
So we thought we had survived the welcome party to find out we had some more PT in store for us. Cadre Phil pulled us together and said this can go one of two ways. … Does anyone have any dip? .. no? Ok its going the other way! Lunges (with the knee touching the ground), Curls (because nobody wants to be on a team with a guy with wimpy arms), and Push ups. After plenty of reps, stretch-o-rama with the budda position to bring us home. Cadre Phil shared some of his dive training stories and how much it sucked to do 2 hours of PT and then start the hard stuff!
Welcome Party Contd – Cadre Danny
We followed Cadre Danny down to the old Durham public pool and lined up against the wall for box jumps. Danny wanted to hear one thump for the entire platoon or we would back up a step. Three steps plus one tall step and we had 4 beautiful thumps! Turn around.. walk down into a derkin with your feet on the previous step. Do some derkins, walk down to the next step, more derkins, next step, more derkins. Stop at the last step. Turn around and put your butt on the last step with your legs hanging out into the pool. Hands against the bulkhead. We proceeded to do a series of flutter kicks and leg holds. Split the platoon in half. One half laid down with their rucks on their chests and feet against the wall. The other half went to the other side of the pool. Then they all ran across for some rescue carries, basically squat and pick your partner up off the ground and drag him all the way across the pool. Unfortunately, Friar Tuck drew the short straw and got paired with YHC.. he didn’t know this until he got to the other side and a loud oh crap was heard by the surrounding guys. Switch up and drag the other guys across the pool. Now we are all on the opposite side.. burpee broad jumps all the way across. Take a quick break and everyone lays down on their backs with their rucks between their knees. Shrimp walk back to the other side, basically walk with your shoulder blades and ankles with your butt and ruck on the ground.
At this point we caught a break and Durham’s finest showed up to see what the hell we were doing. Cadre Danny jumped on it and squared us up with the cops. At this point it was time to lineup for the first movement.
Movement 1 – Cadre Phil
Objective was to get to the American Tobacco campus. I feel like we had a 45 minute time hack for this. This wouldn’t have been bad except we were not given any other instructions, like which direction the campus was or how to get there. Even a 5 second look at a map would have been nice. Deliverance, our TL, opted to head back the way we came into the park and hope we saw a street we recognized. We knew Roxboro Rd would get us downtown but that seemed like a long way to go. Thankfully we passed Mangum street in route and we knew that would be a better way to go. After carrying a couple casualties the entire way and missing our time hack by about 30 minutes we arrived at our destination.
While at American tobacco campus Cadre Phil asked us to get into formation again. The first time being when we started the movement. We fumbled around and finally got into formation. Thanks to that plus the time hack penalty we had 4 casualties to worry about for the next movement. We had 16 minutes to get to the top of the parking deck without using the elevator or the stairs and no talking except the TL and the three tent poles. A tent pole is a guy you delegate responsibility to. A leader can only successfully manage 5 or 6 people so you need to delegate. While determining casualties someone talked that wasn’t supposed to and we ended up with a fifth. Joy! Fireman carries, three man carries, even one upside down carry finally got all the guys to the top. Yet again we struggled with formation. Phil gave us a lecture about formation and leadership and why we were having so much trouble with this. Bottom line is the leader needed to focus his attention on the three tent poles and let those guys worry about their subordinates. After some discussion Cadre Phil said to take the platoon down the stair well. At the bottom of the stair well red team shined and fell right into a beautiful formation without even being asked to do it. Cadre Phil ran out and shouted “I’m so proud!” We were elated.
After a quick bathroom break and a reunite with the other platoons it was time to get moving again. Cadre Phil took off down the street at a power walking pace.. we had to double-time just to catch him. Turns out he was heading for the BP station, still in search of his dip. No such luck.. get into formation for the next instruction. Our next activity will be to split the platoon into two and provide 360 degree protection for the other two platoons. I wouldn’t call this particularly difficult since we were basically escorting the other platoons. It really sucked not being able to help out blue platoon with the buckets. Cadre Phil told us to run back and reunite with the other half of the platoon. Then to run back to the blue platoon and rendezvous with him. He went over the disarray our attempt at 360 protection was and showed us how to do it right. Alpha and bravo squads basically doing an Indian run along each side in pairs. Alpha/bravo set was a signal to the back that they could move up. You tapped guys as you passed them to check if they were the last group. TL and flag bearer stayed in the back. Once you were at the end you ran ahead a little bit, stopped, and yelled alpha or bravo set to signal the back. We followed blue platoon through the remainder of their time hack doing this. Blue platoon finally made their destination but came up 400 meters short. 400 meters divided by 22 guys is apparently 100 sit-ups in Cadre Danny math!! Both platoons had to do 100 sit-ups with rucks on their feet.
After a quick break it was time to rotate the Cadres.
Movement 2 – Cadre Machine
So YHC was slightly terrified of Cadre Machine. Machine is former Israeli Duvdevan. Mr Brady did some research and found this link on him, and his unit. http://www.realfighting.com/duvdevan.php Cadre Machine was all business. During the welcome party the blue platoon got the pleasure of scaling a small building as well as sets of planks walking up into and out of a balls to the wall. So yea that guy is who we were about to get. Our second movement began with the realization that we had no water. This came to be the theme of the second movement for all of the platoons. We were given a rickety litter made of fabric and some poorly cut 2x2s. We also had some wonderful sand bags, except they didn’t have sand in them but gravel. Seriously these bags had to weigh 80lbs. YHC has carried plenty of sandbags but these would just drive you into the ground. Or maybe we were just exhausted. YHC is going with badass sandbags.
So we loaded up and headed down the ATT headed for Lowes off of Fayetteville street and headed down Martin Luther King. We stopped at a McDonalds in hope that we could fill up our water. No go… so we sent two pairs out for recon. Two guys drop their rucks and head for the gas station up the street. Two more head back into the Walmart shopping center to see if they can find anything. Double miss. Load up and keep moving. All of the stopping wasn’t helping either. Machine had given us the requirement that every time we sat the litter down we had to swap our casualty for someone slightly heavier. So we started with Cherry Berry and worked our way up the scale. We even had McGruber and all of his trash talk to enjoy along the way. We made our way to our next turn onto Hope Valley Road and did a pretty piss poor job of crossing the street. Machine stopped us and gave us a soap box speech about staying alert and together even when we are exhausted.
We swapped out our TLs and got moving. We were starting to run out of side walk so Machine had us drop the casualty for safety. Since the curves were kind of bad we had scouts run ahead and keep an eye on traffic and shout back if cars were coming. We made our way to University drive and hung a right. We finally came to an intersection with some retail stores and a BP. We looked all around for water. Machine said the sun would be coming up soon and that we could hang out and wait for that BP to open. He also said that white and blue platoon was behind us and wanted to meet up. We kept looking around while we waited for the BP to open and found a nasty water hose hanging off the back of the Q shack. Hey its water.. We went ahead and filled up. While we were filling up Machine told us about his training and how he got his nickname. Apparently, he got the nickname Machine because he could beat lie detector tests. He said the trick was to manipulate the control questions and stay calm during the regular questions. I’m sure there was more to it but we were 8 hours in at this point and it was freezing outside.
(Side note – Later on I heard a story about the other platoons also being on a water hunt at this point. Those stories even included a trip to Walmart to look for water, find it and run back just to lie about actually filling up with water. Someone post the detail in the comments)
So Machine finally got tired of waiting and decided to press on. We headed down University drive with our toilet water and shivering. The shoulder was pretty much non-existent but we got through it. We made it to a gas station where we were to wait for the other platoons. We sat in anticipation as we awaited our turn with the dreaded gravel buckets. We discussed some strategy, took a bathroom break, some guys grabbed a coffee at the gas station (this is a GoRuck right?) and Cinderella took a nap on his ruck. Finally Red and Blue platoons showed up.
(Side note – YHC ran into his wife, FiA Sweatshop, at the gas station. She was running the Bull City Half this morning and had stopped there on the way to park. She didn’t even notice us. Obviously confusing us for a bunch of bums.. haha)
YHC enjoyed this stop because we finally got to interact with the other platoons a little bit. We even heard a story about Cadre Phil putting his platoon in the woods and having them jump out and scare white platoon. Single-Wide told me White Shoe peed a little bit.
So I it was time for the Cadre swap. It was finally our turn with Cadre Danny and the dreaded buckets. Unfortunately, the buckets had proven too great a task for the other platoons and they had to ditch them in the woods. Ok, so clearly they were slowing everyone down way too much and with no shoulder it probably wasn’t the greatest idea to carry them all the way down University. I honestly do feel like Red team got robbed on this one. Yea it made our last movement easier but we really wanted those buckets. We had spent most of the night figuring out how to conquer them. Ok, disappointment aside it was time to book it back to Duke Park.
We turned towards the ball park after passing under the ATT and had a couple stragglers take their time crossing the street. Boom, boom, boom, Cadre Danny gave us three casualties. The Bull City half was under way at this point and we had to work our way through the race. YHC found it slightly hilarious that we had to carry three casualties right by the finish line and ultimately the med tent for the Bull City Half. The humor was cut short when Cadre Danny asked us for a head count. We said we had everyone and he said are you sure. We said yes, clearly the wrong answer. Cadre Danny had us all squat hold and pop up as he counted us. He counted us two or three times just to make sure. Confirmed, we were missing somebody. It took us what felt like 10 minutes to figure out who was missing. I know it didn’t take that long but Cadre Danny was not impressed. We finally figured out Denali was missing and had to run back to find him.
We trekked on and took a left onto main street. The street was full of runners as we carried our casualties down towards Morris Street. About this time we got a couple GoRuck shout outs from the runners. That might have been the highlight of my day there. We reached morris and had to cross the street. Danny allowed us to run across in pairs to dodge the runners. We all made it across and headed towards the old ball park. We weren’t really 100% sure where we were going and kind of took the long way back to the park via Mangum. Danny was pretty cool during this movement. He was really interested in F3. He asked a lot of questions about F3 and how we get our names. He was bummed to hear we didn’t have any FNGs with us. I’m not sure I could convince and FNG to get his feet wet with a GoRuck.. haha The conversation was briefly interrupted when Danny noticed Vector Victor wearing a competitors rucksack. Apparently, the competitor is literally in the building next to GoRuck. Danny promptly made Vector Victor the casualty and continued on with the conversation.
We made our way back to the park where we found the other platoons elephant walking up the hill to where we all started. At this point it was apparent that a couple of the flags were still at the bottom of the hill. The two platoons put their champions out front and it was a race down the hill and back with the flags. I could use some help with the other two runners but at the finish line were Pepe and Bob Villa looking quite exhausted from the sprint. Bob planted the flag and nearly knocked it right off the shovel. The Cadre’s had us throw our rucksacks over our heads and hold them for two minutes to finish out the event. All of the Cadres gave us their congrats and some words of wisdom. Cadre Phil talked about Task Force Dagger, a non-profit that supports health initiatives for special operations service men (http://www.taskforcedagger.org/). We would end up donating $908 in bailout money to the foundation. Friar Tuck took us out.
I can’t tell how much of a pleasure it was to do this event will all of these men. Special thanks to my CoQs Single-Wide and Coco. Friendships were strengthened, a bunch of crap got moved, and Deliverance declared that he would run a 100 BRRs before doing another GoRuck! Thanks to a mail mixup we wouldn’t get our patches until a few weeks later, but they did finally come in. Way to go GoRuck Class 1727! Who’s ready for another one? I hear Churham is hosting the next one ; )
Photos can be found here – http://flickr.com/groups/f3raleigh/
Video can be found here – https://vimeo.com/144293742
The Route – https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10103095256827328&set=pcb.1678844529029667&type=3
Red Platoon: Cherrie Berry, Denali, Deputy Queen, Epoxy, Kiper, MacGruber, Mr Rogers, Overdraft, Roger Roger, Vector Victor, Wilson, New Mexico, Blue Hen, Cinderella, Deliverance, Duff, Fave Bean, Friar Tuck, Pergo, Wendell Gee, Kanye
White Platoon: Franzia, Azul, Bob Villa, Chong Li, Cosco, Diego, Farrin, Floppy Disk, Gnard Dogg, Les Nessman, Mighty Mite, Pepe, Single-wide, Tarp, Tony Robbins, Von Trapp, Zima, Joule, Mr Hand, Ollie, Peak Week, White Shoe
Blue Platoon: Baby Ruth, Coco, Gopher, Mr Brady, Puffs, Amphibious, Birdman, Chachi, Riggs, TEO, Assisi, Bushwood, Dunphy, Subprime, Bartman, Candlestick, Nickelback, Birkenstock, AMTRAK, Bob Ross, Dial Tone, Tiger beat