GORUCK Good Livin' Challenges: A Team-Based Fitness Event

Are You Tough Enough?

GORUCK Good Livin' Challenges

There are mud runs. There are obstacle course races. And then, there are GORUCK Good Livin' Challenges - a whole different breed of outdoor fitness event.

GORUCK, a company that makes rucksacks and other durable gear, was founded by Green Berets who valued the training they received in the military and the community it developed. As an offshoot of their gear company, they decided to start hosting rucking events.

It was through these event programs that the GORUCK Good Livin' Challenges were born.

Rucking in a Nutshell

Rucking couldn't be easier - you simply "put weight on your back and go for a walk." According to the GORUCK website, there are just three major rules ruckers need to follow:

  • No one rucks alone.
  • When in doubt, smiles over miles
  • Ruckers encourage each other.

In other words, ruck with friends and enjoy the experience.

Don't Worry About the Rules

Rucking is all about the fun and not so much about rules. While the GORUCK website suggests beginners start rucking with a backpack holding 10 to 20 pounds, they point out that carrying anything more than nothing counts as rucking. It's more important to grab your friends and get going than to stress about how to do it "right" or whether you're doing something "wrong."

GORUCK Good Livin' Challenges

To get a real feel for rucking, consider signing up for a Good Living Challenge.

These challenges are led by a Special Operations Cadre who guides the team of participants through a series of obstacles. All participants carry weight on their backs throughout the challenge and must work together to complete each obstacle.

It's important to note that GORUCK challenges are not races.

This may seem odd to those familiar with military-inspired obstacle course races, but it's true - everyone you start with will finish right along side you. It's this team component that really sets the challenges apart, making them more like military training than other events and races. Also, the Cadre is not a drill sergeant and the challenges aren't boot camps - the goal is for participants to enjoy themselves, not want to run screaming from the challenge field.

There are three levels of Good Livin' Challenge:

  • GORUCK Light: Over the course of 4 to 5 hours, participants cover approximately 7 to 10 miles, all while completing team challenges and overcoming obstacles. While 7 to 10 miles may seem like a lot, especially if you're a relative fitness beginner, the Light event has a 100% completion rate. Basically, if you can do a 5k, you can complete this event. Ruckers carry 10 or 20 pounds in a backpack (10 pounds if you weigh less than 150, 20 pounds if you weigh more). Check their site for locations, suggested supplies and more information.
  • GORUCK Tough: GORUCK Tough is the next level up. Challenges take 10 to 12 hours and cover 15 to 20 miles. Given the greater challenge, the completion rate isn't as high but is still a good 94%. Participants carry 20 or 30 pounds, depending on weight (20 if you weigh less than 150, 30 if you weigh more).
  • GORUCK Heavy: The GORUCK Heavy event is not for the beginner. This monster of a challenge can take more than 24 hours to complete and covers 40 or more miles. Obstacles are more challenging and the team is put through significant mental and physical stress. Given its increase in load, the challenge has a completion rate of just 50% - you better be prepared before you sign up! Ruckers carry 20 or 30 pounds, depending on weight, and are also required to bring many more supplies, including a carabiner, boots, a hydration pack of some sort, extra socks, a second set of warm clothes, food, and more.  

Are You Ready?

If you exercise regularly, even if it's not rucking, you're probably ready for the GORUCK Light, or possibly the GORUCK Tough events. That said, only hardcore fitness buffs should sign up for a GORUCK Heavy event. These take serious guts, and they require 24 hours of physical commitment. Don't assume you can just show up and complete an event - you need to be well-trained. Check the GORUCK Heavy page for more information on physical readiness.

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