AMRAP in 8 min
8 KBS (70/53#)
12 Abmat Butterfly Situps
By Joanna Wood
On Halloween weekend in Sleepy Hollow NY, the Halloween capital of the US, about 75 souls showed up for a costumed GoRuck Tough event. It was cold, I wasn’t mentally prepared and we had 3 Cadre. Three (3) of them. Cadre Cleve (from our Boston Tough) aka Cadre Panda, Cadre Dustin aka Cadre Grumpy Bear and Cadre Mike aka Hot Mike aka the Lumberjack. That’s 6 Recon Marine eyes that see everything and watch your every move. Let the games begin.
Once roll call was done and everyone’s gear checked we got right to it. We started out as one mega group of about 75. Standing in 4 ranks in a dark parking lot beside a soccer field, Cadre calls out ‘bear crawls’. Off we go, face first down the hill in front of us, bear crawling with our rucks on, weights hitting the back of our heads and for goodness sake DO NOT let your knees touch the ground. Unfortunately the last rank wasn’t fast enough so we all had to turn around, sprint back and start again and try to do it as a team this time. Got it the second time. Next, there was some sprinting across the field followed by a super fun game of ‘I’m up, they see me, I’m down’. This consists of starting lying on your belly, getting up as fast as you can, sprinting while you say ‘I’m up they see me I’m down’. When you say down you lie on your belly again and repeat over and over until you make it across the field. Doesn’t sound too bad but it was a special kind of ‘fun’ with rucks on.
Once we made it to the far side of the field it was time for thrusters with our rucks. Holding them by the straps, full squat, stand and press overhead. 100 of them. As a TEAM. This part is very important. All 75 people had to go down and stand up at the same time. All rucks had to go over head. If someone was out of sync or the ruck didn’t go over head, or it touched the ground, we paid with holding our rucks over our heads. We had to hold them there until all 75 people got them overhead and then we could count down from 10. However, if someone’s ruck then touched their head in this position we had to start over. From 20. And so on until we got it right and did it as a team. Once we paid our penalty we could start doing thrusters again. Sometimes we were lucky and only had to re-do a rep as a penalty. We may have had to re-do it 5 times but hey, it was better than the alternative. Did I mention they were also bottom to bottom thrusters? Meaning our ‘rest’ time and starting position was in the bottom of a squat. With the penalty re-do reps and the additional reps the Cadre kept adding we did about 300 thrusters. Now 100 of them doesn’t sound so bad, right? I have no idea how long this took. At least an hour. Maybe 2. Somewhere in the middle a group of 6 people came running down the field, stopped in front of us and yelled ‘Hi team, we’re the 6 late fuckers’ and sprinted back down the field. As much as the thrusters sucked, I didn’t want to be them at all. DO NOT be late, light or last to an event. Ever. Also somewhere in the middle someone called the cops on us for being too loud as we were in a residential area. Charge #1 of the night – disturbing the peace.
Once we finally got the thrusters done we had the pleasure of bear crawling the entire length of the soccer field. Together of course, as a team. Only going as fast as your slowest member which was totally me. I failed this so hard I could barely move a step at a time. The Thrusters nearly broke me. These were dark times and we had only just begun. We eventually made it across the field but a few of the team members had dropped to their knees and crawled which was absolutely not allowed. They were made to go back and start over. We all had to hold our rucks over our heads until they were done. We estimated about 4-5 souls dropped from the challenge during this time and another few a short time after. Welcome to the ‘Welcome Party’.
We got a short break while they split us into 3 groups, 1 for each Cadre. We were lucky and got Cleve with a group of 24. Each group went their own way with their Flag and team weight. Except 1 team who forgot their team weight so we ended up with 2 and I’m sure they paid dearly for forgetting theirs.
Our first movement was to get to Rockefeller State Park. First we crossed the road to the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. One catch, both the cemetery and park are closed. No problem! GRT’s are great at jumping fences. Charge #2 of the night – breaking and entering Charge #3 of the night – Trespassing In order to make it through the cemetery undetected we went dark, meaning no head lamps and quiet. We made it through (another group wasn’t so lucky and were stopped by security at the gate). Once we got through the cemetery we had to un-break in and exit. So we hopped another fence. This was immediately followed by Charge #4 of the night – breaking and entering #2 into Rockefeller Park.
We continued to ruck on until we were told to stop and fill some sandbags with dirt we found and dug up. Sandbags were 120#, 80# and two 60#. We had lots of people to share the love this time so no one had to carry for too long. We also had the 2 team weights, a flag and a kit bag with ‘emergency supplies’ in it. A short time later we conveniently came across a stubby, rotten heavy tree to add to the mix which complicated things a bit. We stopped a few times and learned some lessons on communication and team work. We had a few penalties to pay for dropping a sandbag (not allowed) and for calling Cadre ‘Sir’. They will tell you thank you but I’m not a Sir, so please use your rucks as a kettlebell and swing them (together of course) while I count. Or hold the top of a pushup without your knees touching the ground for an undermined amount of time while I talk. You know, super fun things like that.
Somewhere in the middle of the night we met at a school with the other two groups. Charge #5 of the night – breaking and entering #3 jumping fences at said school.
We got a good break here while we told ghost stories and had a nice (though very smelly) penguin huddle. If you haven’t tried a huddle, try one. They’re quite delightful when exhausted and cold. Some Cadre don’t like them though so we were broken up and formed into ranks and did some ruck holds and pushups while we learned how to count (our group had some trouble getting past 17. For the record the next number is 18. This information may come in handy to you one day). From here we split into two groups. We were lucky and got Cleve again. Off we go on our separate ways. We left one team weight and our 2 lighter sandbags for the other team. We still had our rotten tree, the 120# and 80# sandbag, kit bag, flag and team weight. Did I mention our team weight was an actual skeleton with weights duct taped to his insides? His name was Charlie. He was a great buddy carry partner. We also accrued some casualties to carry. But we learned some valuable lifesaving lessons from one and learned about concealment and extraction while hearing war stories from Cleve. Before the event we all had to research and find a Special Operations Forces member who was killed in action. Some people briefed us on their chosen member through the night. We truly don’t understand what these men and women go through at war. They are remarkable people.
We were on our last half of the night, feeling pretty good. We somehow lost all of our ruck straps though so if you weren’t carrying a bag, person or weight you had to carry your ruck without using any straps. At day break we stopped and got some rope out of the kit bag. Then we learned how to make a rope bridge over a stream and learned how to make a harness out of rope so we could hook into the rope and traverse ourselves across. This was super fun and a great end to a tough night. The bridge delayed us though and as the other group was already at endex we had to boogie to meet them. We got to dump the sandbags and our casualties magically came back to life so we could run (literally at the end) to meet the other group.
This was a much different event than our last one. It was tougher for sure. With more people there is a whole different dynamic and we found our team we had wasn’t as in tune as last time and it was cold which was an added challenge. We were lucky and didn’t get wet this time but the other group wasn’t so lucky. They got to do some hydro burpees in swampy water. We got to see how different Cadre work. Some of them are pretty intense. All said it was a ‘fun’ event. I made it through the night despite my challenges with the welcome party. I didn’t have my mind right and it showed. Next time I will prepare better. That’s right, next time 🙂