Monday, October 3, 2016

Friday/Saturday, Sept. 30 - Oct.1

GoRuck Tough - Mogadishu Event

We started at 9pm in Edgewater Park on the west side of Cleveland, OH.  During the brief introduction and bag check Dale Sizemore, one of the Rangers involved with Operation Gothic Serpent, was present and told part of his personal story of the events that transpired Oct. 3-4, 1993.  Dale brought along a bottle of Three Rangers Whiskey and asked who planned to still be here in the morning and would carry the bottle without breaking it throughout the event.  Nobody moved, so I stepped forward and accepted the task.  There were 30 of us present, about half had done at least one GoRuck Tough or Heavy event prior, many had done 3+, so us newbies planned to look toward them for guidance.

We then moved to the beach area for calisthenics as we began our 10-12 hour journey.  Our packs, 30#+, were to never to touch the ground at anytime throughout the event.  We began with 4-count jumping jacks, 50 of them, all done together with one of the experienced members leading us.  This proved to be difficult as he lost his breathe counting and doing the jumping jacks, so we started over till we got it right.  Next we did some bear crawls and duck walks, were it quickly became apparent I was in better shape than most.  Two individuals dropped out and quit in this first 30 minutes.  Many were hurting pretty bad and showing heavy signs of fatigue.  My muscles were burning as well, but this is what we all knew this was about, so I was more than surprised at the lack of preparation by 75% of people.  I was all the more confused because most of these individuals have an online presence that makes you think they are in shape and 'billy-badass'.

After additional squats, burpees, lunges, jumping lunges and a couple trips into the lake with exercises in the water we began our first run to another park, about a mile away.  Here we got into groups based on height and carried picnic tables around this park, on our shoulders and pressed overhead on command, while also navigating over fences and barriers.  The 6 talls guys, the group I was in, had our communication and movements in sync, no problems at all.

Next we moved through a fence and along an active railroad track, trains were passing approximately every 15-20 minutes.  We were tasked with picking up and moving with a railroad tie.  This took 8-10 of use to move effectively.  We had to pause once, and get into the high weeds, while a train passed.  We started to cross the rail bridge into downtown Cleveland when the bridge operator noticed us and called the authorities on us.  After about a 30 minute delay to explain what was going on, we were re-routed back to the main traffic and sidewalk bridge.  Along the way we were told to pick up a telephone pole that was found on the side of the road.

This telephone pole took 16 of us to move somewhat effectively and slowly, it was heavy.  Our total distance of carrying this thing was about 3+ miles; over the Detroit-Superior Bridge from the west into the Public Square, then out and around Progressive Field, left on Carnegie to 18th.  Turned North on 18th before stashing it along a building just short of Superior.  We then continued our group march down to the Rock'N'Roll Hall of Fame and Voinovich Bicentennial Park.  Here we 'learned' how to fireman's carry and had more exercise evolutions; drags, thrusters, running, overhead work.  The sunrise was upon us and we knew we were a couple of hours (and miles) away from finishing.  We started our ruck back towards our start point, but we first stopped at the Cleveland Browns stadium for some backwards bear-crawls up 15 of the outside steps.  Then we went around to the other side and a larger set of stairs to complete four sets of bunny hops up about 45 steps.

Now we started our way back, but the cadre leader was going to make us work for it with numerous boughts of overhead pack carries, lunges, double time and bear-crawling up the Detroit-Superior bridge heading west.  About a mile from returning to Edgewater Park we stopped for our last 'inspirational' talk from Dale Sizemore.  This then started for us and civilian re-enactment of the Mogadishu Mile where the soldiers had to carry there wounded out of the city to safety.  We needed to keep 8 guys elevated at all times.  So you either had 3-4 packs on your body, or you had someone else.  Most of the small guys were quickly picked up and packs handed to medium guys.  I teamed up with another 215# lad and we alternated shoulders and carrying each other for the mile back.  It was work and we both felt being carried felt worse than carrying.  Regardless, we made it together back to the beach and finished 13.5 hours after we started.

Pictures and handshakes followed.  Then a few of us striped down for a dip in the lake to clean off and ice the body.

Overall, it was about what I expected, it was tough and it was a challenge.  13.5 hours of pretty much non-stop heavy physical activity.  

No comments: