Ten PAX found a hell of a way to get out of a Sharknado while fulfilling requirements for GoRuck Resolution Ruck, Ruck.beer’s Monthly Rucking Challenges, and/or Pathfinder. Pax also had the option to simply put in quality time burning calories and showing off cute bought patches and CSAUP for ole’ CSAUP’s sake. The result was an exhausting educational 20-mile overnighter, our first en masse since Oct. 12, 2018.
Who was there? What did we do? What did we learn?
Who was there?
10 in total, a few more in spirit, broken down thusly:
For the love of the game — Scarecrow, Laloyd. Not sure if either one is doing Resolution Ruck, but these guys love to come out and CSAUP [the F3 term for “completely stupid and utterly pointless” or as Scarecrow’s patch says, “That sounds like a terrible idea. What time?”]. Got a terrible idea? Just tell them what time.
For the love of a hall pass — Barricade and Oilermaker. Rare are the times we see these guys together in an F3 evening setting. It was such a special occasion that we had to drink to commemorate it.
For the fellowship and the pre- or post-ruck pizza and the thrill of going two thirds of the way — Peyton and HHH. These guys bring the fellowship and one gregarious soul even brings snacks for the group. They didn’t finish, but we enjoyed their presence while it lasted.
For the attempt at the fine art of long rucking and trying out new gear — Taxman, Optimus and Algorithm. Shouts to Algorithm for resurfacing for the first time in forever and rucking in jeans. Dude needs to find a regular residency as a Troy Clydesdale and would be great to see more often. Props to all three of these guys who logged their longest rucks ever by virtue of completing the first loop. Algorithm had never rucked before, so that was a nice start!
For the love of it all plus a need to knock out a Pathfinder challenge and see how many cool kids can be tricked into showing up to share in the misery — Editor (pseudo QIC but not really).
What did we do?
Well, as we launched our trot, albeit 17 minutes late thanks to me picking up a three-hour detention supervision at the last minute and log-jamming my evening, we learned that one self-hating pax had the trots from his Chipotle lunch and Giordano’s deep dish dinner.
We hit a really nice seven-mile loop that I had pre-planned. It went past the Fairgrounds, hospital, CPHS, and pieces of Youche Country Club where our friend Spur resides. The route could have been good for another two passes as it was well-paved, often with double-wide sidewalks, and not in much traffic danger but also not flat, boring stretches of cracked pavement and goose poop.
But speaking of poop, we had to end the first loop at a toilet somewhere so HHH could finish what he started at the Fairgrounds Family Express. Oilermaker wanted so badly to see HHH join the “I defecated in the woods on a 20-mile overnighter” club, but Oiler remains alone on that swampy island.
To appease HHH’s irritable bowels, we visited Tavern on Main to show everyone that late night rucking and consuming alcohol are huge parts of the GoRuck culture. We received countless oddball looks and questions and realized it’s really hard to explain rucking even while we are doing it. After one drink we all had a taste for the sauce and realized that the first loop was not very conducive to continued consumption.
We took the three newest ruckers — Optimus, Taxman and Algorithm — to their cars and sent them on their way after a group photo. Our next loop took us down the Erie-Lackawanna Trailhead north out to 91st Street. We had a great pace and were heading deep down the trail toward Route 30, the part where cars zoom past on the other side of the trail, but we had a dilemma at 1:56 a.m. when we had exhausted our Truly cans and wondered where we would get our next fix. Too late to get back to the Square, our only chance was a liquor seller or maybe the dive called Rivals near Aurelio’s on Main Street. We chose CVS at 2:41 a.m. and a case of White Claw. Barricade was the booze Q and went in solo for the surreptitious buy. We made it to Rivals in time to see that it was about 18 men and one female bartender locking up as bros peeled out after last call. Oilermaker had a lighter for the bartender’s cigarette, but we still couldn’t gain entry or explain rucking.
We palmed our warm White Claws and trudged up Main Street back to the cars to drop off HHH and Peyton, who were clamoring for Taco Bell or Casey’s Pizza or anything at that point. With two loops totaling more than 14 miles, we were more than two-thirds of the way to our goal of 20.19. However, we were down to five people, conversation topics wore thin, and the buzz of the night had literally and figuratively worn off, and we settled in for the slog. Oiler tried to get a sing-along going but was rebuked by an anti-Pearl Jam Barricade. It was clear that we hadn’t been rucking long distances as much lately, and this was taking a toll on our bodies. Yet we pounded the pavement. This loop went east past the F3 neighborhood where Scarecrow, 45 and Bert live. We saw Scarecrow’s new multicolored lights on display, and at Bert’s house, Taxman’s orders to lift up Bert’s wiper blades and draw foul images on his windshield were followed with precision. We hit Sauerman’s Woods but not the actual woods and did not assault the gazebo or draw the attention of the police. We came back through the old Monday Run route and back down Greenwood and Michael Jordan’s old house, now desolate at 4 a.m.
We took no more breaks, despite some push to gamble with our lives and stop at my house for a garage beer and/or potential throat slitting if we woke up my daughter, and proceeded to kill the miserable miles by heading down Greenwood toward Ellendale. We came north and did not ruck the cemetery. We arrived at Wheeler, though we had initially pooh-poohed finishing on the track, and were at 18.5 miles. The idea? Just get this over with via seven treacherous track laps. We tried to shuffle, but our feet were being pulverized so it only went so far. My eyes got heavy, and I powered 10 yards at a time with my eyes half to fully closed. We fancied sitting on a bench to take a few sighing breaths and lift our feet off the ground for two minutes, but some of our wives had come through beforehand to flip the benches on the ground and send a message: Get home, boys.
Scarecrow was the official timer and led the pack all night. Once he called 20.19, we immediately departed the track, took a quick photo that cropped me out, said some quick goodbyes and departed for home. It was 5:30 a.m. The snow had not yet begun to fall.
What did we learn? (Among other things)
HHH sometimes lies, though The Mick already knew this.
Timing is everything. Not just that you should show up early to things, but we nailed the timing of this ruck as it might have been the last dry night in the area for a while. Timing also paid off with the booze purchase and HHH’s bowel movements. Maybe missing last call at a bar was a good thing in some regards. I’ve forgotten some other coincidences, but time was on our side.
Everyone wants to ride the hovercraft at the Lake County PD.
We need a combo F3 name of Undermaker.
Laloyd unearthed some gnarly metal covers of classic ‘80s songs.
Barricade’s favorite restaurant in the United Kingdom is Burger King.
Prison looks boring, and “Oz” probably embellished a little.
Taxman is a quiet one.
There is a really cool World War II deep dive podcast. Discussing it at length kept Barricade from quitting the ruck. See Barra, Oiler or Laloyd for details.
We all have different, albeit equally ineffective, ways of explaining rucking. We all agreed that we hate when people call it a race or a run.
HHH does not take a lot of pictures or watch any TV shows.
Oilermaker does not like insert shots in TV shows. If they are wearing different clothes in the interview, or they are acting surprised to be called for “Titan Games” even though they definitely had to notice the professional camera crew at their house, he ain’t buying it.
Peyton highly recommends “Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds” by David Goggins.
Scarecrow does not like breaks.
Peeing your pants at a GORUCK event isn’t all that rare, and more than one of us has done so.
Optimus has to explain to his family that being “on a ruck” doesn’t mean we are physically riding something.
Barricade’s daughter knows of a cool mysterious teacher named “Mista Hawts”.
Peyton was gone eight years but likes Airbnb for travel.
Scarecrow once rucked through the Youche CC golf course to complete a loop.
Crown Point is rife with resale shops, in case anyone didn’t know.
Scarecrow intended to do the Saturday morning Sharknado but felt bad for the rest of us and didn’t want to show us up.
HHH used to have weight room supervision duties and double up on pay by using that time to schedule his homebound appointments.
Optimus and maybe Taxman are interested in Pathfinder Class 19.
Peyton and Oilermaker have good shop talk and insider HR secrets.
Algorithm played football at Merrillville, and he and I and HHH and Taxman know some people in common.
There are some opinions on Growruck Chicago.
The director of Doodles for Google reportedly would recognize Taxman and HHH’s faces if he saw them.
Laloyd is on a 12-week no-booze kick.
Barricade’s wife recommends books 10 years before other people.
Maybe some of that caffeine pill, electrolyte stuff is overrated. I used absolutely nothing extra last night, just water. If you can get used to not using it, that’s probably a good thing. I’ll use them at Toughs obviously, but this time the beer and the full day of eating right were OK.
Oilermaker likes to shine his headlamp on his front lawn to see all the spiders’ eyes.
No one from F3NWIND is doing the D-Day Heavy as of now.
Backpack weight is relative. I had at least 30 pounds in my pack from the 9/11 Light until I picked it out to pack for the UK Dec. 30. I felt silly wearing just 20, even though it’s the Star Course weight, so I wore 35 for the first loop despite this killer heel spur. Twenty is plenty when you are doing 20 miles though.
Oilermaker is great at chatting up drunken strangers as long as they aren’t washing their underwear in the sink.
Lots of cool patches on our experienced ruckers. Already mentioned Scarecrow’s, Oilermaker has a nice Swingline Stapler patch, Barricade has MASS HOLE, and HHH has Minivan Centurion.
We all long for an F3 member’s wedding and ensuing bacchanal.
Barricade gets miffed if he texts a cadre at 1:30 a.m. and doesn’t get an immediate response.
Star Course update: It might get bleak. We might need cards, icebreaker games, musical interludes, etc. It’s all fun for about 15 miles, but the mental aspect of 50 miles should not be underestimated. We’ll have the grit, but do we have enough games like “A, my name is …” in our memory banks?
I had some other witty insights, but the coffee subsided, so I’ll leave it with this.
Fellowship is HUGE. I left my wallet in the car, but some pax had my back. Barricade left his guns in the car, but he knew we all had his back if the deer attacked. Several of us wanted to wander into traffic or drop to the ground and die of exposure on these mean Crown Point streets, yet the others had our backs and kept us motivated. You might think yourself insane for working a full day, potentially putting kids to bed or yelling at someone else to do it and heading out on a 20-mile ruck in the dead of the night, but the pax have your back and provide all the metaphorical warmth to make it all worthwhile.
Thanks a TON to everyone who came out to get better, knock off challenges, and grow together as brothers. This was great fun, a quality accomplishment, and a true CSAUP event. Sorry I didn’t write like this after the October Overnighter. Here’s to many more.