Wednesday, May 31, 2017

6PM May 25th, 2017
GORUCK Heavy, Honor the Fallen, Washington DC. 

Start point: Green just outside Lincoln Memorial Gift Shop 

Amid a Thursday night rush hour traffic and a thunderstorm the team formed up just north of the Lincoln Memorial gift shop. A few members having gotten stuck in traffic and being unaware that the start point was not in fact the memorial itself but the gift shop to the north, did not make the 6PM start time and trickled in over the next twenty minutes to the cards dismay. In the mean time, in the pouring rain of the thunderstorm with lightening streaking across the sky, Cadre Rob and Cadre Brian Squared conducted inspection of the rucks for proper equipment (Head lamps, water source/weight 30 lb steel plate or the like) and the safety protocols for the event. They also let the Class know they would be Heavy Class 181.

With the class now assembled and briefed they were told to collect the team coupons which consisted of a 5 gallon jerry can of water, a filled 5 gallon plastic watercooler bottle, the team weight which was a 50b replica of an Arlington National Cemetery tomb stone and the American Flag, which would be carried throughout the event. The cadre directed the class move to the reflection pool if front of the Lincoln Memorial for the admin portion of the event: An individual 12 mile ruck march in under 3.5 hours and the Army PT protocol for push ups and sit ups. The route was explained to us being a loop passing the reflecting pool, WWII memorial, Washington Monument, up Capitol hill, around the Capitol, where they would find Cadre Brain eating his Chipotle bowl, and back to then make two circles around the Lincoln memorial before repeating.

With the rain subsiding and the team now thoroughly wet they were set off to complete the qualifying event. Some set off running others at a steady pace of walking. Rather uneventful, the ruck with 50lbs being carried, concluded after the sun went down with all parties completing it well within the necessary time.  It was the first miles they would feel of many on their feet. 
The Sit up /Push up qualification was next. 42 Push ups and 53 sit-ups being the requirement. Having just completed shy of a half marathon some of the class had a taste for the serious nature of the distance involved with this event. The test was conducted with several individuals failing either one or both of the requirements. They were reminded that there are standards to this event with a helping of burpees while others got to reset themselves, their packs and rest a minute. The addition of the burpees to the PT was too much for one individual and he removed himself from the class. The class reformed and was taken on the move to start the trek of GR Heavy.

WWII Memorial/ Washington Monument/ Capitol

Class 181 moved from the ruck march start on the same path it had just taken twice and up to the middle of the walk way in front of that WWII Memorial. With the fountains in the background and the Washington monument lit up in the near  distance,  Cadre Rob when over some of the staggering statistics of the armed forces during the war. 

The class then moved to the base of the 600 ft Washington monument. With the monument lit up and darkness fully set in, here the Cadre told us a story of a supply officer that perished in Afghanistan reminding us that not all deaths in war are glorious but come at the cost of the necessary functions of being at war. The class was given a hero WOD to commemorate this individual. 

WOD 1: 
20 Ruck Swings while partner planks with ruck, alternate,  Buddy drag partner half way around the Washington monument 75m, 15 Ruck swings/ planks, alternate, Buddy carry half way around the monument, switch, 10 ruck swings/ planks, alternate ruck around the monument. The team lost a couple members here as they walked off into the night as did cadre Brain to rest for the next day. 

The class went up Capitol Hill to the the East side of the Capitol where under the guise of a few security guards was reminded of why this country is so great and the tremendous freedom we have. To seal this in, a memorable flutter kick PT session was held on the grounds, with the Capitol over them before moving on. 

Approximate distance covered: 14 miles,  Time: Unknown estimated 10:30

Naval Memorial / White House

The class took their coupons and traveled to he Naval Memorial for a moment of reflection on their way, roughly two miles to the north side of the Whitehouse. Passing the presidential residence and ending up in Farragut Square. Here another WOD was conducted on the wet chilly grass in the park. A security guard came up to cadre Rob inquiring as to what we were doing. He explain and the now intrigued guard gave a very positive stamp of approval. 

WOD 2:
Low Crawl 25m , 25 4 count Flutter Kicks, 25m buddy drags, Low crawl 25m, 25 4 count flutter kicks. 

Glover Archbold Trail

Upon completion, the next mission was to find adequate facilities for team member to relieve themselves. A rather difficult task at approximately 2am. Having completed the rather important detail orders were to move northwest on  Massachusetts ave. and find a Trail head roughly 3.5 miles away on the left side of the road. A constant uphill trudge, with two stops from reporters, who thought they were protesting something. This was a bit tedious and the miles were certainly felt as they crossed many an intersection and the 50b coupons certainly laid their toll. Eventually class 181 came across a rather unassuming trail head extending directly from the sidewalks that looked to be in rather bad condition due to the rain and the first few step were a pretty severe decline. 
Class 181 took to the trail after hearing that they lost another member. A consistent narrow wooded path of mud, roots, rocks winding through the creek bed of a suburban neighborhood. As rugged as it gets for a such a setting, it made for a slow pace through wet, muddy, narrow terrain. Headlamps became needed again and the class mindfully with each step made it further down the relatively long winding trail. After a good bit of this the trail came up to a road. Upon reaching the road Cadre Rob pulled 4-5 members back onto the trail to emerge with a log. Roughly  a 4-5person log weight approximately 250lbs. This would become a companion for the foreseeable future. 

The class continued on the trail moving all the coupons and the new team member. This went on for quite a while as the trail remained muddy, narrow and obstacle ridden, including crossing a small stream at the bottom of a small decline. 
As the class worked there way through, looking up to the trees, it was clear that morning was about to break as the first hints of light appeared. Certainly a welcome site as melatonin levels returned to a daytime mode. 

Another mile or so went by as Class 181 now had a system down of teams, organized by height that rotated on the log to keep it moving over the distance. It was hard to tell where the team was but they worked their way to an open grassy clearing. There they discovered the return of Cadre Brian who was waiting for them in the middle of the clearing. The humidity was thick in the air. A residual from last night rain and the grassy was very wet from the dew. A 20 minute break was given for the team to get equipment straight and reset a bit. 

The Clearing/ Trail Ending / The Stairs

Once the break was over cadre Brian addressed the class indicating that this was in fact Heavy and not two Toughs back to back. He was going to treat the class as if they were fresh and had just showed up. He also indicated that he didn't really care about distance and that he loved PT. 

WOD 3 “7”:
7 rounds, 7reps of burpees, mountain climbers, ruck swings, thrusters, knee touches, monkey fuckers

In the swampy humidity the class performed this workout together being led by one of the team members. It was a sweatfest and a reminder that this was no joke. 

Post workout the coupons were collected and the team continued down what would be the remainder of the trail toward  the Potomac near Georgetown, still switching teams on and off the log and exchange coupons between members.  Grumblings were heard from DC event veterans that were were close to something called the “Exorcist stairs”. 

Now in a more urban setting, the coupons were moved through the streets of Georgetown. The class got a bit bottled up with a side walk closure as rush hour traffic built, on a narrow side walk next to a very busy divided road. It took sometime to negotiate how to get to the other side of the divided street with a giant log and other coupons. Back tracking they came to the under tunnel and made it to the other side and back up some ramps and stairs to where they could cross into downtown streets.  Up and over a crossing bridge, crossing several crosswalks and down a fairly busy street. the destination was in fact  the infamous stairs. Coupons were placed at the bottom of the stairs to the side. The stairs themselves were squeezed between two buildings at a noticeable grade. It was mentioned there were 74 steps in total.

WOD 4:

5 rounds, Bunny hop with ruck to the top of the Exorcist  Stairs

Carde Brian gave instructions on how to hop up the stairs; feet together no stepping up. It was a grind for the class but they completed the task. The physical output required definitely showed on the faces of the team. Cadre was aware of a water source near the top of the stairs in a courtyard just to the right. Class 181 was given 20 minutes to get their feet straight, equipment together and water filled. 

On the move again the class went down the stairs, picked up the coupons and proceeded back through the streets of Georgetown working there way to near where the trail had ended down by the canal. They proceeded down the stretch of the canal, log / coupons in tow and moved east back toward Washington, swapping teams on the log with proficiency. Moving along the Potomac for what was likely a couple miles they were again nearing the start point of the Lincoln Memorial. 

Lincoln Memorial

Upon reaching the grassy area just south of the Lincoln Memorial Carde Brian had the team form up at the top of the stars that led towards the road that separates the area from the Potomac. Again the Cadre expressed his love of PT gave orders for the next round of good livin’.  

WOD 5: 
Reverse bear crawl up half of the 22 stairs with ruck. Then a repeat of the “Exorcist stair” WOD x5, the choice of the stairs again or 100m Bear Crawls, the stairs again or 100m duck walks, “Sally” with ruck thrusters, abs (6” to 90 with “kiss the deck” 

The team cranked out what seemed to be an never ending litany of physical tests. The stairs again did there trick to simulate blood flow. The benevolent Cadre allowed the team to select there form of out put for the next two rounds with them choosing bear crawls and duck walks of 100m each rather then the stair hops again. An elongated ab workout was dealt, consisting of 6inch holds with ruck on the chest or pressed above and moving from there to the 90 degrees leg position. Occasionally a “kiss the deck” was thrown in wear the ruck had to touch the ground behind the participants head. To finish things off with a little music the cadre played “Bring Sally up” for the classes amusement while they did ruck thrusters to the tune.  Upon completion the the coupon were gathered and the team moved. 

The Island

Order across the Arlington Bridge to Theodore Roosevelt Island the team crossed still switching teams on the log, to the end of the span and down to the biking trail below. They crossed over the foot bridge onto the island and proceeded the 1/4 mi up to the Theodore Roosevelt Monument. Cadre form two ranks in front of the state gave a little speak about the ex president and medal of honor winner, then spoke of heros and Memorial Day. In honor of such a day we would do a hero WOD, it’s name was “Murph”

WOD 6:
“Murph” modified
With ruck sack, 
run 1mi
100 push presses
200 push ups
300 Squats
run 1 mi. 

A shocked team began the workout with one of the team members being given the run route which the rest were to follow. Down the train behind the memorial they went. The trail still very muddy from the rain was not ideal for running with a rucksack. Around the island back up a small hill to the start point the team passed again for the second of what was now known to be a half mi loop. Upon completion a team member led the others in the group breakdown of the remaining reps that were required. 25, 10, 5, 25, 5, 15 reps were done as best they could be and eventually completed on the wet, pebble covered ground. Off on the second mi they went with the instructions to break 13 minutes on this mile as it was 14 minutes to complete the first. the trudge went on with the team making a visually more aggressive effort. The team arrived back to the start after the second loop with some stragglers working to finish as best they could. One team member had enough and removed themselves from the event. 

Having completed the task the team was again given 15 minutes to get themselves in order before moving on. 
Cadre Rob made his reappearance looking well rested and carrying Cadre Brian’s Chicken kabob lunch.


The Class formed up and were allowed to ditch the log that they had carried for what was about 9-10 hours and countless miles. they placed it into the bushes of Roosevelt Island and began to move off the island. Once off they proceed through the intersection leaning into downtown Arlington. Up the slight incline of down for a mile or so they continued to swap coupons and keep moving. Creating the mental yet long hill they came around to the Iwo Jima memorial, cross several intersections of traffic to arrive at the memorial.

WOD 7: 

5 rounds with ruck, 15, 8 count body builders, 20 jumping jacks, 25 thrusters

Cadre Brain told us a story about a command he had lost and in tribute we would do a WOD in his name. It was slow but the team banged out the reps one by one together with one of the members leading the way. A now visually very tired group collected themselves for a few minutes and was lucky enough to have a shadow bring the team gatorade which was greatly enjoyed. Thinking back to the being of the event those who were late were formed up and made to do high/low planks for their digression. Then, Cadre Rob had the team form up in front of the Iwo Jima Memorial and told them about the significance of it. He describe his fortune at being able to have visited the island. The Team gathered and moved on to the East.


Class 181 came to the back gate of Arlington National Cemetery and entered under strict instruction for radio silence. They proceed through the remarkable row after row of geometrically aligned tombstones. A quick stop to help carry a scooter of an individual who had run into a stair road block and back to moving up the hill toward the back of the cemetery. Up several meandering sets of stairs eventually ending up at a road where are Police officer let the cadre know we had to leave because we were caring a flag which is apparently not permitted in the cemetery. A flushed tired group made their way out of the cemetery  and down the mile plus long stretch leading to the Arlington Bridge. 
Upon Reaching the Bridge the class was given a set of three casualties that had to be carried across. Much like with the log Teams figured themselves out a rotation that seemed to work beautifully and the whole Class moved with relative ease under the new weight. Across the bridge and over the green that they had had use as a proving ground several hours before they proceed across the street behind the Lincoln Memorial.


Having reached the crowded stairs in front of the Lincoln memorial the cadre had Class 181 form up on small grassy area just above the reflecting pool. Cadre Brian began by saying that this would be the place where we would end but he wanted one more thing. One more lap, roughly a mile, around the reflecting pool, across the WWII memorial and back. This would be done carrying 6 casualties. As before with a little momentary confusion the team figured out a system and moved the 6 casualties up the side of the pool across the WWII memorial with ease albeit tired. As they made their way back onto the green a noticeable sense of relief began to take air. As they formed up Cadre Brian informed the team of the good news they had finish the casualty carry very quickly. the Bad news was it was too quickly and he wanted another lap with an additional 7th casualty. With a bit of disbelief the team struggled to get moving. A quick prod to get moving by the cadre ended with 7 people being hoisted into the air firemen style and the team took the first few steps and cadre Brian told everyone to stop and drop the team member. That was it, Endex, 28 members of class 181 were patched. 

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