In your next Tough Mudder, you might take notice of pockets of mudders sporting weighted backpacks (most often filled with road sodas), combat boots, and black baseball caps. Some will carry a bonus item in one hand such as a kettle bell or log for an extra level of difficulty and punishment. If you catch them at the right time, you might even witness one of their chants, "GO--RUCK! GO--RUCK," which they repeat thought the course.

The core concept of the challenge is cooperation, and teamwork is tantamount to getting through each obstacle along the way.
These men (and women) are the GORUCK challengers (see Interview with Ryan Erdei at Mud Run Maniac). They are quite possibly the hardest of the hardcore mud run maniacs. To join the GORUCK team, you must first pass a GORUCK Challenge. The challenges are led by Green Berets, held in urban locations, and typically last between 8-12 hours and cover 15-20 miles. All challengers must carry a rucksack full of 20-30 pounds of bricks. The core concept of the challenge is cooperation, and teamwork is tantamount to getting through each obstacle along the way. The challenge pushes one's limits and exposes an individual's strengths and weaknesses...helping one another is not suggested, it is demanded. In today's Maniac Monday Workout, we're going GORUCK.

What you'll need:
  • A running partner willing to "GORUCK" with you (can be done solo, but you'll miss out on the full cooperative experience)
  • Backpack
  • Duct tape
  • 20 pounds of weight (bricks, rocks, sandbag, logs, dumbbells, etc.)


Prepare your rucksack:
  1. Layout your towel and place your weights/items in the middle.
  2. Fold up the weights/items in the towel and wrap well with duct tape into a tight package. The object is to make a secure, padded weight that won't cause abrasion while you run.
  3. Place your package into your backpack, zip up and stretch out.


GORUCK or Go Home!
Strap on your weighted pack and head out with your running partner for a five-miler or more. Take turns carrying each other's pack as needed. Do not let your packs hit the ground until you hit the finish line. Remember, you are not running for time here; the goal is to finish your run together, with your packs, so use shift your pace down as your body, legs and running partner demand. Communicate and cooperate.

Bonus challenge:
Take another weighted object with you, such as a log, toolbox full of tools, kettle bell, water jugs, etc. Take turns passing the item to one another while you run. Don't let it hit the ground.