In 490 BC, Greek messenger Philippides ran from the battlefield in Marathon to Athens to announce the Greek victory over the Persians. Legend has it he ran the entire distance without stopping, bursting into the Assembly and crying out “We won!” before collapsing to his death.
Seeking to recall the glory of ancient Greece and create a popular event, the organizers of the first modern Olympics in 1896 came up with the marathon race we know today. Since then, the marathon has come to symbolize an impressive and humbling distance to cover, a personal achievement done collectively.
Echoing ancient Greece plus our own Special Forces inspiration, here’s a challenge for those of you who seek such things - The GORUCK 26.2-Miler Star Course, the first rucking marathon of its kind:
Finishers earn the 26.2-Miler patch, which will never be for sale.
You and your team of 2-5 (including you) show up at the Start Point. A GORUCK Cadre will issue you a list of waypoints. The route you and your team choose will be your own, so choose wisely. The minimum distance possible will be just over 26.2 miles. You can expect to see the best sites in your city and more.
Prior to starting the clock, we’ll ensure that you make a successful comms check with our remote support team via text message. At each waypoint, you’ll be responsible for texting a picture of your team. This will serve as verification of your mileage, and by the end you’ll have a great album of photos to document the experience.
NOTE: This is not a Cadre-led event and there are no push-ups or smoke sessions.
Register as an individual, ruck as a team (you are responsible for forming or finding a team of 2-5 ruckers)
Includes: the opportunity to earn the finisher’s patch, and a cold one or two at the end point.
If you come in under 11 hours, you and your teammates earn the patch. If you don’t, there’s always next year.
Everyone earns a beer (and a hug) at the finish. We’ll see ya there.
Hand is retired US ARMY and served as a Ranger with 3/75 in Somalia and was on one of the first ODAs in Afghanistan after 9/11 as an 18E with 5th Special Forces Group. He has deployed to Africa, Asia, Central America and Europe. He likes the mountains, hiking, mountain biking, beer, bacon and classic rock. He loves the American flag, freedom, football and family. He is dedicated to building better Americans through teamwork (and pain).