News / Slider / June 20, 2020

GORUCK Yourself: A Fanboy’s Lament

by Billy Brown

Every now and then something comes along that totally misrepresents our sport. Apparently, that happened with GORUCK  recently, in which a publication used a bunch of greased up models acting like they were struggling to carry a log to represent GORUCK. The participants of these events were not happy. One of those participants was Joel Gat, who I met at the Transrockies Run in 2011 and is one of the biggest gluttons for punishment I’ve ever met. He sent me a tirade via Facebook with some excellent pictures that might have worked better.

As a journalist, I get it - sometimes it’s tough to depict something accurately in photographs, especially under deadline. As an occasionally jilted fanboy, though, I could identify with Joel’s frustration.  I thought he deserved a (slightly) bigger platform than my FB inbox.So, with his permission, here is his message thread.

“So this mini article shows up in my stream. The goruck fanatics are jumping up and down about the poor representation of what we do…”


 ”GORUCK has the same kind of cult following that Spartan and Tough Mudder have (and just like the followers of those two, GORUCK folks get all excited about anything that makes what they do seem easy…). But the comments on the GORUCK thread center around a bunch of models holding a tiny little log (with their hands! - it’s so light, they don’t need to rest it on their shoulders… and so thin, you’d think it was a little branch) while not wearing backpacks (despite the writing saying “wearing a 30 pound rucksack”). One of the rules of every goruck event is that once the event starts, rucks never touch the ground - always on you.
Here are some pics of real logs and how miserable you can/should look during an event.”
Ever the constructive one, Joel offered some tips on improving future GoRuck coverage:
Anyway, it made me laugh (a) how silly those shirtless models looked, and (b) how much the GORUCK community jumped on that. I think the cadre would love to have someone ACTUALLY DO ONE and then write about it. Even better, have a photog friend follow you around and take pics of your suffering.


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Billy Brown
Billy Brown
has a hard time standing still. A few years ago he combined his passion for the active lifestyle with his love of toys and somehow made a job out of it as a journalist specializing in outdoor sports and adventure travel. An avid runner, climber, crossfitter and snowboarder, he has tested gear around the world, from canyon running in Jordan to ice climbing in Chamonix. He writes for Outside Magazine, Men’s Health, Men’s Journal, Wired, and Backpacker, as well as on websites like Gear Institute and Contact him at [email protected]

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