Ruck, Race, Shoot: Limit of Advance 2014

When I heard of a new obstacle race that involved rucking and shooting, I was on board immediately. It also helped that they used a photo of me in one of their ads:

LOA used my photo

Long story short, the race was under-received and only a few hundred people attended. Which is a shame, because it really was an awesome event.

Get to the venue, ran into a few friends that I didn’t know were also running, check in and have the rucksack weighed. Note for next time, it is worth it to buy a luggage scale. I weighed mine on a bathroom scale and came out about 15 pounds heavier than I needed to be. With our bibs and T shirts, we received a dog tag marked with a single word, “Quit.”

When we heard the call for last chalk (what in other races would be the open wave) we rucked up and followed the course marshal to the start point. We got there just as the elites were finishing the ruck portion, having to carry an 8′ timber post in addition to their ruck. (I need to run elite next time.) We were given the normal pre-race safety briefing, and we were off, down a gravel road, into the fog.

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I stayed with the middle of the pack for most of the 7.62K ruck over back roads and through roadside ditches, but was toward the back by the start of the obstacle course. Elites would have to take the ruck through the course, but being an open runner I was allowed to drop mine.

Obstacles started with an 800 meter wire crawl. Putting simulated gunfire over this was a nice touch.

At the end of the crawl, we received another dog tag: “I”.

The next obstacle was appropriately enough called “The Dirty Name”:

Dirty Name

Basically you have to climb onto a 6×6 beam, jump to the next, and repeat the process. I made it onto the middle beam without a problem, but lost my balance before I could attempt the second jump.

Onward over trails, through a swamp, over a log set at about shoulder height (I was happy to make that one, as I have always sucked at this obstacle before), and came to the reverse ladder. I had some trouble getting over the top rung, and when I finally made it I kept going, head down rather than stopping to turn around. Someone behind me commented that we really NEEDED a picture of this:

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Next serious obstacles were the tall walls:

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There were four of varying heights, and they had to have been somewhere from 11 to 13 feet. We teamed up got each other over, two people acting as stepping stones and a third pushing from behind.

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The course marshal at this point told us that he was impressed at the teamwork we showed, and I simply replied, “We’re Cornfed, this is what we do.”

The next obstacle that sticks out in my mind is the confidence climb. It sticks out in my mind because it is one of the obstacles that frightens me, and that I gave up on halfway though at GR Nasty. This time, I made it through. Although I did discover that the very top is not a fun place to have a calf cramp.

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The rest of the obstacles I do not have pictures for, but there were over-unders, monkey bars (which I failed), and sloped walls that you had to run up, grab the top, and then climb over.

The final obstacle was a barbed wire crawl through ice.

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Across the finish line, with an added touch that I have never seen before: The race director asking each and every racer what could be done to make it better. THAT was something that I appreciated.

We went on to the shooting portion, 10 rounds at 25 yards with the 1911, and 10 rounds at 100 yards with the AR15. Horrible would be a polite way of describing my shooting, a total of 5 hits for all 20 rounds. Need to get more range time in.

After leaving the rifle range, we received our final dog tag:

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I can’t wait to see what is in store for the next one. And yes, I will run it elite, just to see what they have in store.

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