SavageBlog | Information, Inspiration + Motivation
April 9, 2019

Savage Race x GORUCK : Two Ways To Ruck Savage Race!

Post by Sam Abbitt
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Here is a question I asked a friend recently, “Do you want to try rucking your next Savage Race with me?”

My friend stared at me blankly with no idea what I just asked him.

I’m willing to bet that 80% or more of you will have no idea what this question means either. Or maybe I’m wrong, and you have already heard the buzz about it in the Savage Syndicate Facebook Group. Either way, until you’ve tried rucking, you really don’t know what you’ve been missing out on. If you already know all about rucking, you might want to skip down to part 2 of this post to hear about the different ways you can ruck a Savage Race.

This is what rucking looks like at Savage Race Ruck Division. (sandbag optional)

Rucking Explained, and Why I Started Doing It (Skip this if you already know what rucking is)

Rucking, quite simply, is walking while wearing a weighted backpack.

I first started rucking in March 2018, almost exactly one year ago. At the time, I weighed 290 pounds, and was too fat to run. I say that I was too fat to run because 1) I couldn’t run very far without having to stop, and 2) I was afraid running would damage my knees, because I was so heavy. Believe me, as the founder of a fitness company that specializes in running events, the fact that I was “too fat to run” is a painful thing to admit.

Around that time I decided that enough was enough. I was tired of being fat. I needed to fix my health and weight problem. I started eating clean, and training harder. Somewhere around that time I was introduced to GORUCK and rucking.

My rucking career started with a GORUCK GR1 rucksack and a 20 pound Ruck Plate. You just stuff the plate in the bag and start walking (rucking) a mile or two every other day, or whenever you can. You can wear your ruck when you’re walking your dog (ruck your dog) or when you’re going out to get your mail. It’s as easy as that to get started, and I sort of fell in love with how easily it fit into my life. In the beginning, that 20 pound plate felt a bit heavy on my back, and I felt muscle soreness in my shoulders and upper back muscles in places that I had never felt before. Before long, the 20 pound plate sort of felt like nothing, and I started adding more weight.

Fast forward one year of clean eating, rucking, Savage Racing, and weightlifting, and I’m 40 pounds lighter and happier. Oh yeah, and I’m still rucking, except now I’m using a 40 pound weight on most of my rucks. (Pro hack: after you lose 40 pounds, rucking with a 40 pound plate feels like normal walking.)

Ruck Division: The ruck goes under the barbed wire too.

Rucking at Savage Race – There are two ways to do it.

Rucking Option 1 – Savage Race Rucking Division (This is the fun option)
The Savage Race Ruck Division is probably what I would recommend for most people. In a nutshell, this option is the same thing as running a Savage Race event, except that you are rucking it. The Ruck Division is available at all Saturday Savage Race events in 2019 and has its own dedicated 9:30am start time. To join the Rucking division, register for Savage Race on our website just like you would if you were going to run the event, and gather at the start line prior to the 9:30am start time. Ruck Division is meant to be a fun way to ruck the race course at Savage Race. There are no strict rules, like mandatory minimum weight. You get to decide how much weight to wear (I did 30#). We took the rucks off for obstacles when we felt like it made sense. Everyone starts at 9:30am so that all of the ruckers can join up and experience the fun together. I rucked the Savage Blitz Gainesville event this year with some friends, including a few guys from GORUCK HQ, and had a blast. GORUCK Founder and CEO Jason McCarthy wrote about our wonderful experience in this blog post.

The Ruck division may be best for those who are new to rucking, are looking for a fun, laid back teamwork experience, or who want to try rucking, but have no interest in staying up all night at at a Savage Race GORUCK Tough event.

What I recommend for Ruck Division:

  • 20L Rucker Rucksack or GR1 (26L GR1 is pictured below)
  •  30 pound Ruck Plate (If this is your first time rucking, start a little lighter)
  • Hydration Bladder with retainer clip. This is optional for Ruck Division. We do have hydration stations on the course, so I would probably only bring the hydration bladder on a particularly hot day.
  • Savage Race T-shirt
  • I’m a big fan of the Challenge Shorts, or the Simple Shorts for events. Jason swears that the Challenge Pants or Simple Pants are the way to go. I don’t mind sacrificing the skin on my knees a little bit so that I can feel the cool breeze. This is a matter of personal preference. The material these pants are made of dries very quickly, and they are great for events. I ruck in these shorts, but I also frequently go to the gym in them, go to the office in them, etc. They are great for events and for every day wearing around.
  • GORUCK MACV-1 Jungle Rucking Boots

Rucking Option 2 – Savage Race GORUCK Tough (This is the HARD option)
The Savage Race GORUCK Tough events are no joke. I completed two of them in 2018, and they were the most demanding physical challenges I’ve ever faced. If you are interested in pushing yourself in new ways and doing what you never thought possible, this might be your event.

The Savage Race GORUCK Tough events are 10-12 hour, 15-20 mile rucks led by a Special Forces Cadre (i.e. a real life, bad-ass soldier). The event starts at midnight on the Friday night before Savage Race, and wraps up on Saturday morning before lunch time. There is a minimum weight requirement, and a list of equipment that you must bring. I pity the fool who has to fess up to their Cadre that they forgot something on the equipment list.

This description of the Tough challenge comes directly from GORUCK.com:

We challenge you to put your team before yourself. We teach you how to lead, how to follow, and how to overcome adversity together. And you get to keep these lessons with you for the rest of your life. This is the original GORUCK Event, the one where we prove to you that you are capable of so much more than you ever thought possible when you work as a team. Earn the GORUCK Tough patch and you’ll find out that it’s a way of life and a community with some of the best people you could ever hope to meet.

During the Savage Race GORUCK Tough, you get to experience the Savage Race obstacles, but you also will be put through an undisclosed physical gauntlet of activity, courtesy of your Special Forces Cadre.

In my experience, each event was different. At one of my events, among other activities, we got to carry an 800 pound log (as a team) for seven hours. A few people in our group couldn’t handle it and quit. Those of us who completed that event agree that it was one of the most rewarding experiences we have ever had, packed with life lessons we will not soon forget. These events aren’t for everyone, that’s for sure, but if you finish one, it will be an accomplishment that you can be very proud of.

Oh yeah, and when you finish the Savage Race GORUCK Tough, you earn this patch.

What I recommend for Savage Race GORUCK Tough:

  • Everything I suggested above for Ruck Division, PLUS
  • A rucksack aka backpack (GR1 or Rucker recommended)
  • Hydration Bladder: Source 3L recommended
  • Nalgene bottle (1L) or equivalent (electrolytes recommended)
  • Reflective Ruck Bands (or equivalent) on your ruck
  • Headlamp with extra batteries
  • Windbreaker (only if temperature is expected before 60 degrees F)
  • Photo ID and $20 cash just in case
  • As a class, you need one (1) 25 lb. class weight and one American Flag. Use your event’s Facebook page to meet your class, organize training, and coordinate team weight details.
  • Flip-flops (not required) – upon completion of a GORUCK Tough, it’s one of the seven great feelings in the world to take your shoes and socks off and put flip flops on. It also makes the hell-yeah-I-earned-my-patch beer taste even better.
  • Check the event page for your specific GORUCK Tough event to view the complete recommended and required gear list

There are only two ways to get this patch: 1) Complete a Savage Race GORUCK Tough, or 2) Rob a GORUCK Cadre. Neither option is particularly easy.

Savage Race Georgia GORUCK Tough – Still smiling, 8 hours into the event.

Oh yeah… And at the end, there is always a beer or three…

Beer. The official recovery drink of GORUCK and Savage Race. (Erik + his boy, Sam, Jason, Andy)

 

Affiliate disclosure: This post includes affiliate links to GORUCK.com. GORUCK makes great, high-end gear that will stand up to Savage Race and GORUCK events. If you buy products from their website after clicking one of the affiliate links, Savage Race will receive a small percentage of the sale. Thank you for supporting GORUCK and Savage Race!

April 1, 2019

Georgia Fall 2019 Date Change

Post by Sam Abbitt
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Savage Race Georgia Fall 2019 is moving dates to the weekend of October 26 & 27, 2019, with Savage Race moving to Saturday, 10/26, and Savage Blitz moving to Sunday, 10/27. The Savage Race GORUCK Tough event will also move to the new weekend, with the same start time of 0:01 on Friday night/Sat morning. We hate to make changes to the event calendar once dates have already been released, but the venue had a schedule conflict that we didn’t find out about until this weekend, leaving us without a choice.

The good news is that the new dates could help us avoid a very hot event like we had last year in Georgia. The historical average temperatures for the new dates indicate 60 degrees at 9am, warming up to 69 degrees later in the day (excellent race conditions).

We understand that the new dates might not work for everyone, and we have three options for you to consider.

Here are your options if you registered for this event prior to the date change:

  1. You can do nothing, and your registration will be automatically transferred to the new Georgia event weekend, October 26th & 27th, 2019.
  2. You can request a transfer to any other event that we have open on our calendar, with no transfer fee. To initiate your transfer, submit a ticket here.
  3. You can request a refund if options 1 or 2 do not work for you. To request a refund, submit a ticket here.

I am sorry if this change causes any complications for you.

See you on the course!

Sam Abbitt
SRHQ

March 27, 2019

Invitation to Savage Race Florida Fall

Post by Sam Abbitt
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In this video I challenge my fellow Floridians to join me at Savage Race Florida Fall 2019 in November. I vow to complete Sawtooth AND to earn the Syndicate medal. Join me!

March 1, 2019

New Obstacle! “Chopsticks”

Post by Sam Abbitt
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Last weekend we had our first event of 2019 in Alachua, Florida, where we revealed three new obstacles: Piece of Queso, Chopsticks, and Inversion Therapy. I did the race twice (one lap with 30# ruck+ 60# team sandbag, and one regular running lap) and was able to successfully complete Piece of Queso and Chopsticks during the event, but Inversion Therapy got my number. Inversion will be a good one for me to train towards for future events.

Lee and I shot this Facebook live video to explain Chopsticks, and show you some tips on how to complete the obstacle.

Introducing “Chopsticks” & obstacle tips from Sam and Lee

February 22, 2019

New Obstacle! “Piece of Queso”

Post by Sam Abbitt
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2019 event season is here, so that means brand new obstacles! Here is obstacle release number one for the year, Piece of Queso! Make sure you are subscribed to our newsletter and part of our private Savage Syndicate Facebook group to catch more obstacle updates, training tips, and pointers for completing the obstacles.

Introducing “Piece of Queso” & pro tips from Lee

February 8, 2019

2019 Finisher Shirts Are Here

Post by Sam Abbitt
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Last week we showed you the 2019 finisher, syndicate, and PRO medals. This week, it’s tee-shirt time! We hope you love these super soft finisher shirts for Savage Race and Savage Blitz as much as we do.

If you haven’t taken advantage already, sign up for your 2019 events buy one, get one half off, using code CUPID. This offer expires 2/14 11:59 PM.

 

2019 Savage Race Finisher Tee

2019 Savage Blitz Finisher Tee

February 6, 2019

Savage Race x GORUCK Tough Challenge – Dade City, FL – November 9, 2019

Post by Alex Brown
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GORUCK is teaming up with Savage Race for a special GORUCK Tough Challenge on the grounds of the Savage Race Florida Fall. That means your Special Forces Cadre will have access to Savage Race’s 27+ obstacles for you to lead, follow, and overcome adversity as a team, by night, on an obstacle course closed to everyone else until morning.

They’ll be sleeping in their warm beds. You won’t be.

10-12 Hours
15-20 Miles
Savage Race Obstacles
Note: Parking after 5pm is free for this event

Date and time
Saturday, November 9, 2019 12:01AM (Between Friday night and Saturday morning)

Start Point
Savage Race Florida Fall
17951 Hamilton Rd, Dade City, FL 33523

What To Bring
Ruck gear is required. Visit GORUCK’s event page for more information.

How to Register
Register at GORUCK’s event page.

REGISTER NOW AT GORUCK.COM

If you are looking for the Savage Race Florida Spring page, and reached this page in error, click here to visit the webpage for that event.

Savage Race President Sam Abbitt, still smiling 8 hours into GORUCK Georgia 2018

We did some of the obstacles with our rucks on.

For some of the obstacles, the Cadre let us take our rucks off.

All Savage Race GORUCK events are led by a special forces Cadre. In this photo, Cadre JC Jordan shows off his ruck and the patch that we all earned upon completion of the event. (5 people out of 28 did not complete the event and did not earn the patch)

The class doing lunges up a hill

Slippery Incline Wall, with rucks

Block Party

The Cadre gave us a few minutes to rest underneath a sprinkler head.

Doing bear crawls, nine hours into the event.

We completed the obstacles as a team.

The entire team made it up Colossus! We were allowed to keep our rucks off for this one.

Finish line!

Savage Race GORUCK Tough Class 004 – Georgia Fall 2018

Savage Race x GORUCK Tough Challenge – Grandview, TX – October 5, 2019

Post by Alex Brown
Tags:

GORUCK is teaming up with Savage Race for a special GORUCK Tough Challenge on the grounds of the Savage Race Dallas. That means your Special Forces Cadre will have access to Savage Race’s 27+ obstacles for you to lead, follow, and overcome adversity as a team, by night, on an obstacle course closed to everyone else until morning.

They’ll be sleeping in their warm beds. You won’t be.

10-12 Hours
15-20 Miles
Savage Race Obstacles
Note: Parking after 5pm is free for this event

Date and time
Saturday, October 5, 2019 12:01AM (Between Friday night and Saturday morning)

Start Point
Savage Race Dallas
10736 County Rd 102, Grandview, TX 76050

What To Bring
Ruck gear is required. Visit GORUCK’s event page for more information.

How to Register
Register at GORUCK’s event page.

REGISTER NOW AT GORUCK.COM

If you are looking for the Savage Race Georgia Spring page, and reached this page in error, click here to visit the webpage for that event.

Savage Race President Sam Abbitt, still smiling 8 hours into GORUCK Georgia 2018

We did some of the obstacles with our rucks on.

For some of the obstacles, the Cadre let us take our rucks off.

All Savage Race GORUCK events are led by a special forces Cadre. In this photo, Cadre JC Jordan shows off his ruck and the patch that we all earned upon completion of the event. (5 people out of 28 did not complete the event and did not earn the patch)

The class doing lunges up a hill

Slippery Incline Wall, with rucks

Block Party

The Cadre gave us a few minutes to rest underneath a sprinkler head.

Doing bear crawls, nine hours into the event.

We completed the obstacles as a team.

The entire team made it up Colossus! We were allowed to keep our rucks off for this one.

Finish line!

Savage Race GORUCK Tough Class 004 – Georgia Fall 2018

Savage Race x GORUCK Tough Challenge – Dallas, GA – October 26, 2019

Post by Alex Brown
Tags:

GORUCK is teaming up with Savage Race for a special GORUCK Tough Challenge on the grounds of the Savage Race Georgia Fall. That means your Special Forces Cadre will have access to Savage Race’s 27+ obstacles for you to lead, follow, and overcome adversity as a team, by night, on an obstacle course closed to everyone else until morning.

They’ll be sleeping in their warm beds. You won’t be.

10-12 Hours
15-20 Miles
Savage Race Obstacles
Note: Parking after 5pm is free for this event

Date and time
Saturday, October 26, 2019 12:01AM (Between Friday night and Saturday morning)

Start Point
Savage Race Georgia Spring
2462 Harmony Grove Church Rd. Dallas, GA 30132

What To Bring
Ruck gear is required. Visit GORUCK’s event page for more information.

How to Register
Register at GORUCK’s event page.

REGISTER NOW AT GORUCK.COM

If you are looking for the Savage Race Georgia Spring page, and reached this page in error, click here to visit the webpage for that event.

Savage Race President Sam Abbitt, still smiling 8 hours into GORUCK Georgia 2018

We did some of the obstacles with our rucks on.

For some of the obstacles, the Cadre let us take our rucks off.

All Savage Race GORUCK events are led by a special forces Cadre. In this photo, Cadre JC Jordan shows off his ruck and the patch that we all earned upon completion of the event. (5 people out of 28 did not complete the event and did not earn the patch)

The class doing lunges up a hill

Slippery Incline Wall, with rucks

Block Party

The Cadre gave us a few minutes to rest underneath a sprinkler head.

Doing bear crawls, nine hours into the event.

We completed the obstacles as a team.

The entire team made it up Colossus! We were allowed to keep our rucks off for this one.

Finish line!

Savage Race GORUCK Tough Class 004 – Georgia Fall 2018

Savage Race x GORUCK Tough Challenge – Kennedyville, MD – September 7, 2019

Post by Alex Brown
Tags:

GORUCK is teaming up with Savage Race for a special GORUCK Tough Challenge on the grounds of the Savage Race Maryland Fall. That means your Special Forces Cadre will have access to Savage Race’s 27+ obstacles for you to lead, follow, and overcome adversity as a team, by night, on an obstacle course closed to everyone else until morning.

They’ll be sleeping in their warm beds. You won’t be.

10-12 Hours
15-20 Miles
Savage Race Obstacles
Note: Parking after 5pm is free for this event

Date and time
Saturday, September 7, 2019 12:01AM (Between Friday night and Saturday morning)

Start Point
Savage Race Maryland Fall
13003 Turners Creek Rd. Kennedyville, MD 21645

What To Bring
Ruck gear is required. Visit GORUCK’s event page for more information.

How to Register
Register at GORUCK’s event page.

REGISTER NOW AT GORUCK.COM

If you are looking for the Savage Race Maryland Fall page, and reached this page in error, click here to visit the webpage for that event.

Savage Race President Sam Abbitt, still smiling 8 hours into GORUCK Georgia 2018

We did some of the obstacles with our rucks on.

For some of the obstacles, the Cadre let us take our rucks off.

All Savage Race GORUCK events are led by a special forces Cadre. In this photo, Cadre JC Jordan shows off his ruck and the patch that we all earned upon completion of the event. (5 people out of 28 did not complete the event and did not earn the patch)

The class doing lunges up a hill

Slippery Incline Wall, with rucks

Block Party

The Cadre gave us a few minutes to rest underneath a sprinkler head.

Doing bear crawls, nine hours into the event.

We completed the obstacles as a team.

The entire team made it up Colossus! We were allowed to keep our rucks off for this one.

Finish line!

Savage Race GORUCK Tough Class 004 – Georgia Fall 2018