Two weeks ago I had the privilege of completing a family friendly GORUCK Light which raised money and supplies for Riley Children’s Hospital. The event is called SantaRuck which was created by Team Ninja. The TL;DR is that you should do this event next year because it is fun and for the kids.
Team Ninja ran the check in process and GRTs received a swag bag with buffs, stickers, name patch, and most importantly, hand warmers. The hand warmers went straight into my gloves and lasted the length of the event and then some. I loved the inclusion of a name patch in the swag bag. I will be using a name patch at future events because it made it easy to call out and communicate to other GRTs.
With four cadre, the welcome party was chaotic to say the least. Cadre had us running all over the field in front of Riley. Quick commands were yelled to do one thing only to have it changed a split second later.
On your feet! On your backs! Rucks overhead! Rucks on the front! Flutter kick! Beat your face! All children off the ground! Put those children down, you don’t know where they’ve been!
We did some log PT during the welcome party with candy canes – PVC pipes with a red stripe filled with concrete. A nice touch was that there was an empty PVC pipe for the children to lift. Cadre thought of everything.
We also played musical rucks. When the music stopped, we had to grab a ruck. The odd man out went to the loser pit where we did PT. We did PT until 80+ of us were whittled down to 2. 2 go in, 1 comes out.
After the welcome party, we took the sleigh, filled with our donations, into the hospital. We separate the donations into the appropriate bins and then heard from a physician. He stated the procedures have changed over the years, but what has not changed is how to care for and support a Riley family.
A rolling blue tooth speaker provided Christmas carols as we rucked from the hospital to a park while carrying a sleigh and sleds filled with children. The sleds were led by reindeer (sandbags with antlers).
At the park we had a circus. Children called out an animal and the adults had to do PT based on the animal. There were bear crawls, leap frogs, and duck walks. Due to my quacking and flapping, Cadre Heath complimented me on my duck walk, so now that’s on my resume.
We received gingerbread cookies in the shape of spearheads and then rucked back to the hospital. We sang some Christmas carols and then received our patches.
- I brought spare clothing with me to change into after the event, but it went unused. I would still do this next year or for any other cold weather event.
- I need to refine my cold weather clothing. There was no snow on the ground, but it was cold and there was a constant, biting wind. We never got wet, so I am not sure how quickly my clothing would dry out and how warm I would remain. With children, our pace was slower than usual. If we had time hacks and had to keep a faster pace I suspect I would have overheated given my clothing choices.I wore
- Merrell Chameleon 7 Mid
- Darn Tough Wool Socks
- Thermals aka long underwear
- Running pants
- Long sleeved tough shirt
- Outdoor Research Centrifuge jacket
- Patagona nanopuff jacket
- Waterproof ski gloves
- I would certainly do another event with Cadre Heath. Granted this was a family friendly Light, he was delightful, energetic and kept the event fun and chaotic.
- The relationship formed between Team Ninja and Riley Children’s Hospital is awesome.
- Every one kept a positive mental attitude and had fun the whole time. Everyone was having fun, so the event was fun. Since the event was fun, everyone was having fun. It’s a vicious cycle, but with conviviality. It’s a convivial cycle.
- One Take Away: “You have power over your mind, not outside events. Realize this and you will find strength”. I cannot control what the Cadre will do or what circus animals the kids will call out, but I can be happy while doing bear crawls. I cannot control if a child is born prematurely, but I can be a positive, hard-working member of a team that treats the child and fights the fight.