"World's toughest endurance challenge" comes to Miami Valley


MIAMI VALLEY, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - They call it the toughest endurance event in the world, and it's currently taking place in the Miami Valley.

The "Goruck Selection" is putting participants through two days of intense challenges: 80+ miles in 48 hours while carrying a rucksack weighing more than 45 pounds.

Nearly 50 participants from the Dayton area decided to spend Thursday through Saturday taking the challenge.

"There's no sleep, minimal food, lot of miles. All the participants have rucksacks or weight on their back, it's called rucking," Kettering native and CEO of Goruck Jason McCarthy said.

Rucking is the act of carrying a weighted pack on your back. It's the foundation of special forces training. Most special forces selection training takes nearly two years to complete.

The Goruck selection challenge lasts more than two days. McCarthy founded Goruck based on his own service in the Army Special Forces

The company sells those weighted sacks - or rucks - while also putting on events across the country, like the Gorucks selection, which mirrors the process of selection into the special forces.

"We build a bridge between the military and civilian worlds. And so what these participants are here doing, they're getting a day in the life, or two days in this case in the life, of special forces training," McCarthy said.

It starts with what Goruck calls a fitness test: 55 push ups in 2 minutes followed by 65 sit ups in 2 minutes. Then participants must complete a 5-mile run in 40 minutes or less and finish with a 12 mile ruck - or hike wearing the 45 pound sack - in less than three and half hours.

Half of the Dayton participants failed the initial test, which is just the beginning of the process.

The rest of the challenge after the test is a mystery. The company keeps the details of the rest of the selection process a secret to not only test participants physically but also mentally.

Unlike Goruck's other events, which focus on team building, selection is about building up the individual.

"We're always disappointed to see people leave and leave too soon. We want people to pass because we want to see the type of person who can complete this event but ultimately our allegiance is to the standard though," McCarthy said.

So what do you get for making it through the challenge?

Besides a nice confidence boost and bragging rights, you also get a patch for your rucksack which gets you a discount on the company's merchandise and lifetime admission to their events across the country.

The current selection challenge will continue non-stop until Saturday at 3 p.m.

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