The Straightforward Obstacle Race

Mj 618_348_a gimmick free adventure race
Courtesy Goruck

Adventure races are everywhere. On any given weekend, competitors crawl through mud, run past zombies, get attacked by gladiators, and leap through live electrical wires (some more masochistic racers also tangle with barbed wire and get singed by flames). As each race ups the ante, a dynamic way to push the boundaries of competition is becoming a potential justification for insurance companies to hike competitors’ premiums.

That’s why we were excited to hear that Gorucka company run by Special Forces veterans that produces American-made, military-spec gear, had entered the fray with their own event. The Goruck Nasty, which will be held in McGaheysville, Virginia, on September 21, promises gimmick-free physical competition. The course includes cargo nets, wood beams and a variety of obstacles that the military uses during basic and not-at-all basic training – some 20 hazards all together. According to Goruck founder Jason McCarthy, the 6-mile course, which runs up a mountain, will take two and a half to three hours from start to finish. But the excitement doesn’t end at the finish line.

“Nasty is an event, not just an obstacle course,” McCarthy says.  “We’re bringing the whole Goruck community together for a fun, blowout weekend. Think of it as Woodstock meets Special Forces.”

Thanks to his years in the military, McCarthy has perspective, presumably the reason he’s urging participants not to take the obstacle course too seriously. Instead of coming for a bit of a sweat and a free T-shirt, nastiers can expect to “play some cornhole, drink some beer, and camp out,” explains McCarthy. Goruck has booked live bands, built a pop-up shop, and generally made a hill into a clubhouse for competitive and ex-military types. Stories will be told. What’s more, $20 of the $95 entry fee goes to the Green Beret Foundation, which cares for veterans, so some spoils of the blood-, sweat-, and beer-filled weekend will go to a good cause.

More information: The Goruck Nasty is being held in McGaheysville, Virginia, a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Washington, D.C. Goruck gear will be 25 percent off on-site.

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