Fight for Your Right - Beastie Boys 5:30 PM


26.2 miles, carrying a 40lb ruck, is NO JOKE: TOUGH RUCK 2014

It started before sunrise, people gathering in Concord at the Old Manse, registering for the Tough Ruck.

And as sunrise came, so did the cannon fire over the Old North Bridge. It was, after all April 19th, the anniversary of the Shot Heard 'Round the World. 

We got Team WAAF/1-182 Infantry together for a team picture

and we got our ruck sacks together, with yellow ribbons on them, in honor of friends we have lost

and in some cases even met with their families

And then it was time to go!

It was all fun and games at the beginning.

We had no idea what 26.2 miles was going to feel like, carrying 40 pound rucks, but we were all up for the challenge.

We were all laughing and joking for a few miles,

Everything was great, until I started falling back from the pack. It was like watching that wounded gazelle fall away from the herd, as a predator lurked in the bushes, waiting to pounce.

After a few miles, I got separated from my team, and the reality of just how hard the Tough Ruck was going to be set in...

I counted the miles, talking to myself, the video camera on my wrist, and even the guys whose names were on my back. I now understand why Tom Hanks needed that volleyball! WILSON!!!

I took all of the advice that I could get, and I changed my socks,

And when I stopped, I elevated my feet for a minute, to get the blood back into my head.

Mile after mile, I rucked... Sometimes laughing at my situation, and sometimes crying at the though that I would never finish.

Just one more mile I would say to myself, just one more mile, make it to the next water stop. Then I would bump into a friend along the way, and that was just what I needed.

Mile after mile, my feet would hurt, then my hips, then my shoulders, and then my feet again. Mile after mile...

Finally, I made it to the last turnaround, and knew that it was 8.5 miles, downhill to the finish.

A volunteer asked if she could walk with me, since I was going to be the last rucker to finish the Tough Ruck, I welcomed the company.

And before I knew it, there was only a few hundred yards to go, and I felt the need to finish strong, so I started running.

and just like that, the hell was over. 10 hours and 10 minutes after I started, I finished the hardest thing I had ever done.

The medal was mine!

And it was made even more special when I was greeted by Gold Star Moms!

and they even made us gifts, it made me cry.

I did it!!! I really did it!

In memory of PFC Jonathan Roberge, SPC Chris Horton, SGT Edward Grace, FF Mike Kennedy USMC, and the rest who have fallen in service to the rest of us. It was the toughest, and most rewarding thing that I have ever done. There were times that I didn't think it was possible, but thanks too my team mates, fellow ruckers, the Tough Ruck volunteers, the crowds of people cheering, my friends and family who came out to show their support, I finished. I finished last, but I finished!

Special Thanks to Jonathan Route, Amy Brady, Michelle Brasill, Christy and Jen Leger, and Barbara Tricket for all of the pictures!

Check out the video below! Ruck On!