By Brad Fauber
This Saturday, residents of the Shenandoah Valley can experience what it takes to be a member of the United States Special Forces. Well, almost.
GORUCK Nasty -- an obstacle course patterned after Special Forces training and designed by veterans of the Green Berets -- will be held at Massanutten Resort in McGaheysville this weekend, allowing thrill-seekers a rare glimpse of some of the physical demands required to become soldier in the Special Forces.
GORUCK, a company founded in 2008 by Special Forces veteran Jason McCarthy with the intent to develop high-quality combat gear, has sponsored similar events across the country since 2010, the most frequent being the GORUCK Challenge.
Nasty is the newest addition to the company's growing list of events, and Saturday will mark the first time that this specific event has been held.
"We've been planning this for almost a year," said GORUCK's Director of Strategic Partnerships Sophie Pollitt-Cohen in an email Tuesday. "Massanutten is fantastic because it's close to many cities where we have a core base of supporters and fans, especially Washington, D.C. They also very quickly 'got' our vision for the event and have been wonderful to work with."
The Nasty obstacle course, which was designed after the real-life "Nasty Nick" course located in Fort Mackall, N.C., is over six miles in length and features over 20 different obstacles, according to the GORUCK website.
Pollitt-Cohen said the participants will enter the course in waves of 125 to 175 members per group beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday. GORUCK's website estimates that the course takes three hours to complete, although the event is not a race and is simply for fun.
In fact, "fun" is the key word of Nasty, and the obstacle course itself is just a small component of the overall event.
Participants are encouraged to camp out for free at the resort on Friday night alongside GORUCK's Cadre, who are "highly decorated Veterans of Special Operations," according the to the website. While camping, participants can mingle with friends and strangers alike while enjoying music, games and $1 beers.
After completing Nasty, participants can return to party -- referred to as "Ruckoff" -- where they can camp out and celebrate their accomplishment with more games and $1 beers.
Pollitt-Cohen said the company is referring to GORUCK Nasty as "Woodstock meets Special Forces," and a major emphasis of the event is simply to "live life to the fullest."
"We didn't want to have an event where people just bought a ticket, showed up, ran the course, and left," Pollitt-Cohen said in the email. "We wanted to put on a weekend that would bring everyone together for a great cause."
Nasty is open to all interested participants 18 years of age or older, and the cost ranges from $75 to $105, with $20 of each paid registration being donated to the Green Beret Foundation. All of the money made from beer sales will also be donated to the Green Beret Foundation.
Pollitt-Cohen said Nasty will dwarf the events that GORUCK has done in the past.
"Most of our events are much smaller, with 30-100 people. This will have 2,500+ people," Pollitt-Cohen said in the email.
For more information or to sign up for GORUCK Nasty, visit goruck.com.
Contact sports writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 184, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @BradFauberNVD