The Rucking Titan – Velotriraptor

Sylvi’s (Velotriraptor) journey into the realm of endurance sports began with an unexpected turn. Always the last to be picked for team sports in school, she discovered her passion for triathlon at the age of 38, setting the stage for a remarkable adventure into the world of GORUCK.

Understanding GORUCK

Before delving into Velotriraptor’s story, let’s gain insight into what GORUCK truly entails. As she describes it:

GORUCK is a team building training based on military special forces training. A huge focus is on teamwork – you are always a team and you are not going anywhere alone.
In Rotterdam we were in deep trouble with the cadre because both teams left an ENL agent way behind – the guy had a foot injury and just couldn’t race. Taking care of the human beings in the opposing faction is also a central element of each event.
Competing while staying human.

At the heart of GORUCK events are the cadres—former military personnel who lead and mentor participants. Each cadre brings a unique perspective and lessons from their military background, guiding participants through challenges and sharing valuable knowledge on endurance and self-care.

In all GORUCK events there is rucking, training and challenges.
Rucking is marching with 9 kg weights.
The training can be a warm-up with a bunch of burpees, flutterkicks or situps, but training can occur at any time – sometime as a punishment for unfairness, not sticking to rules or for losing team mates. 

Lastly the challenges are team exercises, like relays or navigational tasks.

The beauty is that a team here is meant to be a real team – different tasks, different talents. There are glyphing challenges which some people excel at, or a quiz about local trivia. But there’s also speed – and other people are good at that.

Sylvi’s Ingress Journey

Sylvi originally started playing Ingress for health reasons, as a way to get more outdoors. Commuting to work in a neighbouring village every day, she saw a green field constantly being put up over her work place, pushing her her to cycle farther to kill their anchors.

Fast forward – having decided not to participate in long distance triathlon events anymore, but not wanting to stop being active, she saw GORUCK for the first time during Obsidian Vienna.

It really rang with me – endurance but not the need to win alone. Team event instead of each for oneself. But my back was not quite perfect at the time, and someone told me that they carry people at these events, so I decided to not participate.
Then came Rotterdam and … well, I signed up and it was the perfect starter event for me. 12 hours of Stealth.

Rotterdam is also where she got her ruck plate (The weight you carry during events) when one team mate decided that he did not want to do it ever again.

He gave me his metal plate which I then carried through half of Rotterdam as well as my own 9 kg sand bag.

From GORUCK events in Chicago, Munich and Oslo

Memorable Moments and Milestones

Since her debut in Rotterdam, Sylvi has participated in six Stealth events, each leaving a mark on her journey. Reflecting on her experiences, she recounts memorable challenges like the Tunnel of Love in the Danube and zero-exercises from Rotterdam where each repetition of an exercise is just the start.

You never know when it is over, as you also don’t have a countdown in life – this comes back to me whenever I expect work/exertion/unpleasant things to end but they don’t.

For Sylvi, the true essence of GORUCK lies not just in the challenges faced during events but in the bonds forged and memories created thereafter.

Beer with the sweaty team after an event, and of course food, too, but more important is to celebrate together. There are new stories to be told, new stuff learned. We get together, full of adrenaline, happy, no matter if we won or not.  

GORUCK Titans before Stealth ops in Oslo

Integration of Goruck Events with Ingress Anomaly Events

When asked about the integration of GORUCK events with Ingress anomaly events, Sylvi highlights the unique synergy between the two activities. She explains,

Anomalies are something I can do and participate in, for example, on a bike, and I know each GORUCK challenge I attend helps us win as well, so this is one way of being useful.

Sylvi emphasizes that while there are numerous ways to contribute to the anomaly, the GORUCK experience adds an element of extra fun and excitement. She describes Ruckers as easygoing yet determined individuals, and believes that participating in tasks together also fosters personal growth.

Influence on Teamwork and Camaraderie

Even though Sylvi feels like Ingress moves more towards individual play these days, GORUCK is still very much team based, something she values a lot.

We have arranged local rucks, and during the pandemic there was an event with banner rucks and one of the local agents, also a friend of mine, very diligently set up a ruck banner in his city. So we collected everyone and off we went. There was a second event like this and I think it is a great local event, even when it is not official.  

She believes that these experiences have translated into her work life, where she values teamwork and collaboration, recognizing the importance of embracing different abilities within a team.

Proudly waving the Titans flag

Advice for Prospective Goruck Participants

Offering advice to those considering GORUCK events, Sylvi emphasizes the importance of self-reflection and preparation.

Ask yourself, if there is any serious reason not to do this. Laziness is not a serious reason. Zero stamina, cardiovascular or skeletal issues are. Be prepared to get wet, muddy, tired, sweaty and to tap into your mental stamina. But you don’t have to have the crossfit-steeled bodyshape to be a successful rucker.

Ready to take on the challenge of GORUCK yourself? With GORUCK events integrated into all Ingress anomalies (announced so far) this year, now is the perfect time to sign up and push your limits. Reach out to your Anomaly orga to learn how you can participate in an unforgettable journey of teamwork, camaraderie, and personal growth!