The Northeast Suck Review
- Written by Dave Gluhareff
The Northeast Suck Review
By Team Strength Runner OCR Elite Athlete Brandon Seale
Gut Check Fitness: The Suck is a 12 hour event that is designed to put people through what the soldiers went through in Vietnam. The term “Welcome to the shit” often meant that that is the worst place you can possibly be because the conditions were very harsh and the mortality rate was very high. Joe Decker’s event The Suck is to put people through just that.There are 12 hour events and there are 12 hour events at 100 miles an hour. This is definitely a 100 mile an hour event!
My first year doing it the conditions were very hard to bare in fact I almost dropped from the cold temperatures alone. This year I had a stomach bug during the event that almost caused me to drop from dehydration. Luckily I was able to overcome the sickness and got lucky from eating some dry food that helped me calm and balance my stomach.
During the event we were expected to complete a few strong man competitions involving 200+ pound atlas stone lifts, dead lifts, flipping a telephone pole which is much heavier than a long ground to overhead 100pound dumb bell, pull ups, and burpees each time we ascended down the mountain from the mountain tasks. I remember doing the strong man work outs each time I came down the mountain and I had no comfort in returning to base camp.
Over the course of the event we carried around 150 pounds of gear up the mountain piece by piece; and in many instances we were carrying our 100lbs of sand in buckets up ½ mile stretches up the mountain. ½ a mile never seems like much to me but carrying those buckets up the mountain even took me an hour and a half on one leg (the Last leg up). After getting up to each station along our way up the mountain there would be a series of work outs such as 100 sledgehammer swings and 100 sand bag thrusters. When we completed that they would send us back down the mountain for another strong man work out before we could then go back up the mountain and begin another long leg up the mountain with more bucket carrying and bushwhacking. At 4am I made it to the top of the mountain and was told to go back down a mile or so and carry one 50 lb sandbag, 2 buckets, a sledge hammer and a tire back up to the top. That carry is what took me an hour and a half because the carry was so uneven that I had to carry half up then the other half of the items up.
This is just a taste of the 12 hours I went through overnight. I honestly do not remember most of it but the small amount I do remember can help you visualize what kind of conditions you can expect. This is definitely a hidden gem as far as fitness events because many people know little about it. Joe and Nichole Decker I believe both have a background in exercise science and monitor your technique. They believe in encouragement over negative reinforcement, which can go a long way in that type of situation.