This was supposed to be “officially” part of BRR, however the BRR was not ready for ruckers just yet… being the HIMs that we think we are, we decided to go ahead and do our thing. We had several planning meetings and a pretty good game plan, but nothing could have prepared me for this trip. Just know there is no way I can convey how much fun this trip was. Like prior relay races, I knew there was going to be some pain and some joy, but this was a really good trip.

This trip provided us with a break from the usual beatdowns at the GasHouse AOs along with several sleepless (except for AT) nights that amplified our personalities. Having run BRR twice, I really think this was harder for me. The leg fatigue was worse despite getting enough sleep during the trip. We went out in pairs for most of the legs and this was the “golden part” of this trip. Getting to spend somewhere between 1 and 3 hours with one of your brothers pretty much one on one is nothing short of excellent. Combining that with the time spent in the van as a larger group was outstanding. I can honestly say this is probably the best way to do BRR for guys in F3-you really need to think about this rucking thing for BRR next year. We made some good planning decisions but also learned a lot about how to improve this for future years.

We named our van Packin’ Heat for obvious reasons. I think we had 6 handguns, 8 knives, a hatchet, and a can of mace. We were a force to be reckoned with before leaving GasHouse. We got dinner on the way up to Linville compliments of Allen Tate-what the heck were you and the waitress doing back there???? We started our legs just after 8pm and motored through them like champs. Along the way we saw a ton of snakes (mostly, but not all dead), a bald eagle, a bear (yes, you read that correctly, an F’ing B-E-A-R), more dogs than Allen Tate could count, and several truck-stealing-at-midnight-escaped-convicts-who-are-still-following-me-at-this-time rednecks. We ate the best hamburgers in the world for lunch followed by some ice cream/custard thing called “concrete” that was good enough to go back next year just for the chance to eat it again. We finished it off with some fine dining and BudLights at 0830 this am at one of the oldest breweries in Asheville waiting for the SECOND team to finish BRR.

Along the way I learned a few things:

I learned Watts Up should have been a truck driver. The man can flat out drive a van-if he hadn’t lost so much weight, I would say we should rename him Large Marge (PeeWee’s Big Adventure from the 1980’s-look it up you damn millennials). He also does not complain…at all. He is solid and dependable and someone I know I can count on to do what he says 100%. He was meant for F3 and F3 was meant for him. He underestimates his level of fitness also-the man killed his mountain goat leg at the end of the race in the dark going solo then (I think) jumped in the van and drove us to the next leg. WTF?????!!!!!

Roadie snores. He also loves our country enough to search out a tattoo artist with similar vision and is working on a tattoo of the American Flag for his left arm. This is time consuming and expensive. But he loves our country and tattoos, and that is why he is having this done. Respect from me, Roadie. You have given me a new perspective on tattoos-thanks.

Freight is a dedicated father and friend. He works hard to be a great provider for his family and cares about the people who work under him. He may have an opportunity to change positions at work if someone retires soon, however it would require traveling quite a bit-this would take him away from his wife and daughter and I just don’t see that happening, at least not unless it is necessary. He also grew up fishing and hunting with family despite not necessarily having a love for those activities, but more a love for his family.

Voodoo loves his family, his job, and how he can help people. He values his partner and the relationship they have to both work towards the same goal-getting people better and providing a good living for their respective families. He also has plenty of fast-twitch muscles-the type that help you walk fast but not necessarily for a long time. I had to work to keep up with him on our leg we did together. And that damn green light needs to go-HOLY NUTS that thing was crazy annoying but kept us safe-no way a car would not be able to see that thing. He also has a daughter that adores him. They talked/facetimed several times-she facetimed him at 0615 to let him know she was getting beignets at Disney World-THAT WAS AWESOME! Enjoy that Voodoo, the day is coming when she will be grabbing the car keys and disappearing for several hours without facetiming you.

HIPAA is an animal-I knew this already, but this trip reminded me. He jumped in on more legs than he needed to. He kept us on track with directions and “leg data.” He CRUSHED the mountain goat leg and finished an hour ahead of predicted time and (I think) kicked a bear’s ass on his way up the MG leg. All I know is we never saw the bear again after HIPAA got to the top. HIPAA is another “meant for F3” guy from top to bottom. His focus is on not only pushing the rock, but also how can he help those around him push the rock. We all say this, but he practices this constantly. He is one of those guys who “gets it.”

Allen Tate… Where to start? The guy can go to sleep in seconds in a van. He can sleep through just about anything. He is probably one of the most generous and thoughtful guys I know. The only thing bigger than AT’s heart I think is his sense of humor. He kept us rolling just about from the start. I walked with him on an early leg and realized quickly how much this man respects his family and friends. From the time he spent with his grandmother in her later years up to his dedication to his father now (almost missing this trip because of Hurricane Dorian) this guy is impressive. He has a way of looking at a situation and finding the silver lining and purpose for why he is there and doing what he is doing.

As far as our backblast goes, we did a lot of rucking, we got more sleep than we needed, and we ate some food along the way. Other than that, no big deal. Really, just a boring trip to the mountains. Consider this next year. You will not regret it. I guarantee that 100%.