GORUCK HCL (Heavy, Challenge, Light), explained. Original content provided courtesy of Mark Webb.
What is a HCL?
For those not familiar, GORUCK has 3 team building events loosely based around SFAS team week. The Light is a 5+ hr fun fest based team event, The Challenge is a 10+ hr more challenging (and the original) team event and the Heavy is a 24+ hr suck fest with less rests, more movement, more weight, and more reward.
I don’t have to describe these as goruck.com does a much better job than I could.
So again. What is HCL? Well imagine doing a Heavy, being incredibly sore, hungry, dehydrated, stiff, blistered, etc. Then you have just a couple of hours to collect yourself and get ready to do a Challenge. After the Challenge, that post Heavy feeling pales in comparison. Now everything hurts, you are delirious from lack of sleep and you may just want to pass out and die. But instead you have just a couple of hours to collect yourself and do a Light. The Light finishes, but you probably didn’t. 40+ hrs of fun, a great tester for a Selection wannabe, and definitely not easy. Heavy + Challenge + Light = bragging rights for a select few.
The first HCL has yet to be done, but I have done enough events (3 Heavy, 35 Challenges, 3 Lights) and enough B2B events that I feel I can talk about strategies to help you survive this physical onslaught. A while ago I wrote an article on how to survive a back-to-back Challenge (no longer on the calendar except as Challenge+Light) that I have gotten a lot of great feedback on.
But HCL is definitely much more than a CC/B2B. The big issues to deal with are muscle soreness and stiffness creeping in during the short break, sleep deprivation and sheer motivation to keep going when you just want to curl up and rest.