Goruck Selection? SealFit Kokoro?

I received this email today and thought that others might have the same question

Love your website, check it every day and incorporate a part of your daily wod to add to my daily wod each morning. What is the “Selection” that you keep referencing? I am 43 and will 44 in September, I am wrestling mentally with attempting the Sealfit 20X challenge in September. Haven’t signed up for it yet but am moving closer every day. What is your experience with it?

and his follow up:

Thanks, and yes. On the other issue, I have been doing crossfit for over a year, am respectable in my performance at the box (not going to become master qualified at this point) but want to push myself a bit. Is the 20X challenge that opportunity? Have you completed it or Kokoro?

My son, Turner 16, during his SealFit 20x

My son, Turner 16, during his SealFit 20x

SealFit Kokoro?  SealFit 20x?  Goruck Selection?  Goruck HCL? Death Race? Leadville? Tough Mudder?  Spartan Beast?  What the hell are you talking about?

I guess this world of events that try to kill you may not be in everyone's vocabulary.  I had no idea what any of these things were just over two years ago.  So when I talk about these events on this blog, some people may not know what in the world I am talking about.

Layne's email was a reminder of this and I hope that others who are interested but don't understand something I talk about here will simply send an email.  I will do my best to explain.

As for Layne, he is 44 and doing well in CrossFit but looking for a bigger challenge to celebrate his birthday.  Well, there are some great challenges out there.  Here are some explanations and suggestions of things that are currently on my radar:

Log PT in the surf at SealFit Kokoro 30

Log PT in the surf at SealFit Kokoro 30


SealFit is run by CEO and founder, Mark Divine, former Navy Seal.  He has created an amazing training program that incorporates the 5 mountains of development (Physical, Mental, Emotional, Awareness, Kokoro) and is the finest all around program I have ever seen.  He has a training center in Encinitas, CA and runs academies and events from there as well as in remote locations.

Academies: SealFit offers 3 Academies

SEALFIT Fundamental Academy

This is a 3-day SEALFIT Academy that focuses on the fundamentals of the SEALFIT physical training model and Unbeatable Mind principles. The event is available only as a live-in option at SEALFIT HQ. One can attend as an individual by enrolling in a public event through the SEALFIT.com web site, or you can contact us to customize a private event for your corporate team. There are no physical pre- requisites for this event. Read More

SEALFIT Comprehensive

Not for the faint of heart, the Comprehensive Academy stretches you far beyond your current levels of performance and success. This is deep, immersive training into SEAL philosophy and 20x principle, helping you tap into deep inner power that can forever transform your life. Read More

SEALFIT Immersion

The 3 Week SOF Immersion Academy could be just what you’re looking for. Based on THE original program Coach Divine designed for Special Operations candidates in 2007, it is the longest, most in-depth SEAL program currently offered to civilian trainees.


SealFit also trains the mind with Unbeatable Mind


The Unbeatable Mind program is fantastic.  I am an Unbeatable Mind Member and work on it every day.

SealFit also offers 2 signature events

20x is designed to teach you that you are capable of 20x more than you currently believe.  It works...trust me.


Then, there is Kokoro, a 50 hour event.

From Sealfit.com

SEALFIT Kokoro Camp is, quite simply, the world’s premier training camp for forging mental toughness, modeled after the US Navy SEAL Hell Week. Yes, it is brutal. No, it’s not for everyone. You may not qualify, or make it through the training. Yet, if you’re ready for this challenge… - See more at: http://sealfit.com/sealfit-events/sealfit-kokoro-camp/#sthash.XcmOalkG.dpuf

I am a proud graduate of SealFit Kokoro class 30.  I highly recommend this and all other events SealFIt offers, but I do not suggest that you take Kokoro lightly.  Train for it specifically and plan no less than 4 months on top of your lifetime best physical fitness level to be ready for this.  Repeat...no joke.

Further, I recommend the SealFit program and Unbeatable Mind for everyday training and a way of life.  They are far more than just a challenging event.  Mark Divine and the elite staff can show you how to challenge yourself and grow daily in all 5 areas of focus.

Our Team in Goruck class 404

Our Team in Goruck class 404

Goruck is an organization founded and run by Green Beret Jason McCarthy.  I love Goruck events!  They have several events that stair-step in difficulty culminating in the ultimate, 48 hour Goruck Selection.

These descriptions come directly from the Goruck.com website

Goruck Light is an introduction to the team-based training found in Special Operations. It is also much less grueling than our original event, the GORUCK Challenge. Your class will consist of up to 30 participants (aka members of your new GORUCK family). One Cadre, an experienced member of Special Operations, will teach leadership as your class overcomes adversity to become a team. Team being a very important word. GORUCK Light is a team event, never a race. 

4-5 Hours, 7-10 Miles
Average Pass Rate: 99%

Goruck Challenge is a team event, never a race. Think of it as a slice of Special Operations training where - from start to finish -- a Special Operations Cadre challenges, teaches, and inspires your small team to do more than you ever thought possible. Leadership is taught and teamwork is demanded on missions spanning the best of your city. The hardest part? Signing up.

8-10 Hours, 15-20 Miles
Average Pass Rate: 94%

The intent of the Goruck Heavy is to build better Americans, 24 hours at a time. Through the GORUCK Heavy, participants learn a different side of themselves from lessons learned from the Cadre. These lessons learned are either from the different backgrounds each Cadre has in their respective military or civilian careers and sharing experiences from overseas conducting kinetic and non-kinetic operations. These lessons learned are then applied in a 24 or more hour class through different events in a practical setting through shared misery, pushing each participant past their perceived mental, physical, and psychological breaking points.

The GORUCK Heavy is designed around six key objectives:

  1. GR Heavy will be the ultimate team event.
  2. Conduct leadership under very stressful conditions.
  3. Theme is built around AMERICA and why we are the greatest country in the world.
  4. This is a GORUCK Selection prep course.
  5. Earn your “individual” patch.
  6. Heighten each participant’s sense of accomplishment.

24+ Hours, 40+ Miles
Average Pass Rate: 50%

Goruck HCL There is not an official page for this but HCL stands for Heavy, Challenge, Light.  Yes, people sign up for all 3 and do them consecutively.  Seem like the hardest thing ever?  Well they have another...

Goruck Selection

48+ Hours. Selection is an individual event. Our Cadre will enforce a standard adopted from our roots in Special Forces Assessment and Selection. Those participants who do not meet the standard at any point will be performance dropped at our discretion. Selection begins with a gear inspection and PT test.

Is This For You?

Probably not. Selection is not for everyone.

48+ Hours, 80+ Miles
Average Pass Rate: < 10%

Here is another 3rd party article about Selection.  http://alldayruckoff.com/training/goruck/selection/

Death Race

(description from the Death Race website)

The Death Race is the ultimate challenge, designed to present you with the unexpected and the completely insane! Nothing else on earth will challenge you like The Death Race, both mentally and physically.

Every Death Race is it’s own uniquely brutal challenge, no two races are alike. The race, created by Ultra athletes Joe Desena and Andy Weinberg, was developed as a way for athletes to test themselves both mentally and physically. The Death Races take place in the unexpectedly challenging terrain of the Green Mountains in and around Pittsfield, Vermont and have lasted over 70 hours. We provide no support. We don’t tell you when it starts. We don’t tell you when it ends. We don’t tell you what it will entail. We want you to fail and encourage you to quit at any time.

As if one Death Race wasn't enough, they now have several to choose from:





They also have training camps which look fun in some sort of demented way

Training Camp

The Death Race has an affiliation with Spartan Race which offer a difficult but far less intense series of races called Spartan races.  They are obstacle races that range between 3-12 miles.

As you can see there are plenty of challenges out there.  These are, of course, in addition to an ultra marathon, Ironman, Obstacle Races or something like the Western States 100, or worse...the Leadville 100.  If you want a challenge, they are out there...just don't kill yourself.

My take on all of these things

I am all for them if they help you to grow as a person.  Of the events listed, I have only done the SealFit Kokoro camp, Goruck Challenge and am currently a SealFit and Unbeatable Mind member.  The entire philosophy of SeaFit is to grow and to reach new levels of performance both mentally and physically.  It is an overwhelmingly positive experience.

Goruck is also an overwhelmingly positive experience designed to build better Americans and teach you about leadership and team work.  I love these aspects about both Goruck and SealFit.  Selection, however, is a different animal altogether.  It is not a team event and they seem rather proud of the 10% pass rate.  We will see how that one goes.  That is what I am currently training for.

I don't know enough about the others to have an opinion.  I can tell you that I am drawn to the challenge and I think that doing Kokoro, Selection and a Death Race would put me in a pretty elite little group.  I am getting WAY ahead of myself...only 1/3 the way there and Selection is not something that you look past...or really even anything that you look forward to.

I like it that there are goals out there beyond where I am currently and I am sure that there are other events that i don't even know about that are equally as challenging as some of these.  If you know of any, put them in the comments.

So, to answer your question, Layne, I strongly encourage you to do the 20x.  I watched my 16 year old son go through it and it is no joke either.  He was transformed into a man in 12 hours.  The effect was not fleeting, but permanent.  Every 16 year old should be required to do a 20x.  You will grow, you will develop and they will challenge you.  Sign up, make sure you are in shape and can exceed the standards easily and be prepared to give it your absolute best throughout the entire event and you will do just fine. 

Anyone out there preparing for any of these events?  Alumni of any?