SGPT Interviews GORUCK finisher Kimberly Bibeck

SGPT interviews GORUCK finisher Kimberly Biback

SGPT: Tell us about yourself? Where are you from and where do you train?

KB: I will keep it short and sweet. I am a wife, mother and career person living in Ontario, Canada. I believe in living a life consistently focused on purpose, passion, patience and perseverance. I train on my own as well as in a dojo focused on martial arts.

SGPT: Did you have an athletic background growing up?

KB: I loved being active and outdoors as much as possible. I played many sports recreationally, but never on any teams. I was a sprinter throughout my school years and competed in many track events.

SGPT: Tell us a little about the event? Where was it?

KB: The GoRuck event was located in Toronto, Ontario, on Canada Day, 2022

SGPT: How did you train for the GORUCK Event?

KB: This is somewhat of a funny response. I did not directly train for the event. I had heard about it in 2021 and had signed up, but never received any confirmation beyond signing up. As the months passed into 2022, I assumed the event was not going to be taking place (due to COVID and restrictions, I believed not enough people signed up to hold it).

It’s a US event and not widely known in Canada yet. A member of the SGPT group sent me the online flyer a few weeks before the scheduled date, at this point I had forgotten that I had even signed up.

I informed the member I had signed up previously (and forgotten about it) but did not believe it was happening as we still did not have an assigned Cadre and had received no further communication.

A couple days after that exchange, the SGPT member informed me we had a cadre for the event and it dawned on me that the event was actually happening. For a second I debated on whether or not I should proceed given the lack of direct training. I did not want to be a burden on the team (it is not by any stretch an “I” event) and I recognized there is a massive difference between being physically fit and trained, vs being applicably fit and prepared. The deciding factor to proceed was based on a couple things.

First, I had already committed to it and one of my core values is that I do not back down on a commitment. Second, while I had missed the window of opportunity to train specifically for the demands of the event, I knew I had experience in the particular area of endurance training and distance rucking under load through my previous training for the 24hr SealFit crucible. I think most of us that complete that level of SealFit crucible never let that style of training go. On the endurance end, I knew I could hold my own and I was confident that I had maintained the strength and ability to endure distance and load with the right mindset driven stamina.

SGPT: What was hardest part of the event?

KB: Definitely the heat. The event started midday in the high 30’s celsius (for the US folks, that’s 90+F). The body responds considerably different in an endurance event under heat. The legs cramp more easily and you feel it through the feet. There was little to know reprieve. I focused on hydrating regularly and keeping my electrolytes balanced.

SGPT: What kind of boots did you use for the event?

KB: I used Salomon trail shoes. These are my go-to for events like GoRuck or SealFit. They are built for all terrain. They provide excellent support and stability to go the distance. Under heavy load, your feet take a beating and your body absorbs everything from the feet up. If you are taking the brunt in the feet in improper footwear, you will likely experience pain and discomfort throughout your legs and lower back. I am 107 lbs (48.5 kg) and spent a significant portion under load of 120 lbs (54kg) between the 40lb ruck and 80lb sandbag. Only a few of us in the group were able to carry that sandbag so it did not circulate much.

SGPT: Did you use double socks or body glide on your feet to prevent blisters?

KB: Nope. Body glide and all that jazz do not work around excessive water or sweat. My secret is proper taping technique which I learned in my past experience as a first responder in addition to the ultramarathons I have run (80+ km or 50+ miles). I use waterproof Band-Aids as the base in all the target areas of the foot, ankles and hips (anywhere there might be constant impact and/or friction), with a secondary layer of moleskin. I wear Under Armour socks designed to repel heat and wick away moisture.

SGPT: What kind of ruck did you use for training and the event?

KB: I used a Mountain Equipment Co backpack during the event, which is extraordinarily more comfortable than the Canadian Military backpack (way too big for me) which I specifically trained with during my ruck training for the SealFit crucibles. I always train as uncomfortable as possible prior to any event. This way I know, understand and experience worst-case scenario prior to game day, making game day a breeze.

SGPT: What is one thing you wish you would have done to get ready for a GORUCK event?

KB: Time on the ground, under load and in gear like I did for the SealFit crucible. Which is exactly what I would have done had I believed the event was happening!

SGPT: Any tips for up and coming athletes that want to do a GORUCK?

KB: Train when you don’t want to. Especially when you don’t want to. Then do more. Train at different times, early morning, late at night, mid-afternoon. Train in all environments, rain, high heat, even snow. Train further than the distance you believe you will go and harder than the WO’s you believe could be assigned. If they state 40 lbs for the event, do 60 to 80lbs in the training.

A lot of people fail to train in gear, so make sure you do your training in your gear. Being ready doesn’t mean you prepare for what you expect. It means you over prepare for what you expect and might not expect. Most important is to remember why the heck you are even doing it. Because when you hit the grind, that’s what will keep you in it. Keep yourself in check, smile when it’s tough and never let go of the winning attitude. Remember that your energy will affect the energy of your team. Work on the mindset in order to be able to carry your team when needed.

SGPT: What book are you reading now?

KB: Earthshot

SGPT: Many thanks for the interview Kimberly.

KB: Thank you Coach Brad for the opportunity to share my experience.

Steve Lamontagne Sinister 6 Ultra Race Finisher

About the Author:

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