GFPOINT 2019 - was it worth it?
I went I got through. I returned. I thought about the topic and sat down to write something about it.
And there was something to think about, because in on subject of GFPOINT it is difficult to write anything new.
I loved the event, as I always do, and I would like to describe with detail how I was going uphill, but it seems to me that reading again about how difficult it was will be a boring thing to read, so this year I will not do that. You can my coverage of the previous events HERE,HERE and HERE. The main things that changed are the surroundings and details of the about tasks. The rest basically looked the same. It's time to approach the topic a little differently.
Here are 5 reasons why it was NOT WORTH to go if you are afraid that your idea of your perfection may not survive the confrontation with real life:
1. You will get very tired.
Going uphill is tedious by its very nature, because gravity is a malicious nit.
GFPOINT has always relied primarily on walking - you always go up or down some hill. In any case, you walk briskly at first, then you walk proudly, and at the end you drag your feet, carefully ticking about the next points on the map. In addition, a considerable baggage of at least 14.5 kilograms is constantly being carrier on your back. This time I went wild and threw on my back some 23-24 kg of weight just before the start. It may have been less, but I have a heavy replica (from 4 kg). Besides, when I started to pull gadgets from my chest rig (6 kg) to go down to the approved 2 kg, I was left with empty pouches, a first aid kit and bars. I do not like to hinder myself, but let's have some elementary respect to each other.
After gaining experience from the previous years, I traded some of my dignity for Nordic walking sticks. And it was a good decision, because I can not remember such a difficult edition as 2019 - the snow reaching the middle of the calf and changes in height once almost gave me a heart attack. And I was running, I was training ... Maybe not very regularly, but I tried. Well, GFPOINT tempers brawny characters.
As a participant, you will not get too much sleep either, because with almost 250 similar losers you will get off at dawn from your moderately comfortable lair in the gymnasium and start to prepare the equipment before leaving. Participants in the Team category will hardly sleep at all, because when the rest goes to sleep, they count the nighttime part of the event. For the record - this year at the start there were 25 teams of four people struggling in this category, 70 participants in the Professional category, over 100 people competing in the Basic category and nearly 60 divided into 23 teams under the new, story driven Adventure category. In total, approximately 350 enthusiasts willing to lose a weekend shopping and a visit to their parents-in-law for a mountainous "competitive walking tour".
2. You probably won't win anything.
In addition to the fact that you are reaching the finish line inhumanly tired (regardless of the gender as the number of female participants grows in strength year after year), most often the only reward that will be waiting for you is a bowl of pea soup with a few pieces of bread and satisfaction and pride (or the lack thereof) from overcoming their own limitations (or not). Replicas will only go to the top three participants/teams in a given category.
If you signed up for a lottery, there is a chance that you will get a kind of "consolation prize". Although the overwhelming majority of participants had to settle for gadgets from sponsors anyway.
And the level of difficulty is growing in leaps and bounds. In 2013, most of the participants were able to complete the trip on time and with a complete set of points. In 2015, it was done by only a few. In 2017, to think about the podium at all, it was not so much as to visit every point, what to do it in a very decent time. At GFPOINT 2019, no one was able to find all checkpoints. In this Professional category only one participant found 14. The two remaining winners had to settle for 13 card perforations.
It probably resulted from the fact that checkpoint No. 10, where, according to the organizer's promises, the participants could expect gifts on the occasion of the anniversary event, it was completely out of the way and to reach it, the participants in the Professional and Team categories they had to add an additional 6 kilometers (3 km one way, 3 km back).
The exception was the Basic category, where the set of points was collected by a surprisingly large group of players. However, first of all, they only had 12 checkpoints, and secondly, it was traditionally the only category where the organizer does not oblige players to carry any weight.
And how to approach it? Not only will you get tired, you'll get wet and cold (when you move, it's hot and when you stop it's cold right away - you will not be able to get away from it), and maybe you'll get your hips and heels irritated, and on top of the you will get almost nothing in return. Where's the point here? Where is the logic? Who is it for? But why?
3. You won't shoot much.
This year, in this respect, it was still quite good, because I got to three places, where the use of replicas was planned. On the previous event, my replica was as useful on the trip as an accordion. I found an airsoft shooting range and the task of eliminating two opponents circling the section of the route. Next to the finish line, a kill-house was set up in an abandoned building, but a half-hour queue drove me away from there. Anyway, it was a qualification for the G&G World Airsoft Championship, so if by some miracle I would get through it, it would be only a shame and disgrace for Poland.
Besides, during the whole day a replica is just dead weight, it interferes, it hurts and you generally want to bury it in the snow and forget about it once and for all.
But shooting has never been the main goal of this event. It is difficult to say that it is even a side goal. GFPOINT has not had much in common with airsoft for a long time. Sure, it grew out of the airsoft roots, but now it attracts a large group of the people who take participate in airsoft game rarely or even not at all. This year, cadets from the Naval Academy and the Academy of Land Forces appeared once again, here and there I noticed an army beret, T-shirts of the Fire Brigade, and in the field you could meet FIA and SGO members.
It is very good that from year to year GFPOINT drifts away from airsoft, attracting people who are serious about it, alongside hobbyists. If the event is interesting to organizations associated with the Defense Ministry, it is a sign that things are going in the right direction. The event also gains international fame. There was even a guy called Mike who was responsible for the organization of Border War.
4. You will check yourself and you gear.
GFPOINT has already verified many. Often it was a painful lesson both at the physical and mental level. Well, why is that - I, a big weekend commando have a problem with the approach up the first hill? Suddenly, it turns out that the equipment configured for an airsoft event in the forest near the house does not work here. It hurts, something pinches you have to go on, although the backpack is badly packed and something is making a pointed straight at your back. The great desert boots let water through like a sieve and a tactical fleece, too. And in addition, you get lost, because there is no GPS, just a map and a compass.
Table-top lovers have nothing to look for here. On GFPOINT you can see that the equipment only makes your work easier, but it will not do it for you. The biggest advantage of this event is that you can not sit in the bushes all day long, fire in the field and admire your "specialty". If you are unprepared, this magical replica, Gore-Tex generation 10.5 and the carrier plate weaved with unicorn bristles will not help you.
There are actually only two ways from this point onward - either you will learn a lesson in humility and draw conclusions, or you will be offended by reality and start to say all around that GFPOINT is a "poor event without substance" to fell better. Sure, the second solution is easier. But is it certainly sensible?
I encountered a problem this year with inserting the bolt carrier into the AK and did not fit in the time limit provided for disassembling and assembling a gun (60 seconds). I do not make a fuss about hits, though it was a bitter pill to swallow.
I appreciate this event because the kind of people who we wrote about in this text, simply do not come. They know that their stories about how great they are will be verified in just a few hours by the harsh reality.
5. Another GF POINT in a years time.
Although I have never won anything here, unless I take into account broadly understood intangible benefits, I still like coming here. It is a pity that the summer edition, rumors about which circulated several years ago never came to fruition. However, taking into account the scale of the project, it may be for the better. If the organizer were to do two mediocre events a year, it is better to focus on one, but a decent one.
Every event on which I was had something that I am happy to remember, because on GFPOINT, the most important things are improvisation and resilience. Then tired, it's easy to make a mistake and find yourself in a situation where you either go against the wind to the end of the trail or go down the slope knees deep in the snow and continue in a muddy stream to make up for the lost time.
Probably the biggest drawback of the event is that you can not stop and calmly contemplate the wonders of nature, because time is running. I always promise myself that I will come to places where the rivalry took place on another occasion, to go through the entire route calmly, because these places are simply extremely charming, but unfortunately I have not succeeded doing it yet.
A traditional summery
GFPOINT 2019 has gone down in history. This year, I am happy with both the event and my performance. I managed to finish the march in the 13th place in the Professional category. As for me, its quite a success and a great surprise. All the more so because my friend Śledź, with whom I shared this journey - in my opinion, better prepared than me - finally ranked 16th, which is also not a bad result, considering that the crazy guy hobbled on the crutches six months ago after reconstruction Achilles tendon.
We wanted to return home at a reasonable time and we did not stay for the award ceremony, but this moment was recorded on the WMASG video coverage and on the photos. The winners have my respect, because this year's conditions were just a slaughterhouse. According to what you can find on the Internet, in the Pro category a cadet from the Land Forces Academy the leading, and his colleagues from the academy also took the highest place in the Team category. And it's very good that they achieved that.
And this is the end of adventures in the municipality of Mieroszów. For the next year GFPOINT will move somewhere else. Well, wherever it may be - I am sure that the organizers in the person of the Gladius foundation together with the titular sponsor in the form Gunfire will make another great event.
Keep it up!