With the deadline to register for this year’s Ruck4HIT approaching, Heroes In Transition (HIT) will hold its second and final info session at Cape Cod Coffee Café in Mashpee Commons on Tuesday, February 25 at 6 pm.
The session is geared towards those interested in learning about how they can get involved in the 5th Annual Ruck4HIT as a runner, driver, support runner, volunteer, or sponsor. The deadline to register as a participant is Friday, March 6. The sponsor deadline is Wednesday, April 1.
This year’s race will start shortly after midnight on Friday, May 1 at the Courtyard Restaurant & Pub in Bourne and end roughly 36 hours later, on Saturday, May 2 at Cape Cod Coffee Café in Mashpee Commons.
“With 15 teams signed up, this will be our biggest Ruck4HIT since we started it in 2016,” said race co-organizer Steve Spencer. “We need help ensuring that this year’s race is a success. Our upcoming info session is a great opportunity for people to learn how they can help us make that happen. There are plenty of ways that people can support the Ruck4HIT.”
At the beginning of last month, Heroes held an info session which drew nearly three dozen attendees, including HIT staff, board members and Ruck4HIT participants.
The Ruck4HIT is a grueling relay race in which teams of runners cross through every town on Cape Cod over the course of two days. Each runner wears a 20- to 30-pound rucksack on their back, symbolizing the struggles our service members and veterans have endured on behalf of our country. Each participant runs a 2- to 4-mile leg before switching off with a teammate.
The first Ruck4HIT had one team of 12 runners and four support personnel who started at Ground Zero in New York City and ended in Falmouth, roughly 40 hours later. Since 2017, the race has taken place entirely on Cape Cod, expanding to over 10 teams and drawing participants from throughout the country. Together, they help raise awareness and funds for Heroes In Transition’s work which includes a canine co-pilot program; a fall couples retreat; an equine therapy Families In Transition (FIT) Week; financial assistance for veterans and military families in need; fishing excursions; and monthly outings for veterans, service members, and military families.
This year, a total of 15 teams have registered for the race, including a group of active duty military who will be competing virtually while stationed in Egypt. Among the teams returning to the race is one representing the Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office which has participated in the event the past four years.
RideAway Adventures of Sandwich, which has served as a sponsor of the Ruck4HIT since 2019, will be building upon its commitment by entering a team this year. Michael Morrison, who owns the outdoor adventure company, said his staff was inspired to participate after its Sandwich manager, Wayne MacDonald, a Marine veteran, completed the race last year.
“One of the pillars of our company is to give back to the community,” Morrison said. “The fact that Wayne has been such an important part of our company – since the race is important to him, it’s important to us. We’re one big family at RideAway and we’re so excited to be a part of the Ruck4HIT.”
The Ruck4HIT has two separate divisions: JETHRO and JONES. Jethro refers to the call sign of U.S. Marine Captain Eric A. Jones. Heroes In Transition was formed in honor of Captain Jones following his death in a helicopter crash during a combat mission in Afghanistan in October 2009. Teams in the JETHRO Division will have 1 van, 7 runners, 2 drivers, and be required to raise a minimum of $5,000 to support Heroes In Transition. Teams in the JONES Division will have 2 vans, up to 14 runners, up to 4 drivers, and be required to raise a minimum of $8,000. All participants must be at least 18 years old.
Individuals interested in running or driving should contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Companies interested in serving as a sponsor should email email@example.com.
Those interested in volunteering for the Ruck4HIT should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Group training sessions for the Ruck4HIT started in mid-December and will continue through the end of April. They take place every Saturday morning at Cape Cod Coffee Café in Mashpee Commons at 7:45 am. Anytime Fitness in Mashpee is holding additional training, which is free for Ruck4HIT participants, every Monday, 5-6 pm while Anchor Strength & Fitness in Sandwich is doing the same every Wednesday, 6-7 pm.