Mashpee, MA - What started as a one-team run in 2016 has expanded to a 10-team relay race that will criss-cross all of Cape Cod over the course of 36 hours during the first weekend in May.
The 4th Annual Ruck4HIT will kick off shortly after midnight on Friday, May 3 at the Courtyard Restaurant & Pub in Bourne. Wearing 20- to 30-pound rucksacks on their backs, runners will raise awareness to the burdens our active duty military and veterans carry with them in service to our country.
“The race has been the toughest thing I have ever done, but it’s also been the most rewarding,” said Steve Spencer of Mashpee, who organizes the event with his wife Nicole, executive director of Heroes In Transition (HIT). “There are those who are serving and have served our country who have endured far worse and we run this race for them.”
Because of the grueling nature of the Ruck4HIT, the Spencers are asking the public to show their support for runners along the race route. “If you see someone running with a rucksack on Cape Cod on May 3 or 4, honk your horn or give us a shout of encouragement,” Nicole said. “We’re going to be running through every town on the Cape and we’d love to see people holding signs and rooting us on. It means more than you can imagine.”
Throughout the race, there will be multiple challenges in which all members of each team – runners and drivers – will work to accomplish a group task. The first will occur on May 3, between 4 and 7 pm, at the Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown; teams will climb the monument together. The last will occur on Saturday, May 4, between 9:30 and 11:30 am, when team members walk together on boards at the Sandwich Boardwalk.
On May 4, the public is invited to an end-of-race party at Dino’s Sports Bar in Mashpee, where they can cheer on each team as they finish this year’s Ruck4HIT. Teams are expected to finish between 11:30 am and 2:30 pm.
The family-friendly event is free with donations accepted. Attendance includes free hot dogs and hamburgers as well as a cash bar. There will be live entertainment provided by the Rick Lockwood Trio; games of cornhole; and an array of raffle prizes, including a 50-inch Insignia TV and gift certificates to Anejo, the Silver Lounge Restaurant, Bobby Byrne’s, and more. The L.L. Bean in Mashpee will be on-site making keychains for children.
Guests can also help “Fill a Rucksack” to help raise funds for this year’s Ruck4HIT. All funds raised from this year’s Ruck4HIT go to support an array of programs that include two $2,500 scholarships given to graduating seniors on Cape Cod who will be attending college and whose parents or guardians are currently serving or veterans. The two scholarship recipients will be at the May 4 event.
Heroes In Transition’s other programs include providing financial support for veterans and military families; bimonthly outings for military couples; an equine therapy program; a canine support program; fishing excursions; and a Fall Couples Retreat.
Anyone interested in learning more about the Ruck4HIT and how they can get involved in the event in future years should email [email protected].
About Heroes In Transition (HIT)
Founded in 2009 following the death of U.S. Marine Captain Eric A. Jones, Heroes In Transition (HIT) will be celebrating its 10th year in 2019. The Mashpee-based nonprofit provides assistance and support to veterans, service members, and military families that is not readily available through other organizations. Its services include: a Canine Co-Pilot Program; a Families In Transition (FIT) equine therapy program; financial assistance; fishing excursions; monthly outings for military couples; and an annual Fall Couples Retreat. To learn more about HIT, visit www.heroesintransition.org.