Celebrate Our Ruck4HIT Participants at Finish Line Party

The exterior of Cape Cod Coffee in Mashpee Commons

There’s only one way to celebrate a race that will witness 13 teams and over 100 participants ruck through every town on Cape Cod over the course of 36 hours — with a party at Cape Cod Coffee in Mashpee Commons.

The public is invited to the Ruck4HIT Finish Line Party which will take place from 11 am to 6 pm on Saturday, April 30 and feature live entertainment, family-friendly activities, and raffles for prizes that include gift certificates to local restaurants as well as a round trip flight on Cape Air. The event will take place rain or shine.

“This is a great way for the community to gather to recognize the time, commitment, and effort it takes for people to run nearly 30 miles with a weighted rucksack in a 36-hour window,” said Heroes In Transition (HIT) Board Member Savannah Fabbio, who will be running in her fourth straight Ruck4HIT. “Even more important is this race is a reminder of why we ruck – to remember the sacrifices our military and veterans are making and have made in service to our country.”

“We’re thrilled that the Ruck4HIT finish line will be located at Mashpee Commons this year,” said Krysten Kelliher, marketing director for Mashpee Commons. “HIT provides wonderful support to service members and military families and we’re happy to sponsor such a great initiative for the community and for the country.”

“We are proud and honored to be a sponsor of the Finish Line Party for Heroes In Transition’s Ruck4HIT,” said Cape Cod Coffee Co-owner Jan Aggerbeck. “Being a military veteran myself and having participated in the Ruck4HIT several years ago, I know the commitment, dedication, and training that it takes to be in the military and complete this race. HIT’s mission is to honor and respect our military when they return to civilian life which is not an easy task for some veterans and their families. Our hope is that by sponsoring this event and through our Coffee for a Cause program, we can help HIT accomplish their goal. We know we would not have the freedoms we have today without their sacrifice and dedication to which we are very grateful.”  

Ruck4HIT participants outside Cape Cod Coffee during a Wednesday night training run in April 2022.
Every Wednesday, Ruck4HIT participants meet for a training run at Cape Cod Coffee in Mashpee Commons.

Now in its seventh year, the Ruck4HIT is the largest fundraiser for HIT, a Mashpee-based nonprofit that was formed by Cyndy and the late Kenneth Jones following the death of their only son, U.S. Marine Captain Eric A. Jones, who was killed in a helicopter crash while flying a combat mission in Afghanistan in October 2009. HIT assists service members, veterans, and military families in our region through a range of programs that offer healing, strengthen relationships, build community, and empower those they serve.

Over $100,000 has already been raised for this year’s Ruck4HIT. People can support the event with a donation at www.ruck4hit.org.

The Ruck4HIT is a relay race in which teams, consisting of a minimum of 7 runners and 2 drivers, will ruck over 220 miles, starting on Friday, April 29 at the Courtyard Restaurant and Pub in Bourne, and ending on Saturday, April 30 in Mashpee Commons. Each runner will run a 2- to 4-mile leg before switching off with a teammate, all while wearing a 10- to 20-pound rucksack which symbolizes the burdens our military and veterans carry with them in service to our country.

Rockland Trust, the Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office, and RideAway Adventures are all fielding teams for this year’s race which is drawing participants from as close as Cape Cod, Southeastern and Central Massachusetts and as far away as Vermont, Virginia, New Jersey, and Minnesota.

Teams will conclude the race with a final leg rucking through Mashpee Commons, crossing a finish line at Cape Cod Coffee. It’s estimated that all teams will finish the race by 1:15 pm on Saturday though some may arrive before that.

The post-race party will be a family-friendly affair with face painting as well as games, including cornhole and Jenga. A variety of food, including burgers, hot dogs, chicken, pizza, and pasta salad, as well as drinks will be available for purchase.

Bo Swayze of West Yarmouth, a Marine veteran and a marketing consultant at Cape Cod Radio, will serve as the master of ceremonies. Entertainment will kick off at noon with musician Rick Lockwood who will be followed by Beautiful Tuesday, performing from 2 to 4 pm, and Carly Tefft, closing out the party from 4 to 6 pm.

“I’m forever grateful for the military and service members, along with their families, of this country and community,” Tefft said. “As a musician and a family member of those who have served, I can’t think of a better way to show my gratitude to them than to perform at the Ruck4HIT finish line.”

Sponsors for this year’s Ruck4HIT include HIT Community Partners Cape Cod 5 and The Lobster Trap as well as Ride22 of Taunton, Cape Cod Coffee, Mashpee Commons, the George and Betty Dutton Foundation, Financial Independence, Cape Cod Retractable, Inc., Anytime Fitness, In Memory of Ken and Eric Jones, Fairway Financial, Oceanside, McNamara & Yates P.C., the Flaherty Family, Rogers & Marney, Quahog Republic, Independent Painting, Ryco Excavation, Monument Beach Sportsman’s Club, MTE, DeRosa Mechanical, F.W. Webb, Little Anchor Boutique, Uncle Dave’s BBQ & Bar, Matthew Colon Plumbing, Fitzie’s Barber Shop, Barnstable Police Department, C.O.T., Inc., BainCor, Crane Appliance, Thoreau Club, iKitchens Etc., All Cape Chimney Sweep, Canal Technologies, EAV Solutions, Jones Excavation, Mashpee Community Television, L. Knife & Sons, Pina Sajje Sanitation, Vineyard Vines, Gordons, Therapy Fitness, Jason Goldstein, Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office, The Courtyard Restaurant & Pub, Cape Air, Villagio Ristorante, Coca Cola, the Diamond Family, 42 North Solutions, Wicked Healthy Natural Foods, and the Falmouth Road Race, Inc.

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