December 29, 2018 (Mashpee, MA) – What would possess someone to run nearly 30 miles carrying a 20-30-pound rucksack over the course of two days?
“Because there are people who can’t,” said Ruck4HIT Director Steve Spencer.
Now entering its fourth year, the annual relay features teams of runners, also known as ruckers, who criss-cross all of Cape Cod to raise funds for the Mashpee-based nonprofit Heroes In Transition (HIT) which supports veterans, service members and military families in the region.
An info session for the relay race will take place on Thursday, January 3, at 5:30 pm, at Mashpee Public Library. Anyone interested in participating in the event as a runner, driver, sponsor, donor, or volunteer is encouraged to come.
“Ruck4HIT is one of the most challenging and rewarding events that I have ever taken part of in my life,” said HIT Executive Director Nicole Spencer. “It’s a reminder that there are service members and veterans who are enduring far worse than what we suffer through in two days. I’m grateful for that reminder and to be able to give back to our country’s heroes through my involvement with HIT.”
The first Ruck4HIT took place in 2016 when one team of 12 runners and 6 support personnel ran 275 miles, each with 20- or 30-pound rucksacks on their back, from Ground Zero in New York City to Falmouth. A year later, the race expanded to 12 teams, each with 7 runners and 2 drivers, who ran over 220 miles through each town on Cape Cod. This year, 10 teams took part in the race, all to give back to those who serve and have served our country.
Next year’s Ruck4HIT will start at 1AM on Friday, May 3 at the Courtyard Restaurant & Pub in Bourne, and end 36 hours later on Saturday, May 4 in Mashpee.
The race will have two separate divisions: JETHRO and JONES. Jethro refers to the call sign of U.S. Marine Captain Eric A. Jones; HIT 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 HIT. 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.
Ruck4HIT participants are required to carry rucksacks based on their
Weight: those under 160 pounds carry a 20-pound rucksack while those over 160 pounds carry a 30-pound rucksack. Each runner will run a 2- to 4-mile leg before switching off with a teammate. Participants must be over 18 years old.
Those interested in signing up for next year’s Ruck4HIT can do so at https://southshoreracemanagement.redpodium.com/ruck-4-hit-relay-race-2019.