Kevin Bennett’s passion for running started when he was a student at Barnstable High School. Initially, it was a means to an end. “I joined the cross country team because I was a basketball and baseball player,” he said. “I wanted to get in shape for those sports. That’s where I picked up my love for running.”
It’s the one activity where Kevin feels most at ease, allowing him “to slow down and connect with my body, mentally and physically. I’ll be running and actually be so grateful for the fresh air and breath I’m taking in,” he said. “It centers me and keeps me in the moment. It is definitely a huge stress relief from the stressors of running a few businesses. It is therapeutic for me.”
That is exactly what Kevin will be feeling this Sunday, when he sets out from Woods Hole, making the trek to Falmouth Heights as he runs the Falmouth Road Race for Heroes In Transition (HIT).
It will represent Kevin’s latest effort to strengthen HIT’s mission to assist service members, veterans, and military families in our region. He has participated as a support runner for the Ruck4HIT three times, including this past May with team Front Toward Victory.
“I love the camaraderie and companionship among the teams where we’re all striving towards one goal and doing it to honor our fallen heroes,” Kevin said of the grueling relay race which serves as HIT’s major fundraiser of the year. “It is a real test, physically, mentally and emotionally with your teammates supporting each other and it’s for such a good cause.”
Last November, when he purchased Woodruff’s Art Center in Mashpee Commons from previous owner Amy Rice, he partnered with her to donate a portion of the sales of a small artwork exhibit to HIT.
Kevin, whose grandfather Charlie Donohoe served in World War II, spoke about the need to assist individuals who are sacrificing and have sacrificed so much for our country. “I personally can’t imagine the psychological and emotional toll that some veterans face,” he said. “I have never experienced that, and I would imagine it is difficult and challenging coming back [from deployment] to the United States so the services that Heroes In Transition provides is really admirable.”
Along with Woodruff’s Art Center, Kevin is the owner of Bennett Gallery on Main Street in Hyannis, where he not only sells artwork, which includes his photography, but frames pieces for his patrons to hang in their homes and businesses.
He understands the importance of giving back to the community where he lives and works. This weekend, he will be doing just that for HIT as he takes part in his third Falmouth Road Race in a sport that has brought so much peace and joy into his life. “I’ve been able to have some success, personally and business-wise so it feels right to give back,” he said.