On May 4th, twelve teams will rally around the starting line of the 8th annual Ruck4HIT, hosted by Heroes in Transition (HIT). This unique relay race is not for the faint of heart. Not only will teams run over two-hundred miles through all fifteen towns of Cape Cod in the span of thirty-six hours, but they will do so while wearing a 10-20 pound rucksack. The rucksack not only adds another level of intensity, but also represents the weight active members of the military and veterans carry with them every day to serve our country.
For those who have served, this race gives them the opportunity to ruck for those who can’t and to continue their efforts to never leave a fallen comrade behind. For those who enter the race that are not service members or veterans, Ruck4HIT “provides a great opportunity to test yourself physically and mentally while making a meaningful difference in the lives of individuals and families who sacrifice so much for our country,” says HIT Executive Director Nicole Spencer. It allows all who participate to work towards something greater than themselves; helping fund programs to relieve the weight veterans carry on a daily basis.
The race begins with its opening ceremony at 11pm at the Courtyard Restaurant in Bourne. From there, teams will walk with their rucksacks from the Courtyard to the start of the Shining Sea Bikeway in Falmouth. With one foot in front of the other, competitors complete this grueling race over the next 36 hours.
However, this event’s story began long before teams lined up at the starting line.
Heroes in Transition’s Mission
Established in 2009, Heroes in Transition is a not-for-profit organization which prides itself on providing assistance for veterans, service members, and their families. Founded by Cyndy and Eric Jones in memory of their son Captain Eric A. Jones, a Marine helicopter pilot who lost his life while serving in Afghanistan, the organization’s mission and core values are those of Captain Jones’; to be there to help fellow service members when they need it most.
HIT assists veterans as they begin a new chapter in their lives; a chapter many don’t know how to begin. Returning to civilian life can be daunting and, at times, feel impossible for some. Through their programs like Couples Retreats, equine therapy, community building through group outings, and financial assistance, it eases some of the pains this transition can bring.
Ruck4HIT Raises Awareness and Much Needed Funds
Of the many events hosted by HIT, Ruck4HIT’s goal is to raise awareness of the hardships service members endure and persevere through both during their missions and when they return home. Additionally, this event helps collect funding for the programs that have become vital to many service members and their families on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and beyond.
Through community events and the services they provide, Heroes in Transition continuously works to make the Cape a safe space for veterans, all while fostering and strengthening relationships, building community, and encouraging and healing those who have served this country. Every day, Heroes in Transition works to take the load off veterans any way they can.
However, this race would not be possible without volunteers. Support is needed at each exchange location throughout Cape Cod. With a total of 70 exchanges along the 200 mile course, RUCK4HIT needs at least 140 volunteers to safely host this relay. Additionally, organizers are looking for volunteers to help with the opening ceremony and the finish-line party.
The finish-line celebration takes place at Cape Cod Coffee on Route 130 in Mashpee on Saturday, May 6. This event is open to the public and will include live music and entertainment. Email email@example.com to learn more about volunteering during the Ruck4HIT race and the events that follow.
Learn more about their Gala Fundraising event in the Fall.