Monday, April 5, at 11:59 p.m., is the deadline to register for Heroes In Transition’s annual Ruck4HIT, which kicks off April 30 and ends May 2.
The Not Your Ordinary Ruck4HIT Challenge Weekend will allow people to participate either in-person in Mashpee or virtually, anywhere in the world.
As HIT’s largest annual fundraiser, the event goes to support its programs to assist individuals currently serving, veterans and military families in the region. HIT’s services include a Spring and Fall Couples Retreat; an equine therapy program for veterans and military families; a Canine Co-Pilot Program which pairs up service dogs with veterans, based on need; a Reboot Program for female service members, veterans, and spouses; financial assistance for veterans in need; and bimonthly outings for veterans, military families, military spouses and military couples.
Register for the Ruck4HIT Challenge as an individual, join a team or create a team at www.heroesintransition.org.
“This year, we already have over a dozen teams who will be competing in a variety of ways. Some will be running with rucksacks while others are creating their own challenge, from walking to running to bicycling to kayaking to even playing pickleball,” said Ruck4HIT co-organizer Steve Spencer. “The great part about this year’s event is people get to choose how they want to participate while giving back to individuals who are serving and have served our country.”
While the Ruck4HIT has traditionally been a relay race that passes through every town on Cape Cod, it shifted to a virtual event in 2020 due to the pandemic.
This year, there will continue to be a virtual option for anyone who wishes to participate that way. There is also an in-person component that will be held at Heritage Park in Mashpee for anyone who wants to safely experience the camaraderie and competitiveness of the typical Ruck4HIT. Teams can set up a base camp at the park over the course of the weekend and complete their runs, walks, bicycle rides and more from the park.
Among the teams already signed up are contingents from the Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office, Cape Cod Coffee, RideAway Adventures in Sandwich, and Operation Made, a gift shop in Warwick, Rhode Island.
The Ruck4HIT started in 2016 when one team of 12 runners and four support personnel rucked from Ground Zero in New York City and concluded in Falmouth, 41 hours later.
Since then, it has been held on Cape Cod with up to a dozen teams running through each town on Cape Cod over the course of 36 hours. Participants have traditionally worn a rucksack to symbolize the burdens that our military and veterans carry with them.
“The Ruck4HIT is a reminder that there are individuals and families who have sacrificed and endured far worse in service to our country,” Spencer said. “Everyone who participates in this event tries to raise awareness and to honor these sacrifices by challenging ourselves physically and mentally. We understand there are individuals and families who serve our country who don’t have that privilege.”
Businesses interested in becoming a Ruck4HIT sponsor should contact Jill Blanchard at email@example.com.
People who aren’t able to participate, but still want to support the Ruck4HIT can do so by making a donation at www.heroesintransition.org.