After shifting the design of its annual Ruck4HIT event the past two years due to the pandemic, Heroes In Transition (HIT) will be bringing the relay race back to its original format in the spring.
The Mashpee-based nonprofit will be holding two informational sessions for people interested in running, driving in, volunteering, or sponsoring the event this month and next month at Cape Cod Coffee on Route 130 in Mashpee. The first session will take place Monday, Dec. 13, at 7 p.m. and the second Thursday, Jan. 13, at 7 p.m.
“This is a great opportunity for people to learn about the Ruck4HIT and how they can get involved in making it a success so we can help more veterans and military families in our region,” said HIT Executive Director Nicole Spencer. “It’s a one-of-a-kind event that allows people to test themselves physically and mentally while realizing that our military, veterans, and their loved ones endure far worse in service to our country.”
Funds raised from the Ruck4HIT go to benefit Heroes In Transition, a nonprofit that was formed by Cyndy and the late Kenneth Jones after their son, U.S. Marine Capt. Eric A. Jones, was killed in a helicopter crash in 2009 in Afghanistan. HIT assists veterans, service members, and their loved ones through a range of programs that include equine therapy; monthly group outings for veterans and service members, military couples, military spouses, and military families; a spring and fall Couples Retreat; REBOOT, which supports female veterans, service members, and spouses; fishing excursions; financial assistance; and pairing service dogs with veterans, based on need.
Started in 2016, the Ruck4HIT will be entering its seventh year in 2022. Next year, it will return to its traditional relay race format. Over the course of two days, runners will cross through every town on Cape Cod, all while wearing weighted rucksacks to symbolize the sacrifices military and veterans make and the burdens they carry as a result of their service. Along the way, there are several group challenges, including one in which teams climb the Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown, which serves as the halfway mark for the race.
There are two divisions in the Ruck4HIT: Jethro and Jones. Jethro refers to the call sign of Captain Eric Jones. Teams in the Jethro Division are allowed one van, 7 runners, and 2 drivers, and have to raise a minimum of $5,000 to support Heroes In Transition. In the Jones Division, teams have 2 vans, up to 14 runners, up to 4 drivers, and be required to raise a minimum of $8,000. All participants must be at least 18 years old.
Starting Dec. 11, group training runs for the Ruck4HIT will take place every Saturday, weather permitting, at 7:45 am at Cape Cod Coffee on Route 130 in Mashpee.
Anyone interested in either participating in, volunteering for, or supporting the Ruck4HIT is encouraged to attend the info sessions or to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Businesses interested in serving as a Ruck4HIT sponsor can contact Jill Blanchard at email@example.com.