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Tough Ruck 2023 Race Day Brief

On Sunday, April 16th, 2023 we will join together for the 10th Anniversary of Tough Ruck Nation - proudly held in partnership with the Boston Marathon. Over 26.2 miles on many of the original battle roads of the Revolutionary War, you will be honoring America's Heroes and giving much needed support to our Warrior Families & Families of the Fallen.



Saturday, April 15th | 4:00pm - 6:00pm: Fenn School, 516 Monument Street, Concord


Sunday, April 16th | 5:00am-7:00am: Fenn School, 516 Monument Street, Concord

All Ruckers must have a government issued ID (license, military ID, etc.) to pick up their bib. As a registered Rucker you may pick up another registered Rucker’s bib if you have a copy of their ID (cell phone picture is OK). Just a friendly reminder that you can only ruck under a bib in your own name.

  • All ruckers who earned additional swag through fundraising by March 15, will receive their additional swag at bib pickup. Ruckers who earned additional swag after March 15, will receive their swag via mail post race. Ruckers may fundraise through step off 7:30am on April 16th.

  • $950 Fundraisers receive a Tough Ruck shirt and hoodie.

  • $1,500 Fundraisers receive a Tough Ruck shirt, hoodie and the official Boston Marathon jacket.

Reminder that all Ruckers have until April 11, 2023 11:59EST to meet their $450 fundraising commitment. For example, if you have raised $350 by April 11th your credit card on file would be charged $100.


Fuel up for race day during pre-race bib and swag pickup at The Fenn School. Tough Ruck will be serving a complimentary spaghetti dinner from 4:00pm - 6:00pm for all registered Ruckers and their family members.

Weigh Stations will also be set up to test the weight of your ruck and additional swag will be for sale at bib pick-up and pre and post day including hats, hoodies, mugs and other apparel.


On site registration will be available at bib and swag pickup on Saturday and Sunday. The registration fee for on site registration is $595 which includes the cost of the registration and the fundraising commitment required to participate in the event. Race shirts will only be available on a first-come first-serve basis for same day registrants.


All participants must park at The Concord-Carlise High School located at 500 Walden Street, Concord and take the provided shuttle buses to the start. Buses will leave from the lot in the front of the school in the student parking lot. There is no Rucker parking at the start line at the Fenn. Shuttle buses will run every 15 minutes from 5am until 8am. The final bus leaves the Fenn School at 7:00pm. If you finish the race after 7:00pm, ruckers are responsible for their own transportation back to the parking area.

Your family and friends are welcome to cheer you on! There will be no spectator parking at the Fenn School. All spectators who want to travel to the start/finish line will need to park at Concord-Carlisle High School and take the shuttle bus to The Fenn School. Buses will run all day from 5AM until 7PM for spectators.

Limited parking (100 spots) will be available at Sargents Fields on Monument Street, Concord.


The Opening Ceremony and Safety Briefing will start at 6:55am. Tough Ruckers will step-off on the course at 7:30am SHARP. We HIGHLY recommend that you arrive at the parking lot NO LATER than 5:30AM to give ample time to board the bus and get to the start and weigh station. All Ruckers are expected to attend the Opening Ceremony.

To manage the flow of Ruckers in Concord, the event will have a pulse start. Line up in the following order: 1) Uniformed Military & First Responder Heavy and Light Divisions 2) Civilian Dress Heavy Division and 3) Civilian Dress Light Division.


We are guests of the towns of Concord, Bedford and Lexington as well as the Reformatory Branch Trail and the Minute Man Commuter Bikeway. As in years past, it is expected that all trash (to include any weight) will be placed in trash receptacles. We cannot stress enough how seriously this will be taken. There will be additional trash receptacles at the hydration and aid stations. If you are seen dumping trash on the ground or in the woods, you may be removed from the course by race officials and disqualified from the event. If you are removed from the course you will not receive your finishers medal. And really, what’s a few Gatorade bottles and orange peels in your Ruck on top of the weight you will already be crushing!


Your ruck may be inspected at any time for security purposes. All Ruckers must carry their government issued ID throughout the entire Ruck. (You’ll have it anyway for the finish line beer garden so this should be an easy one.)

If you must drop any weight during the ruck, you can only do so at the hydration/fueling stations. It can be a significant security concern and cost if you dump weight, such as bricks wrapped in duct tape so please avoid doing so! If you are seen dumping weight outside of the hydration stations, you may be removed from the event.

Any items left unattended at the start/finish line or along the course are subject to search and removal by our public safety partners. Please do not leave bags unattended at the Start/Finish Line


There will be signs placed throughout the trail to help Ruckers identify where they are in case of an emergency. EMS/medical personnel will be located at all hydration stations/aid stations. Mobile EMS will also be on the course. In case of an emergency where you can’t get to a hydration/aid stations, and you need to dial 911 let them know you are with the "Tough Ruck" and find a marker/sign to let them know where you are located.


Click here for the TOUGH RUCK 2023 course map

This year the Tough Ruck course will incorporate the historic North Bridge, Reformatory Branch Trail, Lexington Green Visitors Center and the Minute Man Bikeway. The route is an out and back from Concord, through Bedford, to the Lexington/Arlington line and back. It is well marked with signs and branded Tough Ruck flags. All participants MUST stay on the sidewalk where they are available. In the few spots where there is no sidewalk, please stay as close to the side of the road as possible. This course is open to traffic and every participant MUST follow the pedestrian rules of the roads. We will have volunteers and police details on the course to assist you.

While traveling on the Minute Man Commuter Bikeway in Bedford and Lexington, please stay to the right hand side of the trail, For safety, if you need to stop at any time you must step off the pavement, onto a grassed area and look both ways before re-entering the bikeway. The bikeway is shared with runners, walkers and of course, bikes. T


Throughout the course participants may hear musket and cannon firing.


Tough Ruckers should be self-contained and bring the fuel and the hydration needed for the course. Remember to factor your water and fuel consumption in throughout the course and how it might impact your overall minimum weight requirements.

  • Start/Finish: The Fenn School | 0.0m out and 26.2m back

  • Hydration/Aid #1 & #7: Concord Reformatory Branch Trail | 1.75m out and 24.59m back

  • Hydration/Aid #2: Paul Revere Capture Site | 6.75m out

  • Hydration/Air #3: Tower Park Lexington | 10.91m out

  • Hydration/Aid #4 & #6: Bedford Depot | 16.2m out and 20.6m back

  • Hydration/Aid #5: Sweetwater Ave/Narrow Gauge Rail | 18.57m out

  • *NEW GU Electrolyte Fueling Station at Hydration Station #5 20.4m

Ruckers must carry a canteen, hydration packs or water bottle with them for the duration of the ruck. Hydration locations will have water and Gatorade (limited availability). This year doctors from Crimson Medical specializing in foot and ankle injuries will also be at each hydration/aid station. There is NO hydration at the start of the race so please plan accordingly (remember Concord does not sell bottled water).


All participants rucksacks must weigh a minimum of 15lbs for light division or a minimum of 35lbs for heavy division. There will be a weigh station near registration for everyone to weigh their bags and confirm proper weight. Weighing your bag is mandatory and your ruck will be tagged and division recorded at the weigh station before step-off. Again, your division will be determined at the weigh station - this means that you can decide the morning of how much weight you want to carry. The only weight that is recorded is the weight in the ruck. Weighted vests will not count towards the weight.

You must maintain the minimum ruck weight for your division throughout the entire course. There is a mandatory ruck weigh in upon return at the finish line. Any Rucker carrying lighter than their division standards or not following dress requirements will be disqualified (DQ) and eliminated from top finisher award contention.


There are two (2) dress divisions - civilian dress and uniformed military/first responder. Civilian dress are required to carry a ruck - all other footwear and clothing choices can be of the Rucker's choosing.

In order to be designated as a military division participant you must be current, former or retired military and dress in accordance to the guidelines to the right. Esprit de corps shirts are welcome. Uniformed First Responders should wear their duty uniform. Firefighters may carry an oxygen tank in place of a ruck provided it meets the weight minimum.


Families of the Fallen will be at the Memorial Ribbon tent to assist you with making ribbons. As part of Tough Ruck tradition, each Rucker will complete the entire course carrying a rucksack with the names of Fallen Servicemembers, Police, Firefighters, EMS and DOC. You are welcome to: 1) make your own ribbons prior to the ruck 2) make ribbons at bib pick-up the morning of Tough Ruck (as supplies last) or 3) select pre-made ribbons to carry. We ask that you post a photo of your ruck with your bib number on social or use our event hashtag #toughruck2023 to ensure that families of the Fallen can follow your journey with their loved ones ribbon.

Facebook: @toughruck IG: @toughruck


To get an accurate race time and to receive your finisher medal, you must have your bib visible to the FRONT when you cross the finish line. Race timing is provided by Granite State Race Services. Be sure to step on the mat as you leave, when you cross the finish line, and on all the mats along the course. Once you cross the finish line your ruck will be weighed in again. All finishers will receive their Boston Marathon Medal from Families of Fallen Military and First Responders. Official race timing will end at 9 hours. If you continue, you are proceeding at your own choosing and risk. Tough Ruck volunteers will be at the finish line until the final rucker crosses and all ruckers who complete the distance will earn the medal.


  • Top Three Individual Fundraisers (Award for top fundraiser as reflected through online donations as of 1200HRS on April 16th)

  • Top 3 Fundraising Teams

  • 1st place Uniformed Heavy Male & Female: 1st place awards by gender/age divisions

  • 1st place Uniformed Light Male & Female: 1st place awards by gender/age divisions

  • 1st place Civilian Heavy Male & Female: 1st place awards by gender/age divisions

  • 1st place Civilian Light Male & Female: 1st place awards by gender/age divisions

  • Overall Top Finisher Male & Female: 1st place awards by gender/age divisions

Age groups: 18-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60+

No double dipping (ie. Overall winners cannot also win in their age group)

Awards must be picked-up on event day.


Tough Ruck swag will be available for sale at bib pick-up, pre and post-race. Cash and credit cards accepted.


Friends and family coming to cheer you on? Let them know some great places for them to see you on the course. The mileage is provide below so you can estimate based on your pace what time you will cross by each location.

Public parking and porta-toilets are available at these locations below:

  • Hydration/Aid #1 & #7: Concord Reformatory Branch Trail | 1.75m out and 24.59m back

GPS Address: Great Meadows Road, Concord, MA 01742

  • Hydration/Aid #2: Paul Revere Capture Site | 6.75m out

GPS Address: 190 N Great Road, Lincoln, MA 01773

  • Hydration/Air #3: Tower Park Lexington | 10.91m out

GPS Address: 1265 Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington, MA

  • Hydration/Aid #4 & #6 (optional): Bedford Depot | 16.2m out and 20.6m back

GPS Address: 80 Loomis Street, Bedford, MA

  • Hydration/Aid #5: Sweetwater Avenue/Narrow Gauge Rail | 18.57m out

GPS Address: trail/parking lot located at Sweetwater Avenue/Sherman Lane, Bedford, MA

Other great spectator locations include:

  • The Old North Bridge in Concord

  • Meriam's Corner in Concord

  • Fiske Hil in Lincoln

  • Lexington Green Visitors Center in Lexington

  • Hartwell Avenue in Lexington


Family-friendly finish line festivities will take place from 12:30-6PM including complimentary ice cream, inflatable obstacle course, touch-a-truck and more. The last shuttle bus will leave Fenn School at 7PM.

Bertucci’s Italian Restaurant, our signature food sponsor, will be onsite to feed our hungry participants at the finish line! Remember to bring your ID for Harpoon – Love Life. Love Beer.

Families and friends are encouraged to come out to the finish line to cheer you on! We recommend they bring a chair and a picnic!

Make sure to stop by the Tough Ruck Swag Tent, Thin Blue Line Vette, The Vet Center, Massachusetts National Guard Recruiting and much more!


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