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Tough Ruck 26.2, 2024 Race Day Brief

On Sunday, April 14, 2024 we will join together for the 12th Annual Tough Ruck Boston - proudly held in partnership with the Boston Marathon. Over 26.2 miles you will be honoring America's Fallen Military & First Responders and giving much needed support to our Warrior Families.


Saturday, April 13th | 4pm - 5:30pm: Fenn School, 516 Monument Street, Concord


Sunday, April 14th | 5:00am-7:00am: Fenn School, 516 Monument Street, Concord


Sunday, April 14th | 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 great) and sign a release that confirms you have received their swag. Just a friendly reminder that you can only ruck under a bib in your own name. 

Bib pick-up will be by bib number. Please click on the link here and search your name to view your bib number. There will also be display boards with your bib number. Please have your photo ID and bib number ready for the registration team. If you are picking up bibs for others you may need to wait in various lines depending on their bib numbers.

  • All Ruckers who earned additional swag (above the fundraising commitment level you choose at registration) through fundraising by March 15, will receive their additional swag at bib pickup. Ruckers who earned additional swag March 15-April 1, will receive their swag via mail post race. Ruckers may fundraise through step off 7:20am on April 14th and earn additional swag (sizes not guaranteed and a minimal shipping fee may apply).

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

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

Reminder that all Ruckers have until April 10, 2024 11:59PM EST to meet the fundraising commitment you selected at registration. For example, if you selected the $450 fundraising commitment and you have raised $350 by April 10th your credit card on file would be charged $100 on April 11th.


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 with welcoming remarks from Original Tough Rucker MAJ Stephen Fiola. The dinner is open for all registered Ruckers, their family members and volunteers. Parking is available at the Fenn School (only for Saturday, April 13th)on a first-come first serve basis. Please do not park on Monument Street as towing is strictly enforced.

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 coins, hats, hoodies, YETIs and other apparel.


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.


The Opening Ceremony and Safety Briefing will start at 7:00am. Tough Ruckers will step-off on the course at 7:20am 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. Uniformed athletes may start in the civilian dress division, however civilian dress athlete cannot start with the uniformed division.


We are guests of the Minute Man National Park and 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 need it anyway at the finish line festivities for the Mile 27 Celebration Tent 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.


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 2024 course map

This year the Tough Ruck course will incorporate the historic North Bridge, Reformatory Branch Trail, Lexington Green area 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 directional arrows and Tough Ruck signs. 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 course marshals (yellow vests), volunteers (blue shirts) and Police on the course to assist you. The course may be subject to change due to flooding or other trail impediments.

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.


Throughout the course participants may hear musket and cannon firing including at the North Bridge. The Massachusetts National Guard 215th Army Band will also join around the course to cheer on Tough Ruckers!


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. There will be porta-toilets at each Hydration/Aid Station.

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

  • Hydration/Aid # 1 & # 8: Concord Reformatory Branch Trail | 2.47 Miles out and 23.12 Miles back

  • Hydration/Aid # 2 & # 7: Bedford Depot | 5.77 Miles out and 19.83 Miles back

  • Hydration/Air # 3 & # 6: Lexington Department of Public Works | 9.18 Miles out and 16.49 Miles back.

  • Hydration/Aid # 4 & # 5: Tower Park Lexington  | 11.38 Miles out and 14.23 Miles back

  • "GU Electrolyte Fueling Station: powered by the Ahern Family Charitable Foundation: Grab your GU electrolyte pack at Mile 20

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 for everyone to weigh their bags and confirm proper weight. Weighing your bag is mandatory on the morning of the Tough Ruck. You will go through a security check and your ruck will be tagged and weight and dress 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 for their division will be disqualified (DQ) and eliminated from top finisher award contention.


There are two dress divisions - civilian dress and uniformed military/first responder. Civilian dress athletes are required to carry a ruck - all other footwear and clothing choices can be of the Rucker's choosing. Please notify the weigh station volunteers about any changes to your weight or dress division the morning of the ruck to ensure your division is correct and you can be eligible to compete for top finisher prizes.

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


Families of Fallen Military & First Responders 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 & use our event hashtag # toughruck2024 # toughruck to ensure that Families of the Fallen can follow your journey with their loved ones ribbon.

Facebook: @toughruck

IG: @toughruck

If you purchased custom ribbons online, these will be available for pick-up at the Swag Tent at bib pick-up on April 13 and April 14.


We are excited to have 1000 Tough Ruckers take part to earn the first of the official Boston Marathon medals. 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. Your bib may be on your chest or leg.

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.

If you want to invite Families of Fallen Military and First Responders, please have them register here:


This year awards will be presented every hour beginning at 12:00PM at the award stage. Please look for the top-finisher names by the award stage. All awards must be picked-up day of event. Awards will be presented in the following categories.

  • Top Three Individual Fundraisers (Award for top fundraiser as reflected through online donations as of 1200HRS on April 13th)

  • Top 3 Fundraising Teams (Award for top fundraiser as reflected through online donations as of of 1200HRS April 13th)

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

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


Tough Ruck swag will be available for sale at bib pick-up on Saturday, pre and post-race. Cash, Venmo, checks, 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. We will be sharing out information about our Race Joy tracker next week for your family and friends to see you on the course if you want to opt into the

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

  • Hydration/Aid Station # 1 & # 8: Concord Reformatory Branch Trail | 2.47 Miles out and 23.12 Miles back | GPS Address: Great Meadows Road, Concord, MA

  • Hydration/Aid # 2 & # 7 Bedford Railroad Depot  | 5.77 Miles out and 19.83 Miles back | GPS Address: 80 Loomis Street, Bedford, MA

  • Hydration/Aid # 3 & # 6 Lexington Department of Public Works | 9.18 Miles out and 16.49 Miles back | GPS Address: 201 Bedford Street, Lexington, MA

  • Hydration/Aid Station # 4 & # 5: Tower Park Lexington | 11.38 Miles out and 14.23 Miles back | GPS Address: 1265 Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington, MA

Other great spectator locations include:

  • The Old North Bridge, Concord

  • Railroad Ave & Reformatory Branch Trail (across from 29 Railroad Avenue, Bedford, MA)

  • Lexington Green Visitors Center in Lexington with 215th Army Band from 11AM-1PM

  • Hartwell Avenue, Lexington


Family-friendly finish line festivities will take place from 12:30-5:30PM including complimentary ice cream, inflatable obstacle course, and vendor tables. 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 and their families at the finish line! Remember to bring your ID for Samuel Adams Mile 27 Celebration Tent featuring both classic Samuel Adams Boston Lager and an exciting non-alc option Just The Haze.

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, face painting, massage and much more!  

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