Cinch I.T Hosts 100 Mile Ruck March Challenge
Cinch I.T. – one of the fastest growing I.T. service providers in the U.S. – hosted the 2nd annual 100-Mile Ruck March Challenge this month to help benefit families dealing with childhood cancer. Former U.S. Army Ranger, President of Cinch I.T., and Princeton Massachusetts resident, Rick Porter was at the helm of the operation.
The event took place from July 21-24 in neighboring Worcester and collected donations during its nightly events from participating athletes and volunteers. 100% of the money that was raised has been donated to Why Me & Sherry’s House, an organization dedicated to providing love and support services to families with childhood cancer. Why Me & Sherry’s House is the vision of thirteen-year-old Sherry Shepherd, and the promise kept by those who loved her to keep her dream alive. This year’s event raised over $133,945, nearly $62,000 over its initial goal. The donation link will be open until the red-carpet premier of the documentary film, which is slated to release in October.
The 100-Mile Ruck March Challenge is a military-inspired event, where a small group of 33 athletes rucked (hike with a weighted rucksack) 25 miles a day for four days. Each competitor camped out on the farm of a local brewery and continued the march each morning at sunrise. Athletes carried everything they needed for the four-day event on their backs as they navigated the 100-Mile course, cooked their own meals, set up and broke down their own camps each night, tended to their feet and bodies, dealt with tornado warnings, avoided a family of bears, and battled through one of the most intense heat waves on record, all in an attempt to earn the coveted 100-Mile Ruck March Finisher Medal. At the end of each day, individuals would come out and support the ruck athletes by joining the competitors at a different brewery to toast their accomplishments and encourage them to ruck on. The three participating breweries; Milk Room Brewery, Stone Cow Brewery, and Oakholm Brewing, all helped by offering their hospitality and providing an area for the competitors to camp, making the entire event possible.
“This charity holds a special place in my heart,” said Porter. “When you speak with the selfless individuals who have created and run Why Me & Sherry’s House on a daily basis, you can’t help but be in amazement of what they’ve built. When I hear the words spoken by the families whose lives have been touched by this remarkable organization, I realize that the struggles and difficulties we will face during this ruck march aren’t even a fraction of the battles these families go through every single day. Their strength and courage and love for their children is awe-inspiring, and I feel so blessed to have this opportunity to support them in some small way.”
Despite the extreme challenges faced by competitors along the way, the event was a great success. An intense heat wave hit the east coast the weekend of the march, forcing athletes to battle through mid-to-high 90-degree temperatures. This heat caused extreme dehydration in several athletes, with some being taken to the emergency room.
“We had the hottest heat wave in years, making the conditions difficult,” said athlete, Eric Chatelle. “However, having the support from my amazing family, medical staff, supply staff, the Sherry’s House team, wives that transitioned to field triage, and a band of brothers and sisters hiking for a common cause, made seemingly impossible conditions possible.”
To Julia Becker Collins, an athlete in the event, the 100-Mile Ruck March gave her an incredible amount of motivation to fight through her own battle with cancer.
“When I was diagnosed with cancer two years ago, I thought my bucket list dream of racing 100 miles was off the table,” said Collins. “Cancer and cancer treatment ravaged my body in a way I wasn’t prepared for and I was left with a body I didn’t recognize or understand. To say that I’m in shock that I finished would be an understatement. I took it one mile at a time, one step at a time, and it wasn’t until I was two miles from the finish that I realized that I was going to do it. I started crying while I walked because it all hit me, I was about to reach that goal that never seemed possible, that my cancer body was about to break every mold, beat back the odds, and do the thing no one thought it could.”
Through thick and thin, the athletes that participated in the 100-Mile Ruck March are extremely grateful for the opportunity to participate, knowing that their efforts will benefit those families enduring a much more difficult challenge associated with pediatric cancer. Porter is grateful for this year’s participants and is excited to continue the tradition next year.
Founded in 2004 and franchising since 2019, Cinch I.T. is a managed computer and I.T. support brand that provides businesses with an enterprise-level I.T. department for less than it would cost a business to manage their I.T. in-house. Today, there are 13 locations across seven states, and the brand is continuing to grow every year. The brand provides remote and on-site computer support, and services include I.T. support plans, network security, backup/disaster recovery, cloud computing, cybersecurity software, tech consulting, and more.