Wheel:Life is excited to announce that our staff writer Justin Racine will be participating in the Boston Red Sox's 2013 Run to Home Base! The 9K road race begins on the famous Yawkee way in Fenway Park, and ends with runners actually running into center field, crossing the home plate as they finish.
Beyond the amazing experience of running thru Fenway Park, the 9K Run to Home Base offers the chance to contribute to an extra-special cause. The Red Sox Foundation donates $1,000 per racer to their Home Base Program -- an initiative created to support Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and PTSD. Every year, the race raises over $3 million for our veterans and their families.
Justin explains, "I was never a avid runner by choice. Let's put it this way, I played soccer my whole life. Heck, my parents even met through soccer. But after I graduated high school and college and the competitive sports was done, I needed something else to stay in shape and keep myself healthy. I like to compete and run in 10Ks with the hope of someday completing a half marathon and ultimately the Boston Marathon."
He continues, "This is how I came across the Run to Home Base. Once I heard about this amazing race and their charity work, I knew I had to train for it to help give back to those who gave so much."
Here's a fantastic video clip that shows highlights from the annual Run to Home Base:
Justin has participated in the Run to Home Base every year since 2011. He describes his first race experience in Fenway Park below:
"Walking in Fenway at 8 a.m. in the morning, the usually up-beat rowdy park was quiet and tranquil - it had the feel of a sanctuary. The race packet pickup was located under the outfield walls, in a back room lined with photos and pictures from the players throughout the historic years. Babe, Manny, Nomar, Pedro, Fisk, Pesky, and Williams, to name a few. In awe, I picked up my packet, headed home and prepared for the race which was the next day bright and early."
"After a restless night's sleep, I was ready to race. That morning in the park, countless Vets were in attendance, some of who shared their stories. What a wonderful group of people coming out running for a cause. Many had shirts on of those that had fallen or people who they were running in memory of. I initially had signed up because of the great cause and the chance to run into Fenway Park, like many others. But after I was there -- seeing, talking, and interacting with people -- I knew the race meant much more than that."
"We all sat down right behind home plate and were treated to a pre-game ceremony, with commentary from top Generals, Boston Mayer Menino, State Rep. Scott Brown, and the Red Sox ownership. We even had a special message played on the jumbotron from the First Lady herself, Michelle Obama. Wow!"
"As the race begins, I look around and strike up some conversations with a group of girls who were running the race. As we get to talking, I find out I'm speaking with Kelli Pedroia, 2nd baseman's Dustin’s wife. How cool?!"
"Halfway through the 9K, I can feel myself getting tired, my legs are getting sore, and I am becoming slightly winded. But I kept thinking to myself, those brave men and women never quit over fighting for our country, so I can't either. One phrase kept driving me, "Don't quit, Don't quit, They didn't." With 1/2-mile left, as I was passing other runners, I heard them cheering me on! What, in a race? Yes. 'GO buddy GO!' one said. 'Finish strong man, good work!' another exclaimed."
"Running into Fenway Park was quite a trip, let me tell you. I passed the Green Monster, touched the wall, ran across home plate, shook the General's hand, and shook hands with the Red Sox owners. Such a WOW! moment."
"In 2011, I ended up finishing 115th out of 2,000 runners, not bad for my first big race. In 2012, I worked harder and finished 85th out of 1,700. This year, I'll be aiming even higher as I run the 2013 Run to Home Base on May 4th. I have realized that this race is much more than running to Fenway Park. It's the least I can do for those who have served, and those who will serve our country in the future."
About the 2013 Race to Home Base
This year’s race will take place on May 4th at Historic Fenway Park in Boston. If you are in the area, please stop by! The park is open all day and there is no cost to watch or participate. Justin Racine will be wearing the Wheel:Life T-shirt featured below, during the race so keep a lookout for him!
For more information about the Run to Home Base or to donate to the Wheel:Life race team, please visit https://www.runtohomebase.org/2013runtohomebase/JustinRacine.
Each donor will receive a mailed letter thanking you from the Red Sox Foundation, as well as a receipt to claim tax exception. For all of the Wheel:Life friends who donate, we will randomly select one friend and send them a free Historic Fenway artifact. That lucky winner will also receive a Wheel:Life t-shirt! Thank you in advance for your support.
PS. A lucky winner will receive a free Wheel:Life t-shirt after the race ends, signed by some very special people! Stay tuned for your chance to win.
About the Author: Justin Racine, from Boston, serves as a Marketing Manager for Infusion Resources in East Providence RI. He graduated from Western New England University with a B.S.B.A in Marketing Communication/Advertising. When he’s not busy with Marketing, Justin enjoys staying active, watching Boston sports, and spending time with friends and family.