Boston runners “Race the T” to fight homelessness

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Boston runners “Race the T” to fight homelessness

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By Ryan Grewal, city editor

On Saturday morning, Boston-area runners will race the notoriously slow B-branch of the Green Line. The four-mile run, dubbed “Race the T,” will raise money for Back on My Feet, a running-based nonprofit that combats homelessness.

The race will begin at Boston College, the subway’s western terminus, and run alongside the tracks on Commonwealth Avenue to the Blandford Street T stop, where the Green Line dips underground before Kenmore station.

Jenna Deutsch, a 25-year-old marathon runner from Brookline, said she came up with the idea for the event out of her own frustration with the Green Line.

“I was trying to think outside the box for a fundraising idea. I ride the B-Line every day, so I know how slow it is,” said Deutsch, who works as a program manager at activity tracker maker Fitbit. “I just put two and two together.”

Deutsch hopes to have 100 participants and raise $7,500 for Back on My Feet, which operates in 12 cities including Boston. The nonprofit facilitates a support program for homeless people with a focus on running. After members of the program commit to running for 30 days, local chapters provide services like job training and housing resources.

The program demonstrates that “if you first restore confidence, strength and self-esteem, individuals are better equipped to tackle the road ahead,” according to Back on My Feet’s mission statement.  

Runners can pre-register online or sign up on the day of the event. The $20 registration fee, as well as 15 percent of food purchases at the post-race party at Scoozi Kenmore Square, will be donated to Back on My Feet.

“I hate asking people straight up for money so asking for a donation at an event is much better,” Deutsch said.

Considering the leisurely pace of the Green Line, Jake Mastrangelo, a freshman computer science major, considers the task fairly undemanding.

“Depending on how you handle the traffic lights, I don’t think it would be that hard to beat [the Green Line],” Mastrangelo said.

Freshman politics, philosophy and economics major Siena List expressed entertained frustration towards the event’s premise.

“Anything would be faster than taking the [expletive] T,” List said.

Photo by Lauren Scornavacca