Runners attempt to ‘Beat the T’ during marathon weekend

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Runners attempt to ‘Beat the T’ during marathon weekend

Chris Triunfo, city editor

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More than 50 runners from across Massachusetts gathered at the Prudential Center on Friday for a race. Their opponent? The Green Line.

People of all ages and athletic capabilities suited up and ran the three-mile route up Beacon Street for Boston’s annual Beat the T! Race. This year’s race was the first ever to be hosted by two sporting goods stores, Marathon Sports of Brookline and Brooks Running. Erin Engelson, the marketing manager at Marathon Sports, said the race required a lot of planning.

Engelson, who ran this year’s Boston Marathon, was part of the team that took the Green Line. Her colleague, Stephen Gendron of Brooks Running, was on the outside, running. Gendron said he had the initial idea for the event, but credits all the planning to Engelson.

“I just thought it would be funny,” Gendron said. “My girlfriend and I lived right by the Cleveland Circle stop, and one day, she ran to her job in the financial district and made it there way before the T. I thought it would be great to host an actual race against the train.”

Some participants rode the T to cheer on their friends as they ran. / Photo by Christian Triunfo

Gendron also ran to celebrate his qualification for next year’s Boston Marathon, a first for him.

The race started at the Copley MBTA station as the final pieces of Monday’s Boston Marathon finish line were being constructed. A few of the organizers took the Green Line in order to keep track of its location. Desiree Linden, who won the women’s race during Monday’s marathon, was among the organizers.

As the runners prepared, people visiting the city for the marathon stopped to take pictures and watch. Among the bleachers, scaffolding and jumbotrons, the runners seemed to fit right in.

Megan Muzilla, a freshman member of Boston University’s running club, was in attendance to run. She said she enjoys being a student in Boston because in the weekend preceding the marathon, the city becomes a hub for runners.

“There are so many running events all around the city, I love it,” Muzilla said. “I’m heading to another after this, and hopefully another one tomorrow. Plus, it’s all topped off with the actual marathon on Monday.”

Most of the runners didn’t think the T would win. Laura Dickerson, a 72-year-old Quincy, Massachusetts, resident, laughed at the thought.

“You know, I run really slowly, but I still am curious to see if I can beat the T,” Dickerson said. “It’s notoriously slow.”

Engelson poked fun at the T’s speed as well.

“We’re racing the C train, so it will absolutely fail. Maybe the B train could stand a chance,” Engelson said with a smile.

As Engelson took the train to the finish line to the Washington Square stop in Brookline, she pressed her forehead up to the window, taking pictures and waving at all the runners. By the time the T arrived, there seemed to be a clear victor. More than 10 runners were gathered waiting outside.

“It wasn’t even close!” Engelson said. “Maybe the T will win next year, but it isn’t likely.”