Red Sox, New Balance raise money for veterans

With the Boston Marathon over, the city’s running community may want to turn its attention to a shorter 9K race that finishes in a unique spot.

The fourth annual Run-Walk to Home Base starts on Yawkey Way as runners set off on a course that takes them through Boston. It’s the finish, however, that makes the race unique as there is a dual end, with the timed finish taking place inside Fenway Park in front of the Green Monster and a second “photo finish” occurring as runners symbolically touch home base.

“Your family gets to come and sit in Fenway Park and you get to touch home base when you finish,” said Rob DeMartini, chief executive officer of New Balance, which is the title sponsor for the race.

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In addition to the 9K/5½ mile race, the event also offers a 2½ mile walk. All participants – both walkers and runners—must commit to raising at least $1,000 to participate. The event honors veterans and raises funds for the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital’s Home Base Program. During its first three years, the Run-Walk to Home Base has raised over $7 million.

“Over the last three years, most of the funds raised have gone to support programs that help people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and brain injuries,” DeMartini said. “We expect over 4,000 runners this year and to raise more money they ever before.”

The Home Base Program was created in 2009 to serve Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and families affected by combat or deployment-related stress and Traumatic Brain Injury. The program: provides clinical care and support services for service members, veterans, and families throughout New England.

The Red Sox Foundation was created in 2002 and it has actively supported the Home Program since 2009.