HomeNewsArticle Display

Hanscom lieutenant races for veterans, crosses home base

BOSTON – Participants in the Run to Home Base 9K race pour across the Yawkey Way starting line on May 23. More than 2000 runners each donated $1,000 to compete in the race and cross the finish line at Fenway Park’s home plate. The donations will benefit the Home Base Program, which offers treatment, research and counseling to Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffering from traumatic brain injuries and deployment-related stress disorders. Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey and Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Tim Murray were in attendance.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Rick Berry)

BOSTON – Participants in the Run to Home Base 9K race pour across the Yawkey Way starting line on May 23. More than 2000 runners each donated $1,000 to compete in the race and cross the finish line at Fenway Park’s home plate. The donations will benefit the Home Base Program, which offers treatment, research and counseling to Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffering from traumatic brain injuries and deployment-related stress disorders. Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey and Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Tim Murray were in attendance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Rick Berry)

BOSTON – Participants in the Run to Home Base 9K race pour across the Yawkey Way starting line on May 23. More than 2000 runners each donated $1,000 to compete in the race and cross the finish line at Fenway Park’s home plate. The donations will benefit the Home Base Program, which offers treatment, research and counseling to Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffering from traumatic brain injuries and deployment-related stress disorders. Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey and Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Tim Murray were in attendance.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Rick Berry)

BOSTON – Participants in the Run to Home Base 9K race pour across the Yawkey Way starting line on May 23. More than 2000 runners each donated $1,000 to compete in the race and cross the finish line at Fenway Park’s home plate. The donations will benefit the Home Base Program, which offers treatment, research and counseling to Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffering from traumatic brain injuries and deployment-related stress disorders. Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey and Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Tim Murray were in attendance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Rick Berry)

BOSTON – 1st Lt. Ronald Jenkins, 350th Electronic Systems Group, crosses the finish line near home plate at Fenway Park. Lieutenant Jenkins was the 14th finisher of more than 2,000 runners.  He finished the race with a time of 35:13. The race began at Fenway Park, crossed the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge, wound along the Charles River and returned over the bridge and into the ballpark, finishing at home plate.  Friends and supporters were invited into the park to watch their runner finish the race.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Rick Berry)

BOSTON – 1st Lt. Ronald Jenkins, 350th Electronic Systems Group, crosses the finish line near home plate at Fenway Park. Lieutenant Jenkins was the 14th finisher of more than 2,000 runners. He finished the race with a time of 35:13. The race began at Fenway Park, crossed the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge, wound along the Charles River and returned over the bridge and into the ballpark, finishing at home plate. Friends and supporters were invited into the park to watch their runner finish the race. (U.S. Air Force photo by Rick Berry)

BOSTON – 1st Lt. Ronald Jenkins, 350th Electronic Systems Group, is interviewed after finishing 14th of more than 2,000 participants in the Run to Home Base 9K race at Fenway Park. The race benefitted the Home Base Program, which offers treatment and support to veterans of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom who suffer from traumatic brain injuries and deployment-related stress disorders.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Rick Berry)

BOSTON – 1st Lt. Ronald Jenkins, 350th Electronic Systems Group, is interviewed after finishing 14th of more than 2,000 participants in the Run to Home Base 9K race at Fenway Park. The race benefitted the Home Base Program, which offers treatment and support to veterans of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom who suffer from traumatic brain injuries and deployment-related stress disorders. (U.S. Air Force photo by Rick Berry)

BOSTON – 1st Lt. Ronald Jenkins, 350th Electronic Systems Group, is interviewed after finishing 14th of more than 2,000 participants in the Run to Home Base 9K race at Fenway Park. The race benefitted the Home Base Program, which offers treatment and support to veterans of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom who suffer from traumatic brain injuries and deployment-related stress disorders.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Rick Berry)

BOSTON – 1st Lt. Ronald Jenkins, 350th Electronic Systems Group, is interviewed after finishing 14th of more than 2,000 participants in the Run to Home Base 9K race at Fenway Park. The race benefitted the Home Base Program, which offers treatment and support to veterans of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom who suffer from traumatic brain injuries and deployment-related stress disorders. (U.S. Air Force photo by Rick Berry)

BOSTON – Runners representing Team Hanscom pose after the race.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Rick Berry)

BOSTON – Runners representing Team Hanscom pose after the race. (U.S. Air Force photo by Rick Berry)

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- Racing to home plate at Fenway Park is just a daydream for most baseball fans, but for more than 2,000 runners on Sunday, it became a reality.

The Run to Home Base 9K race, which began on Yawkey Way, crossed the Charles River, then wound back across the river and into Fenway Park, was organized by the Home Base Program, a partnership between the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital that offers treatment and support to veterans of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom who suffer from traumatic brain injuries and deployment-related stress disorders. Each runner raised or donated $1,000 for the opportunity to run in support of U.S. military members and their families.

Among the race's estimated 2,020 runners was a group of Hanscom Airmen. The first Hanscom finisher was 1st Lt. Ronald Jenkins, 350th Electronic Systems Group executive officer. Lieutenant Jenkins placed 14th overall, with a time of 35:13 (a 6:18 pace).

Lieutenant Jenkins, who had previously run mainly in preparation for the PFT, began running in earnest last spring after winning a 5K race that Col. Mary McRae, Electronic Systems Center chief of staff, encouraged him to enter. He currently runs in Hanscom's 5K races whenever his schedule allows, he said, and has committed to running in September's Air Force Marathon with his sister, a 2nd lieutenant at McGuire Air Force Base, N.J.

"I had promised my sister at the start of her Intel class in mid-2009, that if she made it through her eight or nine months of training, and wanted to do the Air Force Marathon, I'd do it with her," Lieutenant Jenkins said.

In addition to running's energizing and stress-relieving benefits, running provides an opportunity to get away from distractions and test the physical limits, Lieutenant Jenkins said.

"My favorite thing about running is the ever-present mental competition that exists to decide whether to keep pushing yourself or to give in to the weakness and stop short of really finding out what your body is capable of," he said.

For Lieutenant Jenkins, the Run to Home Base 9K race was special because in addition to testing him physically, it inspired him as a sports fan and as a member of the U.S. Air Force.

"I was excited about the prospect of getting to run inside Fenway Park and getting to cross home base," he said. "Any sports fan will tell you that Fenway Park and the Green Monster are icons in the sports world.

"As an Air Force officer, I was excited about the opportunity to represent the Air Force to the community in a race that was raising funds to provide care to the thousands of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan who weren't fortunate enough to return whole," he said. "Even though I'm not over there, my heart and mind go out to all those serving in harm's way, hoping that they're able to return home safely."