The Boston Athletic Association 10k (BAA 10k) is officially known as one of the fastest courses in America. NETA Cares had twelve runners who dared to complete the course all along Commonwealth Avenue. With well over 8,000 participants, each one of our runners successfully crossed the finish line in victory, all while supporting the Brigham and Women’s Hospital team.

Sunday, June 25th, was surely a hot, summer day in Boston – with a high of 85 degrees. We are incredibly proud to report that NETA Cares’ fastest runner, NETA’s own Grow Master, Dave, returned back to the Boston Commons in 40:34 – 23rd out of 509 in his age group. To put it in perspective, the fastest runner was from Kenya and finished in 27:58. NETA Cares had several other athletes complete the 10k in great times – the next an Operations Specialist from Brookline, Bry, pulling in at 45:13. Our head baker and first female finisher, Allee, ran it in 55:33. Mikayla, Operations Specialist & NETA Cares Administrator, shortly behind her, completed the 10k in 58:00. The rest were not too far behind, and all were happy to have conquered such an amazing feat.

We had to ask our fastest runner about his experience. Dave remarked, “I love a challenge. When that challenge involves people I enjoy spending time with and is for a good cause, bring it on, I’m all in. This race in particular made me realize how sometimes in life you need a helping hand, and it is OK to ask for it.”

Arnon Vered (48:54), NETA Consultant and 10k finisher, commented, “I was so happy after I was invited to run this race. I typically like to ‘just run’. But, when suddenly there is a big race coming up, then you put in the extra run, the earlier wake up – the motivation helps. On race day, seeing more than 8,000 people run together through beautiful Boston is just an awe-inspiring experience. Plus, we were helping a great cause, so what more can you ask for in a day?”

We even had many first-timer 10k runners – more than 3/4 of the team had never run a 10k before. Needless to say, nerves were a little high previous to the race. Upon completion, feelings of excitement and pride were felt among all teammates.

Katy (1:08), NETA Controller & 10k finisher, reflected, “To say I was nervous would be an understatement. I ran track competitively in high school, and have participated in a few fun 5k’s here and there since then, but this race was the longest and most difficult that I have ever signed up for. What helped me overcome my nerves leading up to race day was the incredible help and training advice from my amazing NETA Cares teammates. What got me across the finish line was not only the outpouring support of bystanders and volunteers along the race route (holding motivational signs, handing out water at every mile marker, always ready with a high five and a few brief passing words of encouragement), but also the reason we decided to participate in this race. Our team ran not only with BWH, but also in support and awareness of mental health, an area that may not always get the attention that is deserves and needs. I started the race for myself, but I finished it for mental health.”

On top of participating in one of America’s most iconic races, the NETA Cares team donated and sponsored the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) team. With all of the sponsors and fundraising, BWH raised almost $300k! NETA Cares was excited to have the opportunity to choose where the money went towards specifically, and decided to benefit the Psychiatric Department, supporting mental health + research.

Our Director of Dispensary Operations, Lynnette (1:01), shared her feelings, “I had an incredible time joining the NETA Cares team to participate in the BWH BAA 10K. I love running, but the opportunity to do it in support of NETA’s donation for the Psychiatric Department at BWH made it all the more special. I am still in awe of the awesome team I am part of. It was wonderful to represent on behalf of NETA.”

After the race, BWH hosted a wonderful breakfast for the runners who raised $500 or more. Each of the sponsors received a special shout-out, and there was a prize drawing to show appreciation for the fundraisers’ hard work. In fact, three members of the NETA Cares team won prizes! Our top runner received two tickets to go scuba diving, which the team agreed was well deserved.

The team is currently in recuperation mode, and is still coming down from the runner’s high. This even inspired one NETA Cares runner to want to run an ultra-marathon – essentially, anything more distance than a regular marathon. He hopes to complete 100 miles someday. We also have a runner participating in the Fenway Marathon in September. She is one of 50 athletes that have the chance to run in America’s first-ever stadium marathon. Stay tuned for coverage of that event!

We are proud of all of our runners – we couldn’t have had such a wonderful and successful day without each and every one of them. To meet our team, check out our gallery.