What does it take to run 13.1 miles? Is it great running sneakers? The perfect playlist? Ultimate running weather conditions? For five NETA Cares athletes, it’s all about the cause: Supporting Dana Farber.

The annual BAA Half Marathon took thousands of runners through the rolling hills along the scenic Emerald Necklace Park System. It started in the historic White Stadium in Boston’s Franklin Park, one of the oldest in America. The race ended running alongside zebras and giraffes in the Franklin Park Zoo.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has been the BAA’s presenting sponsor and exclusive charity team for fifteen years. Dana-Farber runners have raised more than $6 million to support cancer research, and enabled Dana-Farber scientists and clinicians to positively impact the lives of cancer patients around the world.

Arnon, NETA Cares runner, shared, “This half marathon was honestly a life changer for me. I haven’t ran this long for more than 10 years. I had to really train and eat and be mentally prepared so I could do it. The actual race was the cherry on top. My goal was to beat 2 hours and I did – by about 4 minutes. One last thing: knowing that my colleagues at work are training too gave me that extra motivation to get out there when I didn’t feel like it. That was really important.”

Mikayla, NETA Cares admin, commented, “Those hills were brutal! But I had to remind myself to feel lucky that I have legs that function, and can run and carry me through that course. Many people don’t have that ability, and many of the patients at Dana Farber rely on runners insane enough to take on all those miles to raise money for their treatments. I’m glad I can help others by doing something I am ‘good’ at.”

Dave, NETA’s Director of Product Operations, had a goal of breaking 1:40. That dedication and speed can certainly heat a person up! “Great Day, only hit 103.2 degrees this time…#Still Alive. Thanks to NETA Cares and the ‘NETA Running Club’ for the push,” he said.

Finally, Bry, NETA Operations Specialist, added his experience, “The 2018 BAA Half Marathon was one of the most challenging races in my life, physically and mentally. During my training I injured my left knee, which made me doubt my ability to take part in the running party. Fortunately I recovered enough to run (sometimes walk) and finish the race with my NETA Cares team members. A big shout out to the organizers for putting on a memorable event for Boston and the Dana-Farber community.”

The fun doesn’t stop yet for NETA Cares in October. Coming up, we have:

  • 10/14 Dine Among the Vines: NETA Cares will have several members attending the fundraising dinner to support The Food Bank of Western MA.
  • 10/20 High HOPes Race: NETA Cares is a proud sponsor of the first-ever 3-mile race in Milford to support the Daily Bread Food Pantry.
  • 10/26 Harvest Celebration Dinner: NETA Cares is thrilled to support the Cancer Connection and attend this wonderful dinner.