Running to Fenway

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It didn’t take Shannon Krasnowiecki long to fall in love with running.

Shortly after quitting smoking in November of 2015, a friend asked her to start running together last May. Six months later, she was crossing the finish line at the Santa Hustle Half Marathon in Newport in just over two hours.

“I’m competitive with myself,” Krasnowiecki, a Cranston resident since 1989, said when asked what motivates her. “My next goal is a marathon.”

While 26.2 miles may be on the horizon soon, her next race is coming this weekend at Fenway Park. She will be running in the Run to Home Base, a 5K and 9K presented by the Red Sox Foundation, Massachusetts General Hospital and New Balance. The event is this Saturday, July 15, at 8 a.m.

The race is dedicated to helping veterans battle the “invisible wounds” of war, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). That cause is close to Krasnowiecki’s heart, as a cousin of hers was wounded in Honduras in 1995. She said that he suffers from PTSD and still sees a therapist, though he is doing well.

She’s done her part to fundraise in honor of his service. Though the minimum amount for adults to partake is $750, she assured more than $2,000. She hit that mark, pulling in $2,050 for the run.

“She’s a driven woman, I don’t even drive a marathon,” her husband Michael, who has also served, said. “She guaranteed them before she even started, that’s just the way she is. She’s driven, the way she is with running.”

Shannon was able to get the money submitted before the July 6 deadline, but it was no easy task. She crossed that finish line in the eleventh hour.

“I kept reposting it on my Facebook page, and people kept sharing it,” Shannon said. “I was really surprised, you have a lot of people out there [and] they’re always advertising this or that to support the vets. It took me up until the night before the money needed to be in.”

It’s a dream come true for the lifelong Red Sox fan, as the race ends at the same home plate that Ted Williams and David Ortiz, among numerous others, have crossed as well.

Having raised more than $2,000, she also qualifies as a Home Base All Star, which earns her two tickets each to a Red Sox vs. Blue Jays game and the pre-run and post-run parties.

Those benefits weren’t the selling point of the race, though.

“She didn’t care about the perks,” Michael, who will be cheering Shannon on during her 9K race this Saturday, said. “She just wanted to do it.”

Shannon said she’s gotten much better quelling any pre-race nerves, but running inside of Major League Baseball’s oldest park could be a different story.

“I’ll let you know afterwards,” Shannon said, with a laugh, about whether extra preparation was needed to run at Fenway. “I haven’t really thought of that.”

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