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‘Race the T’ will pit runners against Green Line trolley

Members of the “Michael Scott Road Runners” race the Green Line along Commonwealth Avenue in Boston.Keith Bedford/Globe Staff/File

Is it quicker to take an MBTA Green Line trolley from Boston College to Blandford Street or should you just run the distance instead?

That question will soon be answered.

On Jan. 14, Jenna Deutsch is hosting “Race the T,” an event to raise money for Back On My Feet, the nonprofit organization she is running for at this year’s Boston Marathon.

Athletes are being challenged to test their luck at beating a Green Line trolley as it travels through Boston. The roughly four-mile race against a B Line trolley will take participants down Commonwealth Avenue and end at Blandford Street, the last stop along the line before the trolley dips underground to Kenmore Station.


Those interested in trying to best the transit system can register online or show up the day of the event.

After the challenge, runners are invited to stop by Scoozi, a restaurant in Kenmore Square, to nosh on grub, mingle, and enter a raffle to win prizes. A portion of the proceeds from food sales will go toward Deutsch’s fund-raising goal.

Deutsch said she got the idea for the race from an event hosted by RunKeeper employees in 2014 called “Outrun the T.” Others have also attempted such a dare. For months, a group of friends, the “Michael Scott Road Runners,” have been occasionally challenging trains to a similar race on the same route. Deutsch said her idea was a mere coincidence. She often runs Commonwealth Avenue and finds herself unintentionally racing Green Line trolleys.

“I will see it and say, ‘Let’s see if I can beat it,’ ” she said.

Deutsch said she felt the best way to raise money was to mix something emblematic of Boston with a communal activity. The MBTA’s Green Line and a quick run, she said, fit the bill.


“I hate asking for help and asking people for money,” she said. “So it’s easier when there’s an event around fund-raising. And when there’s an iconic Boston thing attached, it’s even easier.”

Unfortunately, Deutsch won’t be participating in the race. The 25-year-old is currently nursing an injury, and with the Marathon just months away, she doesn’t want to make it worse. She will, however, board the Green Line trolley that event attendees will be racing and will watch from the moving train car as people pound the pavement and make their way down Commonwealth Avenue.

Deutsch thinks the runners will easily outpace the rumbling trolley.

“I think people will beat the T,” she said. “We know how slow the B Line is.”

Steve Annear can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.