Friday, February 20, 2015

Fundraising Friday: Meet Brittney Castine

Brittney Castine started running about 7 years ago. She graduated college and was feeling the weight of her first job on her shoulders and needed to find an outlet. She loved her career, but she knew she needed to not burn out before her first promotion!

Her first marathon was in 2012. She was training for the New York Marathon which is in early November, raising money for a group called Tuesday's Children. That was the year that they had to cancel the NYC Marathon because of Hurricane Sandy. Since she had trained so hard for her first marathon, she signed up for the Harrisburg, PA Marathon in late November.

As Brittney recalls,
"I ran that in 4:59 with about 1,000 of my closest running friends. It was very different than what I was planning! The course was through neighborhoods, a bland industrial park, and a scenic wooded trail. The problem was that the trail also had many short, steep hills- which my IT band was not prepared for, so I was in a lot of pain and really struggled through the last 10 miles. But I finished!

I finally got my first chance in New York in 2013. It was such a beautiful day, a fun, loud race and I finished 4:47 with about 50,000 of my closest running friends.

I ran my 3rd marathon- New York, for a 2nd time in November 2014. It was so windy which made running on the bridges a lot more difficult. I pushed passed all my limits and cut my time to my current PR of 4:28. I was aiming for 4:30 and I couldn't have been happier with cutting that by 2 minutes."

"So you've run 3 marathons and you PR'ed in NYC last year under very challenging conditions. Why Boston for you and why now?"

"Being from Wakefield, just outside of Boston, I have always known that I wanted to run Boston as my last marathon. While I was tapering for New York in October 2014, I was past the hard part of the training, and my crazy brain wanted to sign up for Boston (which is just 6 months later.) And… well, here I am! I decided immediately that I wanted to run with the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team. I'm a member of the Dana-Farber Leadership Council, and knew all my fundraising money should go back to this amazing hospital.

My grandfather was diagnosed with esophageal and stomach cancer in late 2009. I was working in Sweden at the time and came home for Thanksgiving and all the ladies in the family told him he needed to see his doctor immediately because he didn't look good. He was so pale, almost a light yellow. He made it to the doctor, walked to the front door, and was so winded he needed a wheelchair. He was diagnosed with stage 2 esophageal and stomach cancer, which has a 17% survival rate. The Dana-Farber doctors and surgeons immediately came up with an aggressive action plan. After 1 major surgery and rounds of chemo and radiation, the cancer was removed. He is going to celebrate his 4 years cancer free at the end of this year. My family couldn't be more thankful to the doctors and research teams at Dana-Farber."

When Brittney is not training for Boston, fundraising or at work at Genuine Interactive, a digital ad agency in the South End traveling back and forth for monthly visits to her clients in Parsippany, New Jersey, and when she's not launching a website, filming a Facebook video or working with the UK for new online ads, you can find her working part time for RaceMenu and RACE Cancer Foundation helping with races that kick cancer's ass.

"Tell me a little about your connection to Alain and RaceMenu and RACE Cancer Foundation."

"I joined RaceMenu late summer of 2014, when I was looking for a fun weekend job that I could enjoy while also training for the New York Marathon. I happened upon an ad looking for an assistant timer and crew member for RaceMenu. I realized that I had run 2 races for RaceMenu- the Miss Santa 5K in December 2013 and the SuperSunday run on Superbowl Sunday in 2014. I emailed Alain (the founder and Chief Energy Officer of RaceMenu) and and he told me to join him and help the team set up and manage the Island Run in September 2014. It was so much fun, I was immediately drawn to the fun challenge of organizing races with RaceMenu. Since then, I've worked with the team timing three races, and helping registration and day-of set up/pull down two more. I'm looking forward to more races with RaceMenu in 2015!"

I met Brittney while volunteering for the SuperSunday 5K this year. Her energy is infectious and she exudes her passion to run her fourth and what she is planning to be her final marathon, the 2015 Boston Marathon, for Dana Farber.

Here she is with her beloved Grampy:

Brittney is hosting a fundraiser in Wakefield on March 28th at 7:00pm at the Wakefield Elks Lodge #1276 62 Bay State Rd, Wakefield, Massachusetts 01880. For $25, you will be able to eat to your heart's content, enter for drawings of a wine basket, The Pampered Chef basket, movie-night basket, and more! She will have a cash bar for your bevvie options and is aiming to sign on a DJ, so bring your dancing shoes!

You can make your donation to Brittney's run for Dana Farber via her fundraising page.

One hundred percent of every dollar raised by the DFMC team supports the Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Based on a rigorous and highly selective process, the Barr Program funds the brightest, most creative scientists making basic research discoveries that are transforming cancer treatment. Here are brief descriptions of selected projects supported by the Barr Program, illustrating some of the program's most significant impacts to date.

Hundreds of Dana-Farber runners will take to the streets to participate in the 119th Boston Marathon® on April 20. The DFMC team runs and raises funds with thousands of special people in mind. From Hopkinton to Boston, we carry thoughts of those people every step of the way.

Thank you for your support! Together, we’re headed toward the ultimate finish line: a world without cancer.

Let's make this a fabulous fundraising Friday for Brittney! Please donate to Brittney Castine's personal fundraising page as part of the Dana Farber Marathon Challenge 2015.

Journey well!

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