In our “Why I’m Running” series, Boston Marathon runners share what’s inspiring them to make the 26.2-mile trek from Hopkinton to Boston on April 16, 2018. Are you running Boston? Here’s how to share your story on Boston.com.
Name: Caitlyn Callinan
From: Litchfield, New Hampshire
Bib #: 26400
My name is Caitlyn Callinan, and I am a member of the 2018 Boston Marathon American Liver Foundation team. I will be the youngest marathon runner on April 16, 2018. I am running the marathon on my 18th birthday as my senior project for Campbell High School in Litchfield and in support of my grandfather (Wayne Gagne) who has later stage, non-alcoholic cirrhosis. I am running the marathon for a purpose — to honor my grandfather and his medical struggles. This purpose will get me through the grueling 26.2 miles.
Here is an email my grandfather sent to his co-workers on my behalf:
My granddaughter, Caitlyn Callinan (Catie), is a talented cross country runner, who as a high school senior has elected to run the Boston Marathon as her senior project. […] Because she didn’t have the time to qualify (before graduation) she learned she could qualify by raising money running for a charity of her choice. Thus, with me, her grandfather, in mind, she chose the American Liver Foundation, to raise awareness to my debilitating disease: non-alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver.
Catie had to complete an application of intent and a series of interviews with the Liver Foundation staff before she was accepted and registered. This is a huge undertaking. Catie will be running on her 18th birthday, April 16th, 2018. What a birthday celebration this will be!
Editor’s note: Entries may have been lightly edited for clarity or grammar.