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Marathon Blog: Bob Cremin & Brian Castellanos

Bob Cremin-Horizons For Homeless Children
Brian Castellanos-Horizons For Homeless Children

Name: Bob Cremin
Age: 77
Company: Retired; CEO of NY Stock Exchange Company

Name: Brian Castellanos
Age: 27 (28 on marathon day)

How long have you been involved with Horizons and how did you first hear about us?

Bob: 2009-2010, I was in Manhattan giving a presentation to a company. I met Bob Atchinson, a current Horizons Board Member,  at this meeting who heard I enjoy running marathons. He asked me about running the Boston Marathon for Horizons. He introduced me to this wonderful organization!
Brian: 2013, I became a PAL volunteer for two years!

Why did you choose to run for Horizons over other organizations with which you’re involved?

Bob: I took a tour of Horizons for Homeless Children Center and was overwhelmed by the passion by the teachers/staff/volunteers for the children. It was also rewarding to see how the children reacted to their care. I was inspired ever since then and knew I wanted to run the Boston Marathon for Horizons.
I did not start running until I was 51-years-old. My doctors told me that I had a prolapsed heart valve and became inspired by the Boston Marathon… This will be my 50th marathon! I traveled a lot, so I have always tied in running marathons and running for a good cause, like Horizons! I have roots in Boston since I got my master’s degree at Harvard University, so this marathon means a lot to me.
Brian:  I was inspired based on my own upbringing; I came from a low-income, Latino family. We had a large family and came to America from Venezuela to live in a 3rd floor apartment with my entire family.
When I was 17 years-old, I became homeless myself. I put myself through undergrad and grad school. It was during my undergrad at Framingham State that I knew I wanted to run the Boston Marathon. During my senior year of college, I got into a horrible car accident. I am lucky to be alive! Unfortunately, I dislocated both of my hips and had to spend weeks in a hospital bed. I didn’t know what I was going to do and was so depressed and helpless. I remember being in a hospital bed and started looking into how I can help others. That was when I came across Horizons and looking into how I could get involved. I became a PAL volunteer for two years and made a comeback physically and mentally. It was a beautiful partnership with how Horizons got me through a tough time, and I was also able to see how I was making a difference as well. I never missed my shift as a PAL during my two years, and it changed my life. That’s why I am happy to run 26 miles and raise $12,000!

When asking family/friends for donations, what strategies have you found to be most successful?

Bob:  What I have learned is the most important part of marathon training is that you have to listen to your body! If you are following a strict regimented training schedule, you might miss that your body is telling you to back off. It can be deciding factor of getting to the starting line.
Brian:  With my fundraising campaign, I use the marketing and communications materials Horizons has available to bring awareness to my social network. I also have been successful by using sponsorship levels – $600, $400, $300 levels. With each level, I use social media and company logos to put on my marathon shirt. I ask my family, friends, and community to get involved with helping me reach my goal, and this year, I am taking advantage of tax returns. Right now, I am really targeting my network to give.
My training advice would be to not miss long runs, and you have to listen to your body! This year, I increased my weight training, yoga, stretching, and swimming and have found this very helpful to my training to stay healthy.

What has been the most challenging part of fundraising for you? What has been the most difficult part of training for you?

Bob: Challenging part for me is that I have done so many marathons that I have drained my family and friends’ money pool. I write a check now to hit my fundraising goal, and I am happy to do it!
Brian: I don’t like to think of challenges as a bad thing, but as an opportunity to learn and grow. I am tired every day with my job, volunteer work, training, and everything going on in my life! But I don’t let myself stop moving and achieving my goals! I am ready and focused for marathon day!

What will be the most rewarding part of this experience for you?

Bob: A smile on a kids’ face at Horizons! That is the most rewarding part for me.
Brian: To help the kids at Horizons and give them hope! My success came from the dark days of my life and I want to give back to those children in need. When I was a PAL, there was this girl I saw every Tuesday when I was PAL and ask me “Are you going to come back?” I found out that her family walked out on her, and she only had her aunt who lived in the shelter with her. This young girl had no consistency, so I made sure to come back every week for my PAL shift. It’s the most rewarding part of being involved with Horizons, and I hope to spread the mission.

Would you recommend a family member/friend to run for Horizons? If so, what would you say is the best part of running for Horizons?

Bob: Yes, I love spreading the joy, so I would definitely recommend running for Horizons!
Brian: One of the best things that has happened to me, so absolutely! Giving back is a huge part of being successful, and I would recommend for everybody and anybody!

What will be the first thing you eat after you run 26 miles?

Bob: I go to Starbucks!
Brian: A good friend of mine brought me a Lynn famous three-way roast beef sandwich to the finish line! I hope he does the same this year…

Please consider supporting the marathon team with a donation today. They look forward to seeing you on April 16th!