Kate Tapscott of Wilton has a lot of running experience, having competed in cross country when she was a student at New Canaan Country Day School.
But now the Bowdoin College freshman faces a new cross-country challenge.
Next month, Tapscott is taking part in a 330-mile relay race, starting in Portland, Maine, and ending in New York City.
The run is sponsored by Eastern Trek for Cancer, a program made possible through the Christine B. Foundation, for the benefit of those affected by cancer.
The race starts June 23, and will last seven days. Kate and a team of other young adults will work their way down the rocky Maine and New Hampshire coasts, through the central and western Massachusetts hills and into the Hudson River region to finish in New York City.
Along the way, Tapscott and the team will visit cancer centers, hospitality homes, and serve community dinners to support cancer patients and their families.
To participate in the race, each runner pledged to raise $2,500 for the Christine B. Foundation.
Tapscott raised more than $5,000, twice the goal, through support from family and friends. She even held some bake sales last year during the run of the Great Trains Holiday Show, held by the Wilton Historical Society.
“During this journey, I hope to challenge myself physically and mentally, to form strong friendships with my team, and to spread a little light to the people I meet along the way,” said Kate.
Taking part in an event to support people with cancer has a personal meaning for Tapscott. Her great-aunt had cancer and her mother was diagnosed with multiple myeloma cancer of the plasma cells last summer. “I want to make an impact because cancer affects so many lives,” she said.
To train for the relay, Tapscott has been running 6.5 miles a day. She is also on the varsity rowing team at Bowdoin.
Tapscott will be running with about 15 other young adults, mostly college students. Each day, she and a partner will run in two- to three-mile increments. They will then switch off with others in the group and ride in a van until it is their turn again. Altogether, she expects to run about eight to 12 miles a day.
The group will spend their nights at host sites, consisting of alumni homes, churches, and local families. During off time, the group will visit local cancer centers, hand out comfort bags to patients and their families, and prepare meals at local hospitality homes.
“Coming into contact with so many people who have been touched by cancer emboldens me to do my best to spread awareness, raise funds, and do whatever I can for this cause,” said Tapscott.
The 2019 Eastern Trek for Cancer marks the fifth year of the Christine B. Foundation sending a team down the Northeast coast to raise awareness and funds for its mission. To learn more about Tapscott and the Eastern Trek for Cancer, visit chrisbfund.org/easterntrek/.