This weekend, Helio Castroneves on sidelines as girlfriend runs NYC Marathon


What’s more grueling – the Indianapolis 500 or the New York City Marathon?

Three-time ‘500’ champ Helio Castroneves and his girlfriend, Adriana Henao, may be having that debate after the latter runs the streets of the Big Apple this Sunday.

Henao is taking part in the marathon for a very noble cause, as she’ll be raising money for actor Sean Penn’s J/P Haitian Relief Organization and The Long Run to Haiti. J/P HRO provides health care, education, and housing to help Haitians rebuild after the devastating earthquake that ravaged the country in 2010.

The organization’s runners are also crowd-raising donations in advance of the marathon. Over the next two days, a donation of $20 or more to Henao’s effort puts you in the running for a signed mini-helmet from Castroneves, and a donation of $50 or more to Henao’s effort could earn you a 2014 Indy 500 program signed by all 33 starters.

You can make your donation to recently caught up with Castroneves and Henao as they prepared for the latter’s big race.

With Henao in her final stretch of training, Castroneves has helped out by rising early each morning to get their 4-year-old daughter, Mikaella, ready for school.

Meanwhile, she’s gained a newfound respect for how Castroneves and his peers prepare for the rigors of their sport.

“I always admired that from Helio, being able to be so focused and working so hard for something,” Henao said to the site. “I tend to start things and then go to another thing without finishing it. I kind of envied him, doing something all day and focusing on it. That happened to me with running.”