Like me, Todd is a long-time sober guy turned endurance multi-sport athlete. But Todd has taken it to whole new level. Todd is the founder and Executive Director of Racing for Recovery, a non-profit foundation with the mission of preventing substance abuse in adolescents and individuals and offering a positive alternative to those currently battling addiction.
Todd’s own 13-year struggle with drugs and alcohol nearly destroyed his life, devastating relationships with family and friends and shattering the promise of a professional hockey career. He quit using drugs and alcohol on April 15, 1993, and has been sober ever since. In the process of rebuilding his life, Todd realized traditional recovery programs weren’t enough. He needed something more. He chose the most grueling sport imaginable, the Ironman Triathlon – 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run. Todd ran his first triathlon in 1999 and has never stopped. He has completed fourteen full-length Ironmans all over the world. His experience running these events and inspiring others on their road to sobriety led him to form Racing for Recovery in 2001.
Racing for Recovery now operates a residential facility in Ohio and sponsors support meetings and racing events across the United States to promote a lifestyle of fitness and sobriety. Todd and Racing for Recovery have been featured on CNN, FOX, ABC, CBS, and NBC News, ESPN’s SportsCenter, ESPN2’s Cold Pizza, The New York Times, Sports Illustrated.com, Runner’s World and Triathlete Magazines, the nationally-syndicated Mitch Albom Radio Show, and a number of other radio, newspaper and magazine interviews across the United States and throughout the world.
In addition, Todd’s book, “From Addict To Ironman,” co-written with John Hanc, gives an unflinching account of his addiction and recovery and has motivated thousands in their fight to overcome drug and alcohol addiction. Todd Crandell regularly speaks to groups and individuals to convey one important message: “With sobriety anything is possible.”
Although I have not yet touched on it yet in this blog, I too suffer from the disease of alcoholism and have been in recovery for over 10 years. Drugs and alcohol came very close to destroying me, but through recovery I have been blessed with a second chance and have taken the miraculous opportunity to rebuild my life into what is now a very rich, full and loving existence. And a huge aspect of my involvement in endurance multisports is an effort to inspire others, especially those that deal with addiction issues, as a means of promoting a healthy lifestyle alternative to the throes of addiction. So it goes without saying that I have huge admiration for Todd. I have had the opportunity to correspond with him a bit lately and am really looking forward to meeting him in Hawaii and helping him out in any way I can.
On a related note, I have also been speaking with a similar organization called Phoenix Multiport, a Boulder Colorado-based non-profit organization that fosters a supportive, physically active community for individuals who are recovering from alcohol and substance abuse and those that choose to live a sober life. Executive Director Scott Strode will be in LA this week and I am scheduled to get together with him to discuss how I can help the worthy cause.
This is all a long way of saying that I am actively trying to use Ultraman as a platform to promote sober healthy living. So if anyone out there has any ideas to help further this effort, I’m all ears. If I can help inspire even one person who is struggling with addiction, then its a good day at the office.
For more information on Todd Crandell and Racing for Recovery, click here.
For more information on Phoenix Multisport, click here.