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Voices for Recovery

Todd Crandell (05/18/2012)

My 13-year struggle with drugs and alcohol nearly destroyed my life, devastating relationships with family and friends and shattering the promise of a professional hockey career. I quit using drugs and alcohol on April 15, 1993, and have been in recovery and a champion for it ever since.

In the process of rebuilding my life, I realized that I needed something more than traditional recovery programs. I chose the most grueling sport imaginable, the Ironman triathlon, which consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run. I ran my first triathlon in 1999 and have never stopped.

I have completed 20 full-length Ironman triathlons across the world. In 2008, I was the only person in the world to complete the Ultraman Hawaii triathlon, which is a 3-day test of endurance consisting of 6.2 miles of swimming and 90 miles of biking on the first day, 171.2 miles of biking on day 2, and 52.4 miles of running on day 3. Six days later, I completed Ironman Western Australia. In 2009, I completed Ultraman Canada and became 1 of 25 individuals in the world to have completed both Ultraman triathlons.

In 2001, my experience with running these triathlon events and inspiring others on their road to recovery led me to form the nonprofit organization Racing for Recovery. I’ve also chronicled my experiences in my book, From Addict to Ironman, and two documentaries, ADDICT and Running with Demons.

Racing for Recovery offers professional counseling services and sponsors support group meetings and events across the United States to promote a lifestyle of fitness and sobriety. I regularly speak to groups and individuals to convey one important message – “With recovery, anything is possible.”

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