Racing for Recovery at the Chattanooga IRONMAN
CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee (WDEF)- Todd Crandall is a recovering addict who saw addiction run through his family.
“I’m a survivor of my mom’s suicide from drugs and alcohol. My uncle’s suicide from drugs and alcohol and my aunt’s suicide from a food addiction,” said Crandall.
Then he started drinking and became an addict himself.
“I made the cognizant choice to try a sip of alcohol at the age of 13 and for the next 13 years, it was every horrific thing that drugs and alcohol bring,” said Crandall.
Now he runs, not from his past, but in races around the world. He completed his 93rd IRONMAN achievement today. 93, by coincidence, is also the year he got sober.
“By the grace of God, I got a third drunk driving charge on April 15 of 1993, and ever since that day I’ve been on A quest to do better,” said Crandall.
Through Racing for Recovery he is able to not only keep himself clean but aid others.
“I believe that my mom killed herself, and I used drugs and almost killed myself to survive it and do what I’m doing today. That’s the whole purpose of my life. I feel like I’ve won the lottery. Racing for Recovery is the first program ever to combine people who are battling addiction with their families and one unique support group meeting. We’re also the first program to take that unique cutting edge format and deliver it via live stream,” said Crandall.
When asked why did he choose running in IRONMAN competitions, he says it started before he was sober.
“It’s the magnitude of it. That’s what initially drew it to me and actually the first time I saw Iron Man Hawaii, I was doing an array of drugs at the time and I thought I wanna do that,” said Crandall.
Now, as he crosses the finish line he hears you are an Ironman.
“Next to the birth of my four kids, it’s the greatest feeling ever because it represents achievement. It represents commitment, passion, dedication, perseverance and it’s also my way of giving back to the world. If I can overcome drug addiction you can overcome anything in your own way as well,” said Crandall.
Crandell plans to race his 100th Ironman in Hawaii in October later this year.