IRONMAN more than just competition to former addict
The IRONMAN 70.3 is no easy task. Athletes often put in months of practice and dedication.
"Even though it's physically hard, emotionally and spiritually, it's cathartic and healing," IRONMAN 70.3 participant Todd Crandell said.
For Todd Crandell, it's more than just a competition.
"I'm just thankful to be alive doing this thing," Crandell said.
His IRONMAN journey began more than two decades ago as a way to overcome his 13-year-long drug and alcohol addiction that started when he was just 13 years old.
"That consisted of cocaine, heroin, crack, oceans of alcohol, anything I could get my hands on," Crandell explained.
After his third DUI charge, he decided he had had enough.
Since then, he has competed in 28 full Ironman triathlons across 15 countries and six continents.
To put that in perspective, that means swimming over 67 miles, biking more than 3,200 miles and running more than 730 miles. And that doesn't count the 41 half IRONMAN competitions he's been in.
"I've traveled the world doing ironman events, which is extraordinary!" Crandell exclaimed.
Now, he uses every competition to promote Racing for Recovery. His organization aims to help anyone affected by addiction- by providing free support groups and promoting fitness and a holistic lifestyle.
"To reach that person or that family that's been affected by addiction and let them know that there is help. Recovery is possible. People can obtain and sustain sobriety," Crandell explained.
He knows it's possible because he's done it and now wants to help everyone he can.