Ohio Man Uses Running to Overcome Addiction, Frankfort Ironman 99th Race in His 100 Race Goals

Todd Crandell was one state away from his hometown and now his effort has placed him one IRONMAN event away from his personal goal of 100 IRONMAN completions.

Crandell carries the weight of his experiences from two decades ago in Toledo, Ohio. Mind-stretching endeavors like his own addiction recovery that have humbled and hobbled many Americans, are fuel for Crandell’s challenge to compete in a key set of 2022 IRONMAN events. Ironman

Formidable and legendary IRONMAN courses like Kona, Hawaii loom one month away, but Sunday’s race in Frankfort, Michigan was quite a challenge. Michigan was Crandell’s 99th completed IRONMAN event with a 1.2-mile swim in Lake Michigan’s Betsie Bay, a 56-mile bike loop along iconic M-22 and concluding with a 13.1-mile loop around and across Betsie Bay and back. Crandell completed the Frankfort, Michigan course in 5:45:39.

Crandell is now focused on the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona (Hawai’i) on October 8 when he will finish his personal goal of completing 100 IRONMAN events. The Kona course consists of a 2.4 mile swim in Kailua Bay, a 112 bike ride with 5,814 feet of elevation gain and a full 26.2 mile marathon to complete the 140.6-mile journey.

With every mile, Crandell runs, bikes and swims farther away from the life that he once lived, but closer to the numerous people that he has helped in Toledo, Ohio with Racing for Recovery, his federally approved counseling practice devoted to addiction recovery.

Crandell, who overcame a 13-year addiction to drugs and alcohol, has had his hand on the pulse of a massive American problem that needs more and better trained practitioners to stem the rising tide of devastated lives. In addition to being an IRONMAN, Crandell is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC-S) and a Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor (LICDC-CS).

Crandell’s organization Racing for Recovery offers free individual counseling, an intensive outpatient program and support group meetings for addicts, their families, and the community. It’s designed to be an alternative to other recovery programs, with a focus on promoting a lifestyle of health, fitness, and sobriety.

How does the marathon of addiction recovery pair with the scale of triathlons?

Data from CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics estimated 103,572 drug overdose deaths in the United States during the 12-month period ending in January 2022, an increase of 9.3% from the 94,764 deaths during the same period the year before. Additionally sobering is the fact that 85% of individuals who seek treatment for drug and alcohol addiction relapse within a year of treatment, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Tackling an IRONMAN course almost seems like similar odds. IRONMAN events have a 7% to 14% DNF (Did Not Finish) rate.

But by pounding toward his goal of 100 IRONMAN finishes by October 2022, Crandell hopes that his mile-by-grueling-mile ascent will be a guidelight to many fellow Americans (and their families) who struggle with drug and alcohol addiction.

Crandell’s ultimate goal is growing Racing for Recovery into an in-patient facility. Following his 100th IRONMAN, he plans to leverage that momentum and focus on taking Racing for Recovery to the next level – helping even more people by offering a place where struggling addicts and their families can go to focus on themselves and face the challenge of getting sober.

Track Todd Crandell’s epic journey at Racing for Recovery and reach out if you or your family need help.

Racing for Recovery, of Toledo, Ohio, provides prevention and recovery services, such as counseling, speaking engagements, interventions, and court-ordered assessments and is a federally approved 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

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