Oct. 8 will be more than just another fall Sunday. This is the date that Sylvania resident, Northview graduate, and Racing for Recovery founder Todd Crandell participates in his 100th Ironman competition in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, the birthplace of the endurance event. According to Crandell, he will have swam, biked, and run nearly 10,000 miles just in Ironman competitions, not counting miles during training for each event.
“When I started participating in these competitions, I really never thought about trying to reach this kind of benchmark,” he said. “While I enjoy the challenge, these events have become a great way for me to market Racing for Recovery.”
Crandell, a recovered drug addict turned Ironman, started Racing for Recovery, the nonprofit to help others battling addiction. A professional counselor and licensed chemical dependency counselor, Crandell has dedicated his personal and professional life to helping those with substance abuse re-channel their destructive behaviors into positive, life-affirming behavior.
Crandell’s 13-year struggle with alcohol and drugs nearly destroyed his life, devastated relationships with family and friends and shattered a promising professional hockey career. Through his recovery, Crandell concentrated on physical fitness and found a positive outlet for his once negative energy, transforming him into a first-class athlete competing in endurance contests around the world.
Clean and sober since 1993, he applied his energy to pursue the Ironman™ triathlon: A 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and 26.2-mile run. Crandell ran his first event in 1999 and started Racing for Recovery in 2001.
“Racing for Recovery has saved thousands of lives and many are local residents who are now successful in their own ways such as working, going back to school, gaining spirituality, healing strained family relationships, getting physically active, and giving back to their community,” Crandell said.
With the motto, “With Sobriety, All Things are Possible,” the multi-faceted empowerment group, Racing for Recovery, offers professional counseling services and support meetings alongside athletic events such as the 21st annual 5k run/walk scheduled for Oct. 22 in Rossford. Also, currently, the organization is housing over 80 people near its Holland, Ohio headquarters building.
Along with Crandell’s milestone Ironman event, his organization is launching an app on Oct. 8, which will focus on educational, health, and wellness topics complete with an accountability component. “All of the people affiliated with ‘Racing for Recovery continue to amaze me with exciting innovations that continue to improve the organization and the people we are helping!” Crandell stated. Crandell also has a picture book chronicling his races since 1999 and a vegan-focused book to be published next year.
Along with Crandell’s milestone Ironman event, his organization is launching an app on Oct. 8, which will focus on educational, health, and wellness topics complete with an accountability component. “All of the people affiliated with Racing for Recovery continue to amaze me with exciting innovations that continue to improve the organization and the people we are helping!” Crandell said.