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Written by Kevin Koresky    Saturday, 07 March 2009 04:46    PDF Print E-mail
Todd Crandell & Racing for Recovery






At and early age Todd Crandell felt like he was dealt a path of self destruction. It all started with his mother committing suicide, when Todd was only three years old, because of her addiction to drugs. Leaving Todd with angry, lost, empty, lonely and worthless feelings, he turned to drinking and drug use in his early teens. Todd started drinking in the eighth grade just to see what it would taste like. The second time Todd consumed alcohol he drank one fifth of whiskey and used speed. He ended up urinating in his friends' closet. During his freshman and sophomore years in high school Todd was drinking to the point of blacking out and began having one run in after another with the law.

When it came to drugs, Todd tried everything he could get his hands on. In his senior year of high school Todd got to the point that he would use cocaine in the classroom. Todd even puked up some pills in a toilet, only to grab them and swallow them again. Family, friends and teachers started to recognize major changes in Todd's behavior.

Growing up in Ohio, where he still resides, Todd was a stand out ice hockey player as a youth. At the early stages of Todd's addiction he had started burning some bridges. His hockey coach had thrown him off the team and wanted nothing to with Todd, cutting all ties.

After things fell apart at home, with his promising hockey career and school, Todd moved and became homeless in St. Petersburg, Florida. In 1993 Todd had received his third drunk driving charge when he registered a breathalyzer of .36 at noon. That is when Todd received a wake up call. Todd recalls that day as a day where he finally thought his life was of value. Finally realizing that he wanted more, Todd wanted a better way of life.

From that point Todd decided to work on sobriety. He started attending support group meetings, read books, watched movies and returned to college to get his Masters Degree in Counseling.  He is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor III. Todd also travels around doing over 300 motivational speaking engagements. Todd is married with four beautiful children.

Todd has taken all these lessons in life and turned things around. Todd formed the federally approved 501 c 3 non-profit organization Racing for Recovery whose mission is to prevent all forms of substance abuse by promoting a lifestyle of fitness and health for all those affected by addiction which gives him a chance to work with others and teach them the methods of living a sober life.

Racing for Recovery believes in getting the family involved with the stages of recovery. They hold an annual half Ironman and sprint distance triathlon in Monroe, Michigan (June 7)This October 26, Racing for Recovery will be holding its 8th annual 5k run in Todd's home town of Sylvania, Ohio. To help propel Racing for Recovery Todd has completed in 27 half and 16 full Ironman triathlons and has completed Ultraman Hawaii. He has also written a book entitled "From Addict to Ironman" has a documentary film entitled "ADDICT" and is currently working on a Feature Film and television show focusing on the benefits of sobriety.

KK: Todd looking back on your life what do you think of it all?

TC: What I did is not an excuse to do what I eventually ended uo doing. I had lost everything and had to start over. Whether my mother killed herself or not, I still made the final decision to do those things.

KK: What happens to you when you drink?

TC: I can't process alcohol or drugs like a normal person can. When I start drinking my whole life falls apart. I would end up drinking to much whiskey and I would end up snorting a ton of cocaine.

KK: How has all this shaped your life?

TC: I am a very humbled and empathetic person because all I went through. I am very thankful for that. I want to help others reach sobriety.

KK: Todd when did you learn about Ironman?

TC: I learned about Ironman when I was drinking and taking drugs. I remember thinking that was the ultimate test in sports.

KK: What is it that draws you to Ironman?

TC: I get to challenge myself, travel the world, meet an amazing group of people and it show people what can be achieved by sobriety. It helps me get the Racing for Recovery name out there as well.

KK: What as you first triathlon?

TC: It was in 1999, it was the Wendy's Sprint Triathlon by Columbus, Ohio. I had signed up for three Ironman races before I had done my first triathlon. It was Florida, California and Canada.

KK: How many Ironmans have you completed?

TC: Up to this point I have done 16 Ironmans, 27 Half Ironmans (70.3) and 1 Ultraman. I only have one DNF from Ironman Malaysia. I had made it home two hours before my daughter was born. I did and Ironman six days after going Ultraman.

KK: What are you doing this year?

TC: I am doing Ironman Switzerland and Germany along with Ultraman Canada. I am lucky that my body feels great and I haven't had any major injuries.

KK: Which race means the most to you? Why?

TC: I have three, Ironman Austria 2007. ESPN did a piece on me and I believe it has saved a ton of lives. Ironman Canada in 2000, I carried my daughter through the finish line and Louisville because I was able to run through the finish line with all four of my children. Kona was also special.

KK: Todd what else would you like our readers to know?

TC: I am a passionate man, I want help bring sobriety to peoples lives and I am lucky to have been given my family, friends and these chances in life.


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Racing for Recovery®
Racing for Recovery® is a 501 c 3 non-profit foundation with the mission of preventing substance abuse in adolescents and individuals and offering a positive alternative to those currently battling addiction.

If you want to learn more about Todd Candell and Racing for Recovery or if you or someone you know needs help, please log onto:
Racing for Recovery® - Main Office
P.O. Box 160
Sylvania, Ohio 43560-0160
419.824.8462 phone
419.824.8473 fax
866.SOBER.01 toll free

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 19 May 2009 22:53 )

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