NBC to Feature Drug Addict Turned Ironman™ Champion

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On July 7th, former drug addict Todd Crandell will be featured in NBC’s one-hour special, “IRONMAN Asia Pacific Championship.” Clean and sober since 1993, Crandell transformed himself into a world-class athlete and champion for sobriety, and has completed 27 full-length Ironman™ triathlons around the world.

Todd Crandell

The same tenacity that I put into destroying myself, I just needed to switch it and put it into repairing myself.

Todd Crandell’s life has been a journey from crippling drug addiction to world-class athlete. On Tuesday, July 7th, Crandell will be featured in NBC’s one-hour special, “IRONMAN Asia Pacific Championship” (check local listings). Taped in Melbourne, Australia in March, the race was Crandell’s 27th Ironman™ competition.

Crandell’s 13-year struggle with drugs and alcohol nearly destroyed his life, devastating relationships with family and friends and shattering the promise of a professional hockey career. However, through his pursuit of extreme physical fitness and personal well-being, he found a productive outlet for his once-negative energies, transforming himself into a world-class athlete and champion for sobriety.

Explains Crandell, “The same tenacity that I put into destroying myself, I just needed to switch it and put it into repairing myself.”

In the process of rebuilding his life, Crandell realized that traditional recovery programs weren’t always enough to help people refocus their addictive drives into positive actions. In his pursuit of recovery, he applied his energy to pursue the most grueling sport imaginable, the Ironman™ triathlon: A 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run. Crandell ran his first triathlon in 1999 and has never looked back.

Clean and sober since 1993, Crandell has completed 27 full-length Ironman™ triathlons across the world. In 2008, he was the only person in the world to complete the Ultraman™ Hawaii triathlon, which is a 3-day test of endurance, consisting of 6.2 miles of swimming and 90 miles of biking on day one, 171.2 miles of biking on day two and 52.4 miles of running on day three.

Today, Crandell is a Professional Counselor (PC) and Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC III) who has dedicated his personal and professional life to helping substance abusers rechannel their destructive behaviors into positive, life-affirming action. By sharing personal stories about the perils of substance abuse, prevention practices and how to lead a holistic lifestyle, Crandell offers a positive alternative to those struggling to overcome a life of addiction.

Crandell’s experiences and inspirational efforts led to the formation of Racing for Recovery™ in 2001, a federally approved 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to helping people from all walks prevent and overcome addiction. A multi-faceted empowerment group, Racing for Recovery offers professional counseling services and support meetings alongside athletic events such as an annual triathlon, 5k and 10k run/walk events, all in the effort to promote a balanced, holistic lifestyle. Racing for Recovery™ has been featured on CNN, ESPN, New York Times and Runner’s World Magazine, and is known throughout the world.

A prolific and dynamic presenter, Crandell regularly speaks across the country to school districts, corrections facilities, drug treatment centers, community groups and other organizations. Leading with one simple message: “With Sobriety, Anything Is Possible.” Crandell’s mission is to prevent all forms of substance abuse by promoting a lifestyle of fitness and health. As someone who has been to the depths of despair, battled addiction, contemplated suicide, yet overcame and found the willpower to succeed, Crandell is able to form an intimate connection with his audience, inspiring and changing lives at every event.

Crandell has chronicled his powerful mental and physical journeys in his books “From Addict to Ironman” and “There is More than One Way to Get to Cleveland,” as well as in the documentaries “Addict” and “Running with Demons.”

Todd Crandell on the web:

Todd Crandell’s “Addicted to Ironman” - ESPN Feature Story:

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Brian Mayes
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