There are currently 25 million Americans suffering from addiction, and one man is trying to raise awareness by running something out of the ordinary.
“I wasn’t living life on life’s terms, and running helped me do that,” Runner Henry Ward said.
A recovering alcoholic from Massachusetts, he has been sober for over nine years.
He’ll be running for 12 hours straight on Saturday from 7 A.M. until P.M. to fundraise in the fight against addiction.
Ward started running about four years ago and his first race was right here in Corning.
“It was an 8K – the GlassFest, and I ran with Enrique from Snap Fitness,” Ward said. “I had run two times before that, and I was hooked after that.”
Enrique Viveros, managing partner at Snap Fitness, and Henry are longtime friends. They knew each other even before Henry went to Arizona for treatment.
“He’s much better than me, but I’m sure he’s going to accomplish the goal of 12 hours,” Viveros said. “I mean, we’ve run together many times. He’s a great runner. I cannot believe what he can do.”
You might be thinking to yourself… Will he really run the entire time? What if he has to use the bathroom?
“I’ll have to go to the bathroom, I’m sure, a couple of times,” Ward said. “I mean, the plan is to run the whole time. There’s going to be some munch breaks. I might slow down to munch on something and digest.”
If you’d like to join him in his 12-hour pursuit, you’re more than welcome to. Anyone is encouraged to run on the neighboring treadmills for moral support, or you can just show up and cheer him on. If you sign up for a membership, Snap Fitness will also credit members $1 for each mile you run along him.
As for the message he’s trying to send, he says it’s not too late to change your life. He turned his around at 36-years-old.
“I’m hoping it wakes somebody up or gives them the courage to speak up to tell somebody or to get help to get into treatment,” Ward said. “I hope I save someone’s life or multiple people’s lives.”
Runwell: The Linda Quirk Foundation is the program that Ward will be running for on Saturday. It provides access to individuals in need of treatment through financial scholarships while also engaging them in exercise to live healthy lifestyles. All money raised at Snap Fitness will go towards these initiatives.
Lastly, the goal is to run 12 hours, but Ward is aiming for 70 miles within that time frame.
To read more about his story, click here.