From Addict to Ironman: Todd Crandall runs #93 tomorrow in St. George

May 6, 2022, 3:44 PM | Updated: Aug 30, 2022, 3:17 pm
Todd Crandall...
Screen grab of video call with Todd Crandall taken by Amanda Dickson.

He’ll be eating pasta and fruit in a few hours. That’s what he always does the night before an Ironman competition. Tomorrow’s Ironman World Championship in St. George, Utah, will be his 93rd Ironman event.

His name is Todd Crandall, and his story is pretty amazing. His mother died from suicide when he was 3 1/2 years old. He lost both his aunt and uncle the same way.

“At the age of 13, I made the choice to try alcohol, and for the next 13 years, my life was basically destroyed by drugs and alcohol, Todd told KSL NewsRadio.

“I ended up being a homeless person down in Florida for a while. During those 13 years I lost my family, my friends, education, business opportunities, athletic opportunities. I basically just lost myself.”

Todd Crandall turned his life around at the age of 26. He had just returned from his fourth Ironman in New Zealand, and there was a story in the sports page. “From Addict to Ironman.” He decided to turn his story into service.

He started the nonprofit Racing for Recovery in 2001. He helps people who choose to use drugs and alcohol and their families, too. Their weekly meetings are available for free to the public.

They livestream the support group meetings every Thursday night on their Facebook and YouTube pages, so Utah families who want to hear these stories and advice could watch the meeting and get education on how to help themselves or a loved one.

“Tomorrow will be my 93rd Ironman and I’m scared to death,” Todd admitted. “I still get a lot of anxiety about it. I don’t know if it’s still a desire to prove myself or the weight that I carry on my shoulders to represent Racing for Recovery.”

Is the intensity of training for an Ironman comparable in any way to the intensity of overcoming drug addiction? “Quitting drugs is easy,” Todd said. “What’s hard is getting licensed, clinical help for the trauma underneath the addiction.

“I was used to having a bad feeling and thinking I had to do drugs to cope with it. The intensity is the perseverance to overcome. It’s intense but there are rewards to that intensity.”

Todd won’t be done with Ironman competitions after tomorrow. “The magic number is 100. Number 100 will be in the fall in Kona. There is a screenplay being written about this whole thing.”

He wanted to leave the reader with a message. “If you’re hearing this and you’re hung over or you’re thinking about getting some drugs, you never have to use drugs or alcohol again to cope with your emotional pain. If I can do this, you can do this. It’s not about doing Ironman. It’s about taking the term Ironman and making it applicable to your own life.”

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From Addict to Ironman: Todd Crandall runs #93 tomorrow in St. George