"This run gets a little bit harder every year. Not surprisingly, because it gets longer, and I get older. But it is worth it, every single time," said ultra-distance runner Charlie Engle at the finish line of his 30-hour run to celebrate 30 years of sobriety. "Join a running club, a church, whatever is the right thing for you, but find fellowship and community and support from other people who followed that same path, and you will find success in recovery. Love you guys—I need a shower!"
Engle has always interpreted the recovery "journey" a bit more literally than most, and on July 23–24, he set off on a particularly long road to help raise funds for addiction research and scholarships.
On a sweltering, 100° Saturday at Ashley Addiction Treatment in Havre de Grace, Maryland—"A couple people have mentioned I should have gotten sober in December and not in July," he laughed—Engle was joined by friends, supporters and others in recovery for his uber-marathon event, The Penguin: Movement for Recovery, sponsored by All Sober.
The ultra marathoner counted Deepak Chopra, retired NFL receiver Desmond Howard and fellow ultra runner Dean Karnazes among those cheering him on, in person or virtually. He invited anyone and everyone to support the cause by jogging with him for 30 hours or three minutes—or biking, swimming or meditating, to practice "movement" in the service of recovery and wellness.
Paul Gayter, cofounder and Chief Vision Officer of All Sober, explained that he had come out for the event in that spirit. "We're here as a result of the 'movement' that we've had to make as a family to help a loved one who was really struggling badly with addiction," said Gayter, who started the platform with his wife, Flora Nicholas. "We found a way through; I'm pleased to say that our loved one is four-and-a-half years sober."
Gayter joined the runner at around the 1-hour mark for a check-in on Instagram Live, but Engle is no stranger to All Sober. A few days before he laced up his shoes, he also caught up with All Sober EVP of Addiction and Recovery Maeve O'Neill for a high-spirited Instagram Live session to discuss Engle's early battles to "climb the mountain" of recovery, the exciting new ways technology (including the All Sober platform!) can help people find treatment and live sober, the "sober curious" movement, and the duo's hopes for the next 30 years of addiction treatment and recovery.
You can still watch the action on social media platforms or donate to the cause—get more info at thepenguinevents.com.