Ultra Marathoner Charlie Engle Runs 30 Hours To Celebrate 30 Years of Sobriety

The long-distance legend set off on a very hot trot to raise funds and awareness for addiction research and recovery initiatives; All Sober joined him on Instagram Live

July 21, 2022
Ultra marathon runner Charlie Engle

“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.

More Inspiration

Depressed man sitting at wooden table

Subs & Drugs & Rock & Roll, Part 3: 'I'm a Loser (And I'm Not What I Appear To Be)'

Don Fertman reaches bottom as the jelly donut hits the wall. The latest installment of the longtime Subway exec's memoir.

Annie Zimmerman's soberversary cake

The Joy of Baking (Sober)

Two months sober, Annie Zimmerman decided to make cookies. Now, her hobby turned passion yields fulfillment, connection and delicious soberversary cakes. Read the interview!

Don Fertman

Subs & Drugs & Rock & Roll, Part 2: A Day in the Life

Don Fertman woke up one morning 40 years ago and poured himself a drink, as usual. But the future Subway exec didn't know this day would be far from ordinary.

Annie Zimmerman running a marathon

Running Toward Recovery

Seeking purpose in early recovery, Annie Zimmerman rekindled an old fire with distance running — and found it carried her through some of her toughest trials in sober life.

Ben Tuff

Closer to the Shore

On Ben Tuff's third day in inpatient treatment, he had a surprising encounter that would eventually lead him to attempt a grueling 24-mile swim across the Narragansett Bay.

Don Fertman

Subs & Drugs & Rock & Roll, Part 1: With a Little Help From My Friends

Don Fertman, longtime Subway exec, writes about a pivotal moment in his 40 years of sobriety: what happened after he went public about his recovery on "Undercover Boss."

Men hugging at a 12-step recovery meeting

Sober Holiday Tips: Meeting 'Share-a-Thons'

Need to get out of the house for a bit and see some friendly sober faces? Recovery support group meeting marathons run 24/7 from Christmas Eve through New Year's Day.

Swim Tuff movie poster

'Swim Tuff: How I Swam My Way Out of the Bottle' | All Sober Movie Night

Coming out of severe alcohol addiction, Ben Tuff barely knew how to swim. Ten years later, he makes a bold attempt to traverse the Narragansett Bay, taking on 24 miles of ocean in one day.

New Report