Saturday, December 9, 2023

A story of despair and triumph

A local man’s inspiring story was recently turned into a documentary, Running With Demons,  released by Indican Pictures on October 14. It details the perilous account of Todd Crandell’s darkest days using drugs and how he literally ran to recovery by training for triathalons and road races. It also sheds light on how his organization, Racing for Recovery, is helping others achieve goals similar to Crandell’s and inspiring them to live a life of fitness-oriented sobriety. 

 On April 15, 1993, Todd Crandell abruptly quit alcohol and drugs, just a day after he was arrested for his third DUI. His blood alcohol content registered .36, just a few points shy of comatose. This marked the end of a 13-year toxic relationship with substance abuse, just the shock he needed to fully commit to a life of sobriety.

New perspective

 Armed with a new lease on life, Crandell attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, consulted with counselors, and read everything he could about addiction. Once he gained some traction in his new life without drugs, he began to see that anything was possible.

 Crandell won a spot as a backup goalie for the Toledo Storm hockey team in 1994 before earning his business degree from Lourdes College in 1998. He even went on to receive a master’s degree in counseling from Spring Arbor University in Michigan. Crandell now serves as an addiction counselor to this day. His most important achievement to date was founding the nonprofit, Racing for Recovery, in 2001.

Raising awareness

 Todd Crandell had already started competing in formidable Ironman competitions by the time he founded the project – he saw it as a healthy outlet for the excess energy and time he used to pour into alcohol and drug use. 

Racing for Recovery gave Crandell the chance to raise awareness and hope for those who had not yet hit their stride; who were still on a collision course with substance abuse. He also hoped that the project would inspire youths to stay away from drugs and choose fitness, instead. Racing for Recovery™ infuses race events with support group meetings for people who desire to get help, and is held all over the country—including every June in Sylvania at the Half Triathlon.

 There are many documentaries about addiction, but this one is different. This one tells the story of a Toledo resident whose life story proves that anything is possible. 

Running With Demons is now available on
Netflix, Google Play, Amazon Prime,
and Video on Demand.
More info at

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