Since very early in my recovery, I have been quite open & vocal about my own sobriety – to help reduce the stigma and make people realize that addiction can happen to anyone! I have completed 55 full marathons, and countless other races – so I don’t think my willpower could be questioned! But when it came to my own addiction, my willpower was not enough – I needed help and had to admit/commit to recovery!
Having been Ethan’s freshman-year coach in high school, and his sister Deva’s coach for 3 years, I know the family well. At Ethan’s funeral, I spoke with his uncle, Rolf Monson, about a running event (Adrenaline Races) I directed in West Bend, which Robin (Ethan’s mom) & Deva participated in that April of 2017. I saved the sign they made honoring Ethan and delivered it to Jeff (Ethan’s dad) on or about the first anniversary of Ethan’s passing. I told Jeff that I had a goal to help establish a Benefit 5K in Ethan’s honor. I learned that Ethan had also told Robin in a dream (near the one-year anniversary of his death) that she needed to organize a race in his name! Clearly Ethan was synchronizing this event on many fronts. Five months later, with the help of many others who knew Ethan and believed he wanted to see an event like this soar, Ethan’s Run Against Addiction was born!
I don’t want Ethan’s memory/legacy to be lost, I know how hard he tried to defeat his addiction! I also want to help Robin, Jeff and Deva to honor Ethan and ensure that his untimely passing shall not be in vain. While nothing we do, unfortunately, can bring Ethan back – we can honor his legacy in a 5K Run (which he loved to do!) by raising awareness that Addicts are not terrible people with a good disease; they are good people with a terrible disease!
A big part of my own recovery has been getting back into physical fitness/running; a 5K Run/Walk gives people a much better alternative than alcohol or drugs! Ethan’s Run/Walk can be a springboard for folks to substitute their “using” for exercise! Being in recovery myself; it is considered “12th-Step” work for me to help others fighting similar battles. Helping others helps me!
– Richard Dodd