Runner to Clock 7,000 Miles for Recovery

By Ben Feuerherd 04/12/13

"Project Run 7000" founder Brad Spicer runs to stay sober—and to give back.

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Spicer's motto: "Just keep going"
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Brad Spicer, 37, went from hitting rock bottom to hitting the pavement; and at two years sober, he's run nearly 10,000 miles, and has turned his newfound exercise habit into a way to give back. The schoolteacher from New Jersey has started Project Run 7,000, with the goal of running 7,000 miles in a year to raise money for addiction awareness and recovery. “The project goal is to raise one dollar for every mile that I run with all of the money going to help individuals and families struggling with addiction," he tells The South Jersey Times, "I’m doing it not only to help my recovery and use it as therapy for myself, but to help others. A lot of people are struggling with huge problems. I kind of look at it as every I mile I finish, I hope it inspires one person to find the sober life they’ve been seeking.” Spicer's commitment to helping other addicts has helped motivate him to complete 10 marathons all over the country, in Baltimore, Atlantic City, Philadelphia, and Washington DC. He's been named Nike's runner of the week and has qualified for the Boston Marathon, which he will do this Monday. As for his goal of running 7,000 miles in one year, he's well on pace to hit that mark.

Spicer says he first got started running just over two years ago, shortly before getting sober. "It just got to the point where my wife threw me out," he tells The Fix. "Everybody was fed up with me. I needed to clear my head so I just went for a run." That first jog lasted all of five minutes because he was so out of shape. With help from detox centers and out patient therapy, Spicer got clean and has remained committed to maintaining his sobriety. He now runs about 20 miles a day; in total, he's clocked just under 9,700 miles since September 3, 2011. "Running really did make a world of difference as far as those natural chemicals your body can produce," Spicer says. "It's something as simple as walking out the door and putting one foot in front of the other...but running is where I found myself."

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Benjamin Feuerherd is a city reporter at the New York Post. He has previously worked for The Daily Beast and NBC. You can find him on Linkedin and Twitter