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Group gets 'A Running Start' toward recovery at Lexington 5K

Saturday’s finish line marked not only the end of a race but also the start of the...
Saturday’s finish line marked not only the end of a race but also the start of the road to recovery.(WKYT)
Published: Sep. 7, 2019 at 10:29 PM EDT
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A 5K race in Lexington was all about people who were running not from their past, but to a better future, as one group is getting 'A Running Start' toward recovery.

"It's made so much change in my life it isn’t even funny," runner Brandon Reardon said.

“Putting one foot in front of the other” are words Brandon Reardon lives by while training for 5Ks and recovering from addiction.

Reardon was never a big runner until Executive Director Liz Hodge and her non-profit A Running Start partnered with The Hope Center to offer a new class.

"We wanted to help people working through struggles in life, giving them a new coping mechanism, giving them a new community and a new habit," Hodge said.

That habit was running. The class trained men struggling with addiction to compete in local races, including 5Ks, half-marathons, and more.

It’s one part of a larger rehabilitation program that The Hope Center offers to help men get on the road to recovery.

"When we're going to rehab, they have us going back to some old, traumatic stuff, and that stuff will rattle around in your head a lot, get you in your feelings where you're all depressed,” Reardon said. “So, it just helps clear everything."

Working toward 5Ks gives Reardon something else to think about and a new high to chase.

"I’ve never finished anything in my life, and honestly this is a big step for me,” Reardon said. “I’m actually seeing something through to the end."

"They want to continue too,” Hodge said. “They want to support each other and support new runners."

Saturday’s finish line marked not only the end of a race but also the start of the road to recovery.

This was A Running Start’s first time to host a 5K, and Hodge said it plans to continue hosting its own race every year.