Addicts run Commonwealth Games 5K as a release
Watch this story: Addicts run Commonwealth Games 5K as a release
For a few of the Coventry Commonwealth Games 5k runners their journey began long before the starting shot was fired.
Six months ago, Matt Satterwhite and Matthew Mitchell had never laced up their shoes to hit the pavement.
Mitchell says, at least not for a race.
“Unless it was blue lights behind me, no,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell can joke now, but that’s because he’s on the right road.
After years of alcohol and drug abuse Satterwhite and Mitchell turned to the Roanoke Rescue Mission for help.
“I just needed a new lease on life, so I came to the mission to receive that,” Mitchell said.
“Before this (I was) just always in trouble using drugs and alcohol the whole time,” Satterwhite said.
Getting clean and sober doesn’t always mean getting fit and trim.
It just so happened Tammy Wiley approached the Rescue Mission with the idea of getting a group together to start running and eventually enter a race.
“I think it’s a sense of accomplishment, getting out early at 6 o’clock in the morning and running and then actually being able to participate in a race and finishing and completing the 5k,” Wiley explained.
Wiley says volunteering to help train folks in the substance abuse program is actually a blessing to her, and her fellow runners are now family.
However, Satterwhite says running is a gift.
“Depending on drugs and alcohol for the last 20 years as a stress relief you need something and running has pretty much taken the place of it,” Satterwhite said.
Sponsors helped pay for the Rescue Mission group to run in Saturday’s race.
Also, running shoes and clothing was donated.