The Todd Crandell Story

Twelve years ago if you told Todd Crandell that someday he would indeed clean up his act and get straight and sober, you probably would have unknowingly invoked a fight. Twelve years ago, if you told Todd Crandell that he would one day hold the keys to change not only his life, but the lives of many others as well, he probably would have laughed as he slammed down another fifth of Jack to chase down a fistful of unidentified pills. Twelve years ago, Todd Crandell was on a complete crash course to nowhere.

His diet consisted of a steady stream of any substance that he could get his hands on. His condition became so bad that if he vomited up anything that wasn’t completed dissolved; he’d sift through his own vomit and re-ingest it.

The Todd Crandell story is an amazing one. Unfortunately, it starts out not that uncommon. Many too many kids have fallen victim to the same temptations that almost ruined Todd’s life. What is uncommon is how he was able to fall to the deepest depths of humanity, only to claw his way back to rise above, realizing a new potential that he never thought possible. Todd made it across to the other side of his journey through hell.

Todd compromised his education, his relationships, a promising career in hockey, and his existence though his reckless lifestyle and severe substance abuse. He cared about nothing except getting wasted. He often woke up in amazement and disappointment that he survived the previous night’s binge only to start it all over again. Drug induced, intoxicated, angry, and broke. Todd wanted to self-destruct.

After nearly destroying himself and everything that was once important to him, Todd had a moment of clarity on April 15th, 1993. On that date, Todd finished his last beer, slammed the empty on the table, and proclaimed, “That’s it. I’m done, I don’t need this anymore”. Although the road back was a difficult one, it’s a path that he has never strayed from.

Any drunk will tell you that their date of sobriety is a date that they will never forget and will celebrate annually – forever. Todd and his wife have another reason to celebrate April 15th. A few years later, on April 15th, the Crandell’s were also blessed with the birth of their daughter.

Todd decided to use his God given athletic ability in a way that could make a difference. He turned his passions, and yes, addictions to the world of multisport racing. Todd discovered the Ironman triathlon and from there a vision was born: a vision to selflessly help others avoid the choices that he made growing up.

Todd founded Racing For Recovery; a non-profit agency dedicated to spreading his story in hopes of preventing substance abuse in adolescents. Todd organizes visits with schools around the country to talk about his life and hopes that by doing so; he can prevent other kids from making the same mistakes he made. Racing For Recovery also puts on 5K races to raise awareness, which Crandell hopes to expand across the nation and beyond.

Todd is lucky. Today, he is able to enjoy a happy and healthy home with his wife and children. Since becoming clean, he has regained control of his life, which he now treasures. He received his college degree, holds down a good job, and is thankful for the ability to spread his word and help others. Todd not only turned his life around, but he is on a mission to try and enlighten countless kids out there in the world. Todd is using his Ironman triathlon racing and his story to make a difference.

Visit to learn more about Todd, and his non-profit organization. Todd’s story is also now available on DVD through the website. He is available for speaking engagements and can be reached directly at

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