Meet RUNColumbus team member Sarah. Sarah and wife Michele have two rescue pit bull mixes, Lucy and Walter

Why/when did you start running? I started running in 2009 when I was trying to get a handle on my health.  My mom passed away 6/11/2005 and I turned to drugs and alcohol to cope. I overcame my drug addiction later in 2005 and smoking in 2006 but I still allowed myself to drink alcohol.  I started fiddling around at the gym for a couple of years and then in 2009, when my wife and I started dating, I began running with her as she was an awesome runner.  She got me to my first 5k, 10k, and half marathon, and I was hooked. In 2018 my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer and I still logged running miles but it never felt good as I put on 25+ pounds from overconsumption. In November of 2019, we went plant-based, and finally, I went sober 6/22/2020.   My running has drastically improved and become my go-to stress reliever and hobby really. These last 18 months being a sober, vegan runner have been the best running months of my life.

What is your favorite aspect(s) of running?  The pure joy I feel when I get going!!  Some days I don’t necessarily feel like going, but once I get out there and move, I always feel amazing!  I have mental clarity, I can breathe deeply, and honestly, I feel joy with every footstrike. Running has helped me stay sober, that is for sure.

What excites you about being part of the RUNColumbus Race Series and Team?  Being out there with all the other AMAZING runners in Columbus!!  There’s no better running community out there in my humble opinion.

Anything thing else you want to share? The Rally Columbus Group started by Columbus Running Company, and the LGBTQ+ group OutRunners Columbus have been instrumental in my motivation to keep running during this pandemic. They have supported not only the miles but sobriety milestones with me along the way.  If you yourself are struggling with alcohol or drug addiction, you’re not alone. Reach out to your community and you’ll be so amazed at the support you’ll receive. It’s not easy, but it’s a little brighter when we are in it together. Kindness and empathy are key.

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