HIGHLAND CITY, Utah - A group of athletes are running a relay from Utah County To Salt Lake County on Friday.
It's the start of a 5K called the Run/Walk for Recovery that begins early Saturday. Many of those taking part are folks recovering from substance abuse.
The group is called Addict to Athlete and it started in 2011 when a recovering addict and substance abuse counselor in Utah County decided to take some clients with him on a lunch time run.
Blu Robinson says the response was incredible, his patients loved the physical challenge and opened up to him more during the run that in the office setting.
"It's an action-oriented program, it erases addiction and replaces it with something better," said Robinson.
Just over a year later, Addict to Athlete has more than 250 members. They are running races, setting goals, staying in contact with others who know the pain of addiction and staying sober.
"Substance abuse disorders are treatable, that recovery is possible and that there are many people in long-term recovery celebrating the fact that they are no longer in the throes of addiction. They are actually living happy, healthy, productive and wonderful lives," said Mary Jo McMillen.
McMillen and others say Addict to Athlete is not a replacement for traditional substance abuse programs, but works in addition, aiding in long-term recovery.
For those who are interested in joining, there's a day long event Saturday beginning with the 5K Run/Walk for Recovery that starts at the Gallivan Center at 9 a.m. Organizers say the events are free and family oriented.
More details can be found online by CLICKING HERE.