Ultramarathon Legend Charlie Engle Takes On 31-Hour Run In Havre De Grace To Mark 31 Years Of Sobriety


Ashley Staff and Runners with Charlie Engle [right of center, white shirt, white hat] after the 2022 event. (Credit: Ashley Addiction Treatment)

HAVRE DE GRACE - In an awe-inspiring tribute to 31 years of conquering addiction, Charlie Engle, ultramarathon legend and author, is once again lacing up his running shoes to embark on a unique, formidable challenge.

Engle is partnering with Ashley Addiction Treatment (Ashley) and Hilary Phelps, an advocate for addiction recovery and holistic wellness coach, to organize The Penguin: Movement for Recovery 5K and a 31-hour event this year. Engle plans to run for 31 hours straight to commemorate 31 years of his sobriety.

Known for his tradition of running one hour for every year he's been sober, Engle's endeavor, set to take place at Ashley Addiction's main campus in Havre de Grace, has attracted large gatherings over the past five years.

Engle has an impressive and diverse résumé that includes everything from swimming with crocodiles, summiting ice-covered volcanoes, serving a stint in federal prison, to running across deserts. However, his enduring sobriety, achieved on July 23, 1992, remains his most significant daily challenge.

According to his website, Engle does not shy away from seemingly impossible undertakings. Instead, he leverages his addictive nature to fuel positive, purpose-driven pursuits, the most impactful being his passion for running.

Running, to Engle, is not merely an athletic feat but a vehicle for introspection, discovery, and connection. Through his worldwide runs that span jungles, deserts, and local trails, he has delved into the depths of his identity, gained insights about the world, and built profound bonds with diverse communities.

A firm believer in the universality of running, Engle finds joy in the powerful connection and shared humanity it brings. In 2016, he authored his first book, "Running Man," a memoir reflecting on his exceptional life journey. Despite finding writing one of his most challenging tasks, he cherishes its creative satisfaction and plans to continue his writing endeavors. Embracing his identity, he defines himself as an "addict who runs" and a "runner who writes."

The event will start on Saturday, July 22, 2023, with registrations opening at 8:00 a.m., followed by the 5K and 31-hour run/walk at 9:00 a.m. The campus will close for the general public at 4:00 p.m. but will remain open for ultra participants for the full 31 hours.

Participants can run or walk a 5K and even partake in the 31-hour "movement event" filled with activities such as live music, yoga by the bay, a cooling station, a photo booth, special guest appearances, and various food. Family and friends are invited to join, and all proceeds and donations will go towards scholarships to provide necessary treatment to those in need.

Those unable to attend in person can follow the event live through Ashley Addiction Treatment's social media accounts.

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