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Pamela Rickard is running to raise awareness for addiction recovery

"I get to lead and engage people across the country to run, walk, and participate in healthy activities."

Pamela Rickard is the director of active engagement for Herren Project.

In our “Why I’m Running” series, Boston Marathon runners share what’s inspiring them to make the 26.2-mile trek from Hopkinton to Boston. If you’re running the marathon, you can share your #WhyImRunningBoston story here.

Why I'm Running

Name: Pamela Rickard
Age: 59
From: Rocky Mount, Virginia

In the early 2000s, I was an accomplished member of the local running community, a respected mom, a professional, and an athlete. In truth, I was anxious and fearful, self-medicating with alcohol, trying desperately to keep my struggles hidden.

Ultimately, I began spiraling out of control. I finally entered treatment on April 17, 2006, Boston Marathon Monday, and took my first steps into sobriety. That foundation of recovery saved my life, but it was built on extreme difficulty. I still faced the consequences of three DUI convictions, which included a three-month jail sentence.

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When I walked out of that jail on Dec. 31, 2006, the seeds had been planted that would ultimately grow into my desire to help those fighting similar battles and to show them there is hope, there is redemption, and there is healing. Without asking for help and finding my own recovery, none of my running success, let alone my personal or professional wellbeing, would be possible.

Today, I’ve completed more than 100 marathons and ultra-marathons, including 10 Boston Marathons, and serve as the director of active engagement for Herren Project. I get to lead and engage people across the country to run, walk, and participate in healthy activities, helping each other, and others, live stronger, healthier lives as we raise funds and awareness for recovery and mental health resources.

Editor’s note: Entry may have been lightly edited for clarity or grammar

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