LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Close to 800 people took to the starting line Saturday morning outside Keeneland Race Course.
That’s roughly 1600 shoes pounding the pavement for the 23rd annual Run for Recovery.
Every year the race has brought people together to support people struggling with drug addiction.
“23 years ago, there was a young man in treatment. His name was Leroy. Leroy wanted to find a hobby or something to do with his time to get sober,” Shepard’s House President/CEO Jerod Thomas said.
“He started running, and the director of the program at the time helped Leroy come up with the run for recovery.”
Shepard’s House is a non-profit that organizes the race every year.
The money raised from the run goes back toward Shepard’s House’s mission.
Providing a structured environment enabling clients to develop community, financial, and employment skills necessary to lead a fulfilled sober life.
That mission brings people out every year to support the cause.
“This is the sixth or seventh year I’ve participated in the race,” Sheridan Sims said.
“It’s really just a passion project for us. We’ve lost a lot of friends and family members to addiction so it’s easy for us to support a cause that’s raising awareness for that.”
Even first-time runners can appreciate the impact a community event like this has.
“I’ve been to these kinds of events over the years and the ones for special causes are especially fun to do,” Vic Nelson said.
Trophies are handed out at the end of the race, but who wins isn’t important to Thomas and Shepard’s House.
The win for them is seeing so many people come together to stand with the people trying to get their lives back on track.
“We’ve got people walking. We’ve got bouncy houses. We’ve got people with their dogs out here. We just love it. It’s a great day. It happens one time a year and it’s our favorite day of the year at the Shepard’s House,” Thomas said.
If you’d like to sign up for next year’s race or donate to the cause, click here.