A Tempe man, putting his feet to the pavement and running in the name of recovery, is taking on the Boston Marathon four times in one day.
Henry Ward says he was at the end of his rope. He was an alcoholic and an addict.
"For 20 years -- 20-plus years, I've used alcohol mostly, and drugs," Ward said. "My life was just spiraling out of control."
Ward says he was losing his job, family, wife, and life. In 2009, Ward moved to Tempe to get help. It wasn't easy, but he says getting sober was the best decision he ever made.
"I quickly learned that you have to help yourself before you can help anybody else," said Ward.
Over the next four years, he said he remained sober, but there was still something missing.
"I found running, or I should say running found me," Ward said.
Five years later and he hasn't stopped. Ward started small and worked his way up to 5Ks, 10Ks, half-marathons, and marathons. Now, he's an ultra runner and runs long distances.
"I really like the distance. I like the adventure in running," he said.
A native of Boston, Ward considers qualifying for the Boston Marathon an accomplishment in-and-of-itself.
But he plans to one-up it and run the Boston Quad, meaning he will run the Boston Marathon four times in one day, roughly 104 miles.
"I'm feeling pretty good. I'm feeling pretty strong. I'm feeling confident," said Ward.
He started on Sunday at noon Eastern time. By the time the official race begins Monday morning, he would have run the marathon three times already. Taking only a 2-hour nap between his second and third run. He will join the official race in the morning for his fourth and final run, and he says he's doing it all in the name of fighting alcoholism and addiction.
"You can do anything you wanna do honestly. It's just as simple as that. You have to want to change," said Ward.
To give back, Ward also runs for organizations and raises money to help people in treatment. He plans to compete in the World Marathon Challenge in January next year to raise more money.