Updated: Tuesday, 21st November 2017 @ 8:07am

Run in the Dark 2016: One man's brave journey from alcohol addiction to being hooked on exercise

Run in the Dark 2016: One man's brave journey from alcohol addiction to being hooked on exercise

| By Ben Cartwright

Tough Mudder. Three Peaks. And now Run in the Dark. Meet Richard Douglas, the man who swapped the bottle for trainers.

Just over three years ago Richard (far right in picture above) found himself struggling in a battle against his alcoholism, until he found The Basement Recovery Centre that operates in Halifax and Kirklees.

The project is a not-for-profit organisation that educates those who are suffering with addiction and aids them and their families through the difficult recovery process.

Upon discovering the centre, Richard, with the help of carers in The Basement, learnt about his condition and laced up his running shoes to start the marathon journey to recovery.

Fitness has been a huge part of Richard, who now works at The Basement, being able to beat alcoholism.

“I always used to be sporty, but when I started struggling with alcohol I stopped doing all of the sports I played and my health and fitness suffered a great deal," he said.

“Once I put the drink down and started learning about my condition through The Basement, I was made aware of how important exercise and fitness is.

"Participating in sport and other team activities can aid my fitness and help me communicate and form relationships with people.”

This November, Richard will be putting on his trainers and puffing away alongside colleagues from The Basement Recovery Project as part of the worldwide running phenomenon, Run in the Dark.

The event takes a scenic route around Media City and people have been participating in Manchester for three years: it is the only official UK Run in the Dark outside of London.

Runners can choose to complete a 5km or 10km route starting at 8pm on Wednesday November 16, with donations going to the Mark Pollock Trust, a charity that aims to fast track a cure for paralysis.

Some will be running to raise money for the trust, some will be aiming for a new personal best, whilst some will just be hoping to take in the sights, sounds and lights of Media City in the middle of the night.

All of those that have chosen to Run in the Dark will be alongside Richard, who successfully turned his addiction to alcohol into an addiction to fitness and exercise, and now takes part in a number of different endurance events.

He said: “Since discovering the centre I’ve had getting fit again to concentrate on. I’m now at the gym most days, playing football and running.

“I’ve done a number of events such as Tough Mudder and Three Peaks, and I’m now looking forward to Run in the Dark Manchester after my boss found out about it!”

If you want to find out more about the event and to join Richard, The Basement Recovery Project and hundreds more runners in this unique worldwide phenomenon please visit runinthedark.org

You can join in the #RunInTheDark conversation by following @TheRunInTheDark on Twitter and ‘Run in the Dark’ on Facebook.