Adventures in sobriety with ultra-runner Charlie Engle (036)

Charlie Engle.jpg

This week, we talk to 55-year old Charlie Engle of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Charlie is a husband, a father, a writer, a runner and a recovering addict. He’s run across deserts, summited ice-covered volcanoes, swam with crocodiles and even served a stint in federal prison. But Charlie’s greatest challenge is the daily challenge of sobriety. Instead of trying to kill his addictive nature, Charlie instead channels it into positive, purpose-filled pursuits, and those pursuits have literally had him running all over the globe. He’s been clean and sober since 1992, his running pursuits have been the subject of multiple documentaries, and in 2016, Charlie released his first book aptly titled Running Man. Charlie is, as he describes yourself, an addict who runs and a runner who writes.

In this episode, Charlie candidly talks about his struggles with addiction and how that opened up a new path for him as an ultra-endurance runner. He also shares some remarkable stories, including the hilarious way he stumbled into ultra-distance running and how he ended up running an ultramarathon within the confines of a prison yard.


Age: 55

Sport: Running, ultra-running, Spartan Race, anything adventurous

Quote: “People assume that they’re not qualified to be out there doing big adventures. We need to be out there leading by example that we’re never too old to be doing an adventure. “