Barry arrived in Ottawa in the summer of 2011 looking for help with his drug addiction. He literally left everything behind in his hometown of Sudbury and didn’t know what the future held for him.
Barry found his way to The Ottawa Mission’s Lifehouse treatment program within a few days and shortly after his arrival he was told about the Saturday morning run/walk group. He had tried running before to try and get fit – but this time Barry found running became a tremendous outlet.
“Running regularly took me on an inward journey and taught me many of life’s hard learned lessons, like patience, endurance, goal-setting, acceptance and self-love. It allowed me to spend time with myself and take care of my body by exercising and being mindful of what I eat. I also exercise my mind by meditating while running and being in the moment. It has been a great stress reliever.”
Barry ran his first half marathon in November 2011 at the TELUS Mission:Possible event. He stunned himself and others by finishing 17th in a field of 212 runners, with a time of one hour, 37 minutes!
Barry eventually completed the LifeHouse program and continues his recovery journey in the community. He is now working on an advanced diploma in Civil Engineering Technology at Algonquin College. Running continues to be an outlet for him and 3 months ago he decided to begin training for a marathon and registered for the Ottawa Marathon – which is now just days away! What’s more, Barry wants to use his first marathon run as a way to raise funds and awareness about The Ottawa Mission.
“Every time I visit The Mission I see familiar faces, warm smiles, and people who don’t judge me because of my past. I’m hoping my marathon run will help me give back some of what was freely given to me.”
If you’d like to support The Ottawa Mission in honor of Barry’s marathon run, visit the our donation page on this website and write “Barry’s Marathon” in the comment section. Good luck Barry!