“Spartans who have raced know there is an unspoken rule on the course: no Spartan left behind. This mission extends beyond the course; to not leave behind those who battle towering issues that exist in this world. This year, we are uniting to leave no fighting man or woman behind. It’s time to make crossing the finish line more meaningful” (Everydayhero.com).
A group of dedicated individuals from the Washington area recently participated in the 2016 Blue Mountain Ski Area Spartan Race competition with this mantra in mind.
Competing in the sweltering heat on a summer day, 10 teammates from the Isshin-Ryu Karate Academy in Washington fought through an eight-mile, 25 obstacle course to raise money to replace Narcan kits used by police officers and EMT personnel when saving a life as a result of a heroin overdose.
Those involved with the race were Dave Read, Jeremy Read, Nick Read, Sally Fischer, Nathan Carroll, Grover Carroll, Ryan Carroll, Brad Phillips, and Jackie Silance.
The idea came to Isshin-Ryu Academy members and Warren County residents Grover Carroll and Sally Fischer in deciding to compete for a cause. Carroll said, “We approached the Coalition for Healthy and Safe Communities, a program of the Family Guidance Center, and asked if they there was a way we could help with the drug issues in Warren County. Without hesitation, Mary Jo Harris, Coalition Coordinator, spoke about the number of Narcan saves in 2015.”
Warren County reported over 90 Narcan saves from January 2015 through November 2015. That means 90 lives were saved and those individual have a second chance at recovery. Every September, SAMHSA (Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration) sponsors Recovery Month to increase awareness, understanding of mental, and substance use disorders and celebrate the people who recover, because recovery is possible.
The CDC (Center for Disease Control) reported that more people died from drug overdoses in 2014 than in any year on record. The majority of drug overdose deaths (more than six out of ten) involve an opioid. Since 1999, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids (including prescription opioid pain relievers and heroin nearly quadrupled. From 2000 to 2014 nearly half a million people died from drug overdoses.
“The money raised by the Shodan Warriors that day will replace upward of 30 Narcan kits for Warren County Law Enforcement and EMT service providers,” Harris stated. “When you think about it, the members of the Shodan Warrior team that participated in the Spartan Race committed themselves to more than uniting to leave no fighting man or woman behind that day, they were actually committing themselves to not leaving those behind who are facing the race of their lives surviving addiction to cross the finish line of recovery, and for that we are forever grateful to them.”