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Running to Recover

CINCINNATI (March 18, 2009) — Recovering addicts from the City Gospel Mission are building confidence, teamwork, and improving their fitness by training to participate in the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon taking place May 2 & 3.

Grady Cunningham, a participant in the City Gospel Mission’s Exodus recovery program, is taking part in this new training program named “Run for the One”. He says training for the Flying Pig Marathon is helping him “come out of the storm” that his life has been mired in.

The 45-year-old Cunningham has been meeting twice each week with other participants from City Gospel Mission’s men’s and women’s recovery programs to train for this year’s Flying Pig. In all, more than 50 staff members, participants and volunteers will run as a part of City Gospel Mission’s Flying Pig team this year – either taking part in the 5K race on Saturday or as part of a relay team on Sunday.

The group is running to enhance the physical, spiritual and mental wellbeing of recovery program participants and bring awareness to the City Gospel Mission. On February 9, the City Gospel Mission’s “Run for the One” team began a 10-week training program. “It really means a lot to us to see people supporting us, running with us and giving their time,” one program participant says. “You really do care.” The group meets in Over the Rhine on Elm Street at the City Gospel Mission each Wednesday (5:15 pm) and Saturday (10:00 am). The group is led by local runner, Chris Heiert, and has received support from Flying Pig Marathon and community volunteers.

The Run for the One team is made of up of 16 men from the Exodus men’s recovery program and 12 women are from Having the Courage to Change women’s recovery programs. Many of these men and women have never run before in their life. “This is my first time not only running in the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon, but my first time running period. So before I say anything else, let me thank God for allowing me to complete each of the training runs so far” said Zollie Long - Exodus member participant.

City Gospel Mission was founded in 1924 and is widely known for its work with homeless and hurting men and women. Exodus is a long-term residential recovery program for men struggling with drug or alcohol addictions. Having the Courage to Change provides structured transitional living to women who seek to recover from life-controlling behaviors such as substance abuse, prostitution, homelessness, job instability and abusive relationships.

For more information, log onto or contact Paul Spence at 513-345-1048;

City Gospel Mission