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Dogs Welcome at Heroes in Recovery Run/Walk

Heroes in Recovery, a movement celebrating the heroic efforts of those who seek addiction and mental health treatment, is returning to Leiper’s Fork for their sixth annual 6K run/walk. The race is a 6K, instead of the more common 5K. This not only represents the six letters in the word “HEROES,” but also symbolizes the extra distance those in recovery go to achieve a healthier lifestyle. Heroes in Recovery was ignited by Foundations Recovery Network (FRN), a family of treatment centers that includes inpatient and outpatient facilities in Tennessee.   

The race organizers invite everyone to join in with your pooch pals, too. The event even offers a “Wag and Run” option for dog guardians to purchase a dog bandana (see photo below). 

The Heroes race in Leiper’s Fork will benefit the local charity The Next Door. (You can read our story about their dog therapy program here.) The Next Door assists women who are reentering society after incarceration, rehabilitation or homelessness. FRN has a long-standing relationship with The Next Door not only because of geographic proximity, but also because of shared values. As Rob Waggener, Division Vice President of Addiction Services for FRN puts it, “The Next Door breaks the stigma by meeting women with compassion and evidence-based treatment and services to give them real hope and healing.”

Kate McKinnie, Investment and Community Partnerships Coordinator for The Next Door explains her organization’s excitement about the 6K by saying, “For staff, volunteers and especially our clients, it is a highlight of the whole year for us to participate. We too, want to ‘break the stigma’ of addiction and show our clients that they are not alone.”

The Heroes 6K will be held on Saturday, September 10, at 8:00 am and will start and end near downtown Leiper’s Fork. The scenic out-and-back course starts on Floyd Road and turns around at Bailey Road. Each registered participant will receive a race shirt and a finisher’s medal. This is a family friendly event and will include post-race food, entertainment, cash prizes for the top finishers and raffle prizes for participants and spectators.

Regular registration is currently $30, but it will increase to $35 on August 2. Registration is $40 on race day. For more information and to register, go to

About Heroes in Recovery:

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 23 million people needed treatment last year and only 3 million sought help. Ten million Americans did not receive needed mental health care. The stigma associated with substance abuse and mental health disorders creates a significant barrier to individuals and families seeking help.

Heroes in Recovery is a grassroots movement intended to remove the social stigma associated with people who are in recovery, to recognize the heroic effort it takes to overcome the obstacles in seeking help, and to celebrate the act of preventing the past from kidnapping the future. While the movement initially focuses on persons recovering from addictive behavior, it is meant also to recognize heroes recovering from many other types of disorders and trauma that can feed or manifest from an addiction.

The Heroes in Recovery 6K races serve as an educational tool for the community as well as a reminder to individuals that while they are on a personal journey of recovery, many others are on that road with them. For more information or to register for any of the Heroes 6K Races, go to

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