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    100 Miles and Running

    Honshu Healing Hundred, 100-mile ultra-marathon

    Photo By Petty Officer 2nd Class Jan David Mercado | 201023-N-EJ241-1092 TOWADA, Japan (Oct. 23, 2020) – Chief Construction Mechanic...... read more read more

    MISAWA, Japan (Nov. 23, 2020) – In the pitch-black darkness of night, rhythmic footsteps can be heard beating against the unforgiving asphalt of a country road. A vision impairing fog slowly rolls over the mountains surrounding Lake Towada, and one step after another, the silhouette of two people with beams of light coming from their headlamps emerge from the thick mist laced darkness. The Honshu Healing Hundred ultra-marathon was only halfway done.

    Chief Construction Mechanic Christopher Norris, assigned to Naval Air Facility (NAF) Misawa, and his running partner Cory Wilborn, endured more than just darkness and thick fog during their 100-mile ultra-marathon.

    Their route started from the eastern shore of Sabashiro Beach in Misawa and took them more than 50 miles west to the highest point of elevation at Lake Towada, over 3,400 feet, and back again, totaling more than 210,000 steps.

    They braved the elements, the full gambit of aches and pains radiating from the tips of their toes to the tops of their heads, and also the mental fatigue that comes with running for more than 31 hours, in order to raise awareness for individuals fighting addiction.

    “It seemed like a natural thing to do would be to train and complete the hundred mile distance while raising awareness for Addict to Athlete, and recovery from substance abuse, and try to raise some funds, raise some awareness and also just celebrate the life of David Clark,” said Norris.

    David Clark was once a 320-pound, fast food junkie, drug addict, and alcoholic, who turned his life around and became an ultra-endurance athlete.

    “I was doing a podcast called The Conversation with the non-profit called Addict to Athlete, when I found out that David Clark had died,” said Norris. “It just seemed like I had to do something.”

    Norris, who has been in recovery from alcohol abuse for over 13 years, has been volunteering with Addict to Athlete for over a year in his efforts to help spread awareness of recovery from substance abuse.

    Addict to Athlete is a non-profit, action-oriented, addiction recovery program that assists anyone touched by addiction. Their mission is to establish and maintain sobriety by promoting lifestyle changes and replacing addiction with things of greater value.

    According to, the use of and addiction to alcohol, nicotine and illicit drugs costs the nation more than $740 billion a year in healthcare, crime and lost productivity. In addition, the 2015 Health Related Behaviors Survey, which is the flagship survey for understanding the health, health-related behaviors and well-being of service members, concluded that across all services, 5.4 percent of military personnel were heavy drinkers.

    “In order to overcome the challenges of the event, I would say it is a mater of relentless forward progress, and that we just keep moving forward no matter what,” said Norris. “Sometimes my stubbornness and my hardheadedness in an ultra-marathon is an area that benefits guys like me because we’re not going to stop.”

    Norris also said that it is imperative to have good support to help track things that are not so readily apparent and provide clarity during moments of discombobulation.

    “When it comes to ultra-running, or running in general, you have to be stubborn,” said Wilborn, a fellow ultra-runner who has participated in more than 40 marathons. “Stubbornness is something you need because you have to keep pressing, keep moving, regardless if something is hurting you, mentally or physically.”

    Raising awareness for those combating addiction also requires a lot of mental and physical resilience, both of which Norris showcases through his 100-mile accomplishment, as well as maintaining his sobriety for over 13 years.

    “At the end, I felt relief that it was over, and I felt satisfied,” said Norris. “I felt it was a fitting tribute, and a great event for a great cause, Addict to Athlete.”

    Norris has been preparing for the Honshu Healing Hundred for the last five years after starting long distance running in 2015 during a deployment to San Clemente Island, off the coast of Southern California.

    If you, or anyone you know, are struggling with substance abuse, then please speak with your command Drug Alcohol Program Advisor (DAPA), or for more information and help, visit the links below:



    Date Taken: 11.23.2020
    Date Posted: 12.28.2020 23:43
    Story ID: 385918
    Location: MISAWA, AOMORI, JP 
    Hometown: ALBANY, NY, US
    Hometown: PORT LAVACA, TX, US

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