As thousands of runners from around the world are set to hit the streets for the 126th Boston Marathon, the members of one local running group will be racing with a special sense of purpose.

The Boston Bulldogs Running Club is made up of people who have had their lives impacted by addiction, whether they are in recovery themselves or have lost loved ones. Coach Michael Ferullo founded the club after he used running to overcome his own addiction.

“Through running I was able to find a sense of hope, a sense of connection,” Ferullo said.

Chris Dalton, one of the members of the club’s 16-person Marathon team, said the Bulldogs have helped him as he’s been in recovery for the past 19 months

“When I first joined the Bulldogs I didn’t know what to expect, and I was truly welcomed with open arms,” Dalton said. “It’s a sense of community that I’ve never truly experienced.

“We are very supportive … it’s actually helped me grow and helped me heal quite a bit,” said Janice Boudreau, who lost her mother to addiction.

For more information on the Run for Recovery, click here.

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