Those who have been running in Ithaca for a long time will remember Yassine Diboun, who was an ultrarunner in town in the early to mid-2000s. Yassine is a great guy, and I still remember the advice he gave me in 2008 about running my first marathon after I’d been counseled to go out extremely conservatively. Yassine thought I should just run however fast felt good to start and reassess at 10 miles—he was right, and I held that pace the rest of the race and was happy enough with my eventual 2:48 that I never need to run a marathon again.
When he was here, I didn’t know about Yassine’s substance addiction issues, but he’s been outspoken about the topic in more recent years, and that’s where this Outside profile focuses. Yassine helped launch the Recovery Trail Running Series, which aims to help those recovering from substance addiction through running. I know nothing about that community, but if someone out there wanted to try to recreate some of what Yassine has done, FLRC may be interested in participating. And I’m sure Yassine would be happy to offer advice and support.