Meet 'Running Man' Charlie Engle

Nov 7, 2016

The cover of Running Man, a memoir by Charlie Engle.
Credit Scribner/2016

Charlie Engle spent much of his young adulthood chasing the next high. His addiction to drugs and alcohol nearly cost him his life.

But he eventually attained sobriety, and along the way, developed a new passion: running. He started with marathons but moved to longer distances and adventure expeditions.

In 2006, he led a team across the Sahara, a feat documented in the film, Running The Sahara. His fame drew the attention of government officials, including one determined tax agent at the IRS.

Engle was indicted for mortgage fraud, convicted and spent nearly two years in federal prison. During his incarceration, he dreamed of one of the world's most difficult running courses: Badwater. And he ran a version of the event behind bars, inspiring fellow inmates to take up running. 

Once free, he ran the real event. Engle details his experiences in new memoir, Running Man. Host Frank Stasio talks with Engle about addiction, running and redemption.

Charlie Engle speaks Thursday, November 10 at The Regulator Bookshop in Durham and Monday, December 5 at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh