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Scott Sowle is a man who runs to help others. In August he was a man running who needed help from others.

Sowle, 58, was rescued by Kittitas County Search and Rescue volunteers on Aug. 27, while running near Van Epps Pass. Sowle fell and was knocked unconscious for a brief period of time. This caused him to become disoriented. He had a global positioning system (GPS), so though he was disoriented, was aware of where he was.

“The only reason I called was I was so disoriented, I was vomiting at the time. I knew the next section was tough not only terrain-wise, but just this route was because some of the trails are not really established trails,” Sowles said, adding it was his first time on the trail.

Sowle is from Seattle and works at the Union Gospel Missions as a health and fitness coach and director of team missions.

Program participants train for and participate in popular Northwest running and marathon events including Ragnar Northwest Passage, Spartan, and several other half marathons and 5K events.

He was familiarizing himself with the area and training for the Teanaway Country 100, a two-day event from Sept. 15 to 16.

The course begins and ends in Salmon La Sac, then traverses the Teanaway Valley from west to east and then back again, according to the event’s website.

“So it’s an out and back course, which means you start at the start and you go out to one end of it and then you go right back the same way you came,” Sowle said. He said it has what is called a lollipop at the end which he thinks is a 7-mile loop around before turning back and finishing.

Sowle had divided the course into two sections and on Aug. 27 he was running the first section. Each one is about 28 miles.


Sowle has struggled with addiction his whole life, as well as homelessness. He has since made it his mission to help other individuals overcome addiction and other challenges through running and finding value in exercise.

“There’s a less chance of a relapse with those of lesser active as far as sports wise,” Sowles said. “I think the main thing (is) it slowed me down and allowed me to start thinking more on what’s going on around me. So many people listen to music or podcasts and I don’t do that. I listen to what’s within me and within my body and it has helped me to mature and just be able to have a more established, responsible lifestyle.”

He said a lot of studies have shown people who are within addiction and lead a healthy lifestyle by participating in some sort of physical activity regularly help prevent relapse.

The responsibility of training for an event and the discipline it requires has a positive effects of different areas of people’s’ life, Sowle said.

“To come out of heroin and be able to do this and still survive ... a lot of great things have happened. And it all started right where they’re at now,” Sowle said. “There is hope in life and life is worth living.”


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