WALTHAM (CBS) — For every small step Henry Ward takes, it reminds him of just how far he’s come and the stranger he may help just down the road.

“I mean ultimately you’re saving someone’s life. That’s huge,” Ward said.

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Ward is an ultra-runner, which means he runs very far, for very long periods of time.

Ultra runner Henry Ward. (WBZ-TV)

“That would be anybody who runs more than the 26.2 miles of a traditional marathon. I plan to run 104 miles, about four marathons,” Ward smiles.

The 46-year-old from Waltham is also a recovering alcoholic and drug addict.

“I was powerless. Every aspect of my life suffered,” Ward said.

Having hit rock bottom, Ward entered a treatment center in Arizona and that opened the door to a second chance at life. Ward is 9 years sober, happily married with a son and is now training to run 104 miles along the Boston Marathon route.

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“I am going to start at the finish line. Run to the start in Hopkinton. Then go back to the finish line. Turn around go to the start, then go back to the finish line for the last time,” Ward explained.

Ward’s mission is to help raise money for Runwell, an organization that raises money for addiction treatment for those who can’t afford it.

“100 percent of funds go to people who can’t afford it and we get them into running,” Ward said.

Ward says he will be supported along the run by family and friends. His goal is raise more than $10,000.

“I will be thinking about people I’m helping,” Ward said.

He speaks from experience because he knows what it’s like to be in their shoes.

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“I honestly believe that if I can change my life, anybody can,” Ward said.

Paul Burton