Michael Martin’s attitude towards running mirrors his attitude toward overcoming his addiction.

“Failure is not an option,” Martin said.

The 45-year-old recovering heroin addict is among the thousands of runners who will don athletic attire, lace up their sneakers and pound the pavement Oct. 20 for the 18th annual Baltimore Running Festival. Martin will run as a member of Back On My Feet, a national nonprofit with a Baltimore chapter that works to combat homelessness through running, employment and housing support.

Martin has been training to run his first marathon – on a hilly 26.2 mile course that traverses large swaths of Charm City – while receiving wraparound services from Christopher Place Employment Academy, part of Our Daily Bread Employment Center, a service of Catholic Charities of Baltimore.

Martin is captain of the Christopher Place team, one of five sponsored in Baltimore by Back On My Feet.