EP 48 – Kenny Dunn: From Alcoholism to Ultra-Marathons

Discover the transformative journey of ultra-marathon runner Kenny Dunn in this episode of the Begin Again podcast with host Gary Menkes. 

From struggling with obesity and secretive drinking to achieving sobriety, Kenny’s story is one of resilience and determination. He openly discusses his battle with alcoholism, his experiences with a 12-step recovery program, and his path to becoming a better father. 

Witness his inspiring weight loss success with DDP Yoga, and his passion for running that led him to complete ultra-marathons. This episode is a testament to Kenny’s strength, as he transformed his life from addiction to sobriety, and from obesity to fitness.


The views and opinions expressed by our guests are their own and do not necessarily reflect the stand or beliefs of the host or the podcast. We aim to provide a diverse range of perspectives and ideas, fostering open and respectful discussions. We encourage critical thinking and forming your own conclusions. Enjoy the show!

About Our Guest (Kenny Dunn)

Kenny Dunn is a beacon of resilience and determination, showcasing the transformative power of sobriety and fitness. Once struggling with obesity and alcoholism, Kenny’s life took a turn for the better when he embraced a 12-step recovery program, leading him down a path of self-improvement and wellness. His journey from addiction to recovery has been marked by significant milestones, including a viral weight loss success story with DDP Yoga, and the completion of an ultra-marathon, proving that personal strength can overcome the most significant challenges.

Kenny’s inspiring journey has not only helped him become a better father but has also motivated countless others battling similar demons. His story has been featured on platforms like Newsweek and Daily Mail TV, garnering attention and praise for his courage and determination. Today, Kenny continues to inspire and motivate others through his podcast and social media platforms, sharing his experiences and offering guidance to those seeking a healthier, happier life.

Follow Kenny on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/sobrietycosmos for motivational posts and updates on his ongoing journey. For more in-depth insights into his transformative journey, tune in to his features on Daily Mail TV (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/dailymailtv/index.html?vid=2581493). Connect with him on Twitter (https://twitter.com/SobrietyCosmos) for real-time updates and inspirational content. Join Kenny in his journey of resilience, determination, and transformation, and find the motivation to begin your own journey towards sobriety and wellness.

Show Notes

  • [01:17] In this episode of the Begin Again podcast, host Gary Menkes interviews Kenny Dunn, a recovering alcoholic who has transformed his life and health through ultra marathon running, sharing his inspiring journey of sobriety and fitness. 
  • [04:29] Kenny openly discusses his journey of overcoming obesity and alcoholism, highlighting the challenges he faced due to his physical transformation post gastric-bypass surgery and his struggle with secretive drinking, leading to his decision to seek help and find solace in a 12-step recovery program. 
  • [10:43] Kenny shares his personal struggle with alcoholism, and the mental torment he experienced over the fear of running out of beer. 
  • [13:49] Kenny emphasizes that while his obsession to drink has been lifted, he still struggles with an underlying obsession to get drunk.
  • [16:15] Kenny and Gary humorously discuss their bewilderment at moderate drinkers, highlighting their own struggles with alcohol consumption and their inability to comprehend how someone could only have one drink. 
  • [17:13] Kenny details his initial resistance to 12-step recovery program, eventual acceptance of the program, his relationship with his sponsor, and the transformative work he put into his recovery.
  • [21:15] Kenny touches on the importance of focusing on sobriety, self-care, and the potential dangers of quitting cold turkey, while also sharing his personal experiences with weight gain and the emotional toll of the process. 
  • [23:39] Kenny shares his transformative journey from addiction to sobriety, marking milestones with selfies and coins, and his experience of his story going viral on Reddit and Facebook, despite mixed reactions. 
  • [27:21] Kenny shares his weight loss journey, attributing his success to DDP Yoga, an app he discovered through professional wrestler Jake the Snake Roberts, and discusses the unexpected viral attention his transformation photos received.
  • [29:07] Kenny discusses the recognition he received from the community, his feature in Newsweek, and his experience starting a podcast with the help of Arlena Allen. 
  • [31:08] Kenny shares his journey of overcoming his hatred for running to successfully complete an ultra-marathon as part of Diamond Dallas Page’s Positively Unstoppable Challenge. 
  • [34:57] Kenny shares his journey of self-discovery and overcoming personal challenges through ultra-marathon training.
  • [38:35] Kenny shares his transformative journey from overcoming the physical and mental challenges of ultra marathons to finding newfound strength and determination.
  • [41:41] Kenny Dunn discusses his journey from overcoming alcoholism to becoming a better father, and parallels it with his mental and physical evolution in understanding and embracing the possibility of running ultra-long distance races. 
  • [44:01] Kenny shares his journey from battling personal demons to becoming a present and proud father.
  • [46:35] Kenny shares his realizations about the potential impact of his addiction on his son’s future, his decision to seek help, and how sobriety opened up new possibilities for him.
  • [48:12] Kenny shares his journey of physical transformation and sobriety, attributing his success to blood flow restriction training and DDP Yoga, and extends an invitation to listeners seeking similar changes to reach out to him for guidance and support.

For more incredible and inspiring stories of those who have overcome alcoholism and addiction, tune in to the next episodes of The Begin Again Podcast through:

About Gary Menkes

Gary Menkes was born and raised in Port Washington, NY and struggled with alcoholism since his early teens which took him to places he never wants to go again and which took a toll on his health, relationships and professional endeavors. However, Gary completely transformed his life when he was given the gift of sobriety on May 13, 2006. Determined to break free from the cycle of self-destruction, he embarked on a remarkable journey of recovery.

Today, Gary is an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous in New York, married to the love of his life and father of two amazing children of which he owes all to his sobriety. Gary is now launching his own podcast, The Begin Again Podcast.