Zac Clark is taking on the (in)famous Goggins Challenge to raise awareness and funds for mental health and sobriety — two causes incredibly close to The Bachelorette alum's heart. Clark, who got engaged to Bachelorette Tayshia Adams on the most recent season of the ABC dating show, opened up to PopCulture Thursday about how he's using his own story of recovery to inspire others who are struggling to embrace the "biggest gift" that is sobriety.
Clark is no running slouch, having completed six New York City Marathons in the past, but starting Friday, April 9 at 3 p.m. ET from the Equinox Hotel in Hudson Yards, he'll take on the challenge named for ultra-runner David Goggins — four miles every four hours for 48 consecutive hours. When Sunday comes, Clark will have run 48 miles, all in the service of raising money and awareness for mental illness and substance abuse. People can donate to Clark's Release Recovery treatment center at their website, follow along on his Twitter and Instagram, or pop out to the NYC site to run a lap or snap a picture with the reality personality.
View this post on Instagram
"It’s for a great cause obviously and one that’s near and dear to my heart," Clark said. The Philly-area native was open during his time on The Bachelorette about his years-long drug addiction that sparked when he was prescribed drugs while recovering from surgery to remove a brain tumor at age 23. Clark knows he's lucky to have had a family with the "resources to pay for really good treatment" as he was starting his sobriety journey, and with more than a decade under his belt, he wants to make sure others have the same opportunity, regardless of their financial situation. "It's not a punishment to get sober," he assured. "It's actually the biggest gift you can be given."
Adams will be definitely be supporting her fiancé throughout his weekend challenge, despite her own busy schedule co-hosting the upcoming season of The Bachelorette. "She’s gonna get involved," Clark told PopCulture. "One way or another, we’re gonna get her joining me. One leg I might have to do on the phone with her, but we’ll figure it out."
Jumping into the world of Bachelor Nation with no prior knowledge, then going on to become one-half of one of the franchise's most beloved couples has been a wild ride for Clark, who called his experience on the show "nothing but really positive." While one out of 20 messages he gets might have something nasty to say about his past, it's not hard to "lean into" the 19 cheering him on instead.
"I think there’s a lot of my story that’s been told, and I think a lot of my story that hasn’t been told yet," he said of being so open with his journey on national television. "I'm very comfortable with who I am in my life now, so I think for the most part [sharing his story on The Bachelorette] been good in that people know they can come to me and ask for help."
It's been a difficult year for so many people due to the COVID-19 pandemic and all the "unrest" across the country, but Clark said he hopes people can come out to the Goggins Challenge to "build community" and simply "get people out of the house." He added, "At the end of the day, we put this together ... and if it can change one life, I’m a happy guy." For more information on how to support Clark's challenge or donate to Release Recovery, visit the organization's website here.