Harvey Lewis: SCPA teacher wins 135-mile Badwater Ultra, 'world's toughest foot race'

A Cincinnati School for Creative and Performing Arts teacher won one of the most grueling races in the United States.

Shortly before 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Harvey Lewis won the 135-mile Badwater Ultramarathon in Lone Pine, California. Race coordinator Chris Kostman posted on Instagram that Lewis crossed the finish line after running for 23 hours 52 minutes and 55 seconds.

Lewis began the race at 8 a.m. on Monday and continued his trek through the desert and mountains with only short stops for food and hydration.

Kostman posted on Instagram around 9 a.m. eastern time about Lewis' progress: “Harvey Lewis charges up Whitney Portal Road towards likely victory. Nine miles to go.”

In an Instagram video posted by Kostman, ahead of Lewis was Mount Whitney and the 4,000 foot ascent to the finish line.

At 9 a.m. Lewis' closest competition, Grant Maughan, of Australia, was 45 minutes behind him.

Beyond the incredible distance, runners at Badwater must contend with wide-ranging temperatures. The National Weather Service predicted a low of 57 degrees and a high of 97 Tuesday.

Only 100 runners from around the world qualified to participate in the elite race hosted each July in one of the world’s hottest spots.

Two other Tri-State runners were participating in the race. They include Craig “Wheels” Wheeler of Burlington, who was in 31st place in his first Badwater ultramarathon, and John Corey of Cincinnati in 46th place.

"Recently, he trained on Sundays and he would run the Dixie Highway hill," Craig Curns with the Tri-State Running Company said of Wheeler.  "He would do that for 26 or 28 miles. He would just go back and forth and back and forth."

The Dixe Highway hill was the stretch of roadway in Northern Kentucky that ran from near 12th Street in Covington up to Kyles Lane in Fort Wright.

Those who want to track reaction to the Badwater race on social media they can go to the Badwater website and also see times here.

Before the win, fellow runners and followers of the race took to Twitter with congratulations for Lewis.

Runner AJ Breitwieser tweeted “Chuck Norris is the Harvey Lewis of Texas. Way to go Harvey!”

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